How Justin Bieber Treats Selena Gomez Seems Familiar — Here’s Why

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Pictured: Bieber in February 2016.
In the first episode of Amazon's upcoming comedy Fleabag, the main character's boyfriend dumps her, then immediately starts back-pedaling. Don't try to stop me, he says, feebly. She doesn't. Don't call me, he warns, his courage cooling. She won't. Don't show up at my house and try to get back together, he offers. She isn't going to. He eventually leaves. If he were Justin Bieber, he might hide her from his Facebook feed but not block her, or delete her from Instagram but look at her photos anyway. Heaven forbid she call his bluff and act in kind. Woe to the person who doesn't take the bait and act jealous, groveling to be taken back. You're moving on. He thinks you're being mean. If this all rings a bell, it's because you know this guy or girl. It's the manipulative ex who runs hot and cold, depending upon which move bequeaths him or her the most powerful position at the time. He/she is no angel, but when the tables are turned, nothing is better than playing the victim. Exhibit A: Justin Bieber. It's not just ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez that the Canadian pop star is toying with; it's his besotted Beliebers, too. He craves their approval and acts wounded when he gets criticism, however well-intended, instead. Sure, okay, he's the one dating a minor and expecting everyone not to notice, but we're the a-holes who are in the wrong. It's like being cheated on because you didn't want to have sex that one time you had your period. How dare you. It's unclear what Bieber had in mind when he threatened to break up with Instagram. An outpouring of support from fans desperate for every last selfie? A public apology from the International Association of Naysayers, Cynics, and Other Not-Nice Internet Folks? A kiss on the ring and a cute couple nickname for him and Sofia? What he wasn't expecting, and what no doubt outraged our petulant King Joffrey, is to be called out by soulmate Selena Gomez. He also wasn't expecting for others to have her back. She forced his hand and he had no choice but to make good on his Instagram threat. Only, because he's that guy, he didn't exactly scorch the earth. He's still on Twitter. He's still on Facebook. You can reach him, you know, when you're ready to apologize. He just can't even look at you right now. He's done. Until he's not. And hey ho, it might be working.

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