Ariana Grande's new song "Thank U, Next" has rightfully taken over Spotify and Twitter's collective brain. You can't scroll very far without seeing someone meme the lines "one taught me love / one taught me patience / one taught me pain" and the title itself, "Thank U, Next," has also taken on its own use in pop culture. However, it's incorrect.
Before I explain further, let's take a closer look at the lyrics.
"I've loved and I've lost / But that's not what I see / So, look what I got / Look what you taught me / And for that, I say, / Thank U, Next."
A song about exes has the potential to be catty and spiteful, but what makes Grande's so special, and the reason it has had such popularity, is its measured and ultimately positive look at her failed relationships. In fact, she probably wouldn't use the word "failed," because she is better for them. Now she's ready to move on. Aka: Thank U, Next.
"Thank U, Next" doesn't actually have the same meaning Twitter would like it to. It's not "Bye, Felicia." It's a not a dismissal of someone you don't like, especially if it's someone you've never liked. For instance, many people were saying "Thank U, Next" to Republican candidates who were getting ousted by their Democratic opponents during Tuesday night's midterm elections. Did these republican candidates once hold an important place in your heart, but now you're ready for something new? Did they teach you something valuable and for that you thank them? Are any of them Big Sean? No!
"Thank U, Next" is reserved for a different type of relationship. For instance, my personal "Thank U, Next" is J.K. Rowling, whose books I loved and continue to love, but who I wish would stop adding things to them after the fact. She does not serve me anymore. Thank U, Next!
Or maybe, after a long and winding road, you've decided to go gluten-free. You enjoyed your time with bread, but you realise it's better in the long run if you see less of each other. Thank U, Next!
Or the TV show Broad City! I love Broad City, but it's gone on a little too long, and the announcement that this will be the show's last season could not be more welcome. Thank U, I'm excited to see what Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer do Next!
So please, say Thank U, Next to the way you've been using Thank U, Next. You've learned and you're better for it!