Ariana Grande Confirms Celebs Rebound As Hard As The Rest Of Us

Al Donato

In five months, a lot can happen. A baby can learn how to sit up. A provincial party can go on summer vacation. And if you’re Ariana Grande, five months is how long your high-profile rebound lasted.  

In a profile with Vogue, the singer and August cover star opened up about her short-lived romance with Pete Davidson, describing her time with the comedian as an “amazing distraction.”   

They reportedly started dating in May 2018 — the same month she broke up with the now late musician and boyfriend of two years, Mac Miller. Davidson also broke up with his then girlfriend that same month. Grande was engaged to Davidson within three weeks of falling for him. The public obsessed over their whirlwind romance before the couple called it quits in October.

“It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn’t know him,” she told the magazine. “I’m like an infant when it comes to real life and this old soul, been-around-the-block-a-million-times artist. I still don’t trust myself with the life stuff.”

But Grande should be giving herself more credit on the life stuff. Research suggests there’s can be positive health benefits to entering a rebound relationship. 

Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

In pain? Must be love on the brain

After a breakup, many find themselves craving the arms of another. Getting with someone new right after a serious relationship is commonly referred to as a rebound. The concept has a less than stellar reputation; rebounds are often seen as mistakes, a sign that someone is moving “too fast.”

This urge likely comes from a need to protect oneself from the anguish a breakup can bring. And if you think breakup pain isn’t real, think again.

Research shows heartbreak isn’t just in your head. It can literally be bad for your health. 

A breakup can raise your heart pressure, give you situational depression, cause acne, mimic withdrawal symptoms, and even lead to risky behaviour. And if you were on the receiving end, you could be at risk of feeling physical pain when you think about your ex. 

The stress of a breakup can have serious side-effects on the body.

All this makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint: humans are hard-wired to avoid rejection from their loved ones. The best way to alleviate the pain? Rebounds are the cure, suggests a 2014 study.

Researchers found that people who shack up after a breakup tend to have higher self-esteem than those who remain single or take a while to re-enter the dating scene. As well, they tended to feel more closure over their ex. So no shame if you find yourself tangled up with someone new right after an uncoupling. It’s certainly a strategy Grande is familiar with. 

A rebound is commonly defined as entering into a relationship soon after a significant one ended. 

Grande has rarely been without a partner by her side. As US Weekly details, since 2008 she’s been romantically linked with someone, often getting into a new relationship shortly after her last.

However, the rebound can have its pitfalls. Elite Daily notes that rebounds can enforce yearning for your ex if the new lover doesn’t provide the same or better physical and emotional benefits. Basically, it’s going sideways if you’re constantly comparing your partner to your former flame and your new boo keeps coming up short.  

It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn’t know him. Ariana Grande

Another problem with rebound relationships is grief can’t be properly processed if you’re using someone else as an emotional crutch. Psychologist Dr. Paulette Sherman explains to Insider that a rebound might not go well if you’re choosing someone out of comfort, not love.

Grief taught Ariana the importance of self-love 

Miller died from a drug overdose last September. Since Miller’s passing, Grande has been vocal about how much the rapper means to her, as well as how hard reminders of him continue to be. She told Vogue that her Coachella performance almost didn’t happen because the festival always reminds her of Miller. 

The months following his death, her friends encouraged Grande to make music to cope, as that was how she usually found healing. It was through that process she realized she didn’t need a partner, rebound or otherwise, to face her pain.


“I’ve been boo’d up my entire adult life. I’ve always had someone to say goodnight to. So ‘Thank U, Next’ was this moment of self-realization,” she told Vogue. “It was this scary moment of ‘Wow, you have to face all this stuff now. No more distractions. You have to heal all this shit.’”

From that, it sounds like Grande is taking a mature approach to her time with Davidson: appreciating it for what it was, but recognizing that the “frivolous” whirlwind romance ultimately wasn’t endgame for her happiness.  

“This is how I meet people ― I can’t just, like, meet someone at a bar,” she told Billboard last December. “I live fast and full-out, and I make mistakes, and I learn from them and I’m grateful no matter what happens.”