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Ruin The Friendship & Only Forever theory - Nick Jonas // Nemi

I was frustrated with a certain situation,” Lovato told the Vice affiliate. “And I was like, ‘You know what, I’m just going to write about it.’ And so I did, and sent [the songs] to that person, and that was … Interesting. Any time you send a song about the person to the person — it’s ballsy. It’s like, ‘Hey! Here’s my feelings for you!’”Added Lovato: “They knew [about my feelings], but neither of us had acknowledged [them] before. And then it turned out that person had written a song about me, and we exchanged songs. … That person was like, ‘That’s an incredible song.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, well. It’s like, ‘Hel-lo!’”

Tell Me You Love Me: A tale of five relationships

So after listening to the album more, I’ve found myself grouping the songs into her different relationships in the past year and a half. These songs are not necessarily about these people, but I feel like they represent these moments well. Consider it an alternative listening order. What do you think? (Playlist)

1. Lonely, Tell Me You Love Me, Smoke & Mirrors - Her break up with Wilmer. They were together for six years, and we all were honestly convinced they were going to last. It would be understandably difficult to process, and the album’s most passionate pieces speak to this. She’s ‘lost and lonely’ and she wants to be loved.

2. Ruin the Friendship, Only Forever - Her feelings for a friend. We know these are about Nick. Unrequited feelings towards someone familiar. Someone safe, someone who wouldn’t hurt her.

3. Concentrate, Sexy Dirty Love, Daddy Issues, Games, Cry Baby - Lust and conflict. Her relationships with Bomba and Luke, especially the latter. They had fun early on, but they were not compatible. She catches herself falling for the wrong people.

4. You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore, Sorry Not Sorry - The most important relationship, the one with herself. These work as break-up songs that put a stop to the toxicity of before. But the double meanings behind them are so important. She’s bidding farewell to addictions, bullies, and all the negative forces in her life that have brought her down. She won’t accept people hurting her, and she won’t apologize.

5. Hitchhiker, Ready For Ya - The epilogue to the story. She’s falling in love again. Despite the anguish of the earlier songs, the album ends on a hopeful note. She’s entering a new relationship with Lauren and seeing where it goes. She’s living in the present, and she doesn’t know where life will take her, but she’s keeping her faith.

[Have you ever been tempted to hook up with a friend?] 
Yes! That’s what I wrote the song about! A certain friendship that I have with someone - and I want to ruin that with them.
 
[How long have you kept it secret?] 
I think it’s been a long time coming. 
I actually ended up sending this song to the person. And it turned out they had a song they wrote about me! So we, like, exchanged songs, which was funny.
—  Demi Lovato on “Ruin the Friendship”