Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato publicly reunite: Why it's a big deal

Delena is back and looking better than ever!

Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato thrilled fans after posing together for photos on Monday night at the 2017 InStyle Awards. The IRL reunion comes one week after Gomez showed support for Lovato’s new YouTube documentary, Simply Complicated, on Instagram.

Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato attend the Third Annual “InStyle Awards” on October 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Getty Images)

So why is a picture of the pair posing together such a big deal? Throughout their friendship, which started when they were both 7 and stars on Disney Channel shows, Gomez and Lovato — both now 24 — have been very hot and cold with each other. And while they used to take selfies and red carpet pictures all the time, the new images are the first of the pair together in years.

The first signs of a rift emerged in 2010 when Lovato was asked by a fan, “How’s Selena?” and she responded, “Ask Taylor [Swift].” Swift, who dated Joe Jonas prior to Lovato, and Gomez — who previously dated Nick Jonas — became close after dating the brothers together.

Months later, Lovato acknowledged their falling out to Girls Life, saying, “We’re both busy, and I wish the best for her. True friends don’t let their friends or family be mean to you. If you can’t trust somebody, you can’t be friends with them.”

Demi and Selena at the 2011 MTV VMAs. (Photo: Getty Images)

Shortly after Lovato made those comments, she went to rehab for substance abuse, which actually helped them reconcile. “Selena… she called me crying when I was in there and was just so worried,” Lovato told Televisionet. “I was like, ‘Look, I should be the one crying, it’s all good!’… But she was so worried and ever since then we’ve gotten closer.”

In 2011, Gomez and Lovato hit the awards show circuit, and later even gushed about each other on red carpet. “We’ve been through a lot together, we’ve had periods of times we here we grew apart and we just didn’t really talk,” Lovato told MTV in 2013. “Now we are in a place where I think we realized that life is so short and that when you have people in your life that love you so much then, you should just always be around them. She’s going to be a big sister, and I want to be around for that. Everything about her, she has a great soul, she’s talented, she’s beautiful, and she will always be really, really close to my heart.”

The love and support was mutual. When it was revealed that Gomez secretly went to rehab in January 2014, Lovato was there for her on social media.

Unfortunately, their friendship suffered another setback months later when Lovato unfollowed Gomez on Twitter and Instagram. She also cryptically tweeted, “Bye,” with a photo collage reading, “Swimming away… from your bulls***… bye b***h.” Fans speculated the tweets were directed at Gomez. “I think it’s just one of those things where people change and people grow apart,” Lovato explained on Watch What Happens Live.

Yet things were patched up yet again because in 2015, they were back posting photos on Instagram.

“We went to a dinner, I think it was two weeks ago,” Gomez said of reconnecting with Lovato. “We were at the dinner, we were talking about her record, my record, just kind of catching up… I love her. She’s like family at this point… It’s just nice to be able to see people that you grew up with succeed.”

But, interestingly, around the same time, an interview Lovato did with Complex came out where she discussed their fallout. Lovato was asked if the reason they were no longer friends had to do with Gomez’s on-again, off-again relationship with Justin Bieber, as had been speculated.

“Nope,” Lovato replied. “He’s actually a nice guy. I don’t really know him that well, but he seems to have grown up. He looks like he’s maturing. But, you know, when you’re young and you get older, you change and people change. You have things in common, and then all of a sudden, you don’t. It’s just a part of life.”

However, Lovato clarified her quotes were given before she and her childhood bestie reconnected. “Interviews are done months and months before the issue is published. [A] lot can change between then and now. Don’t read into the bulls***,” she tweeted.

Still, the two weren’t exactly attached at the hip in the years that followed… unlike, say, Gomez and Swift. Last year, the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer made headlines after slamming Swift’s “squad,” which had people speculating Lovato and Gomez were on the outs, once again.

“I think in certain situations, certain people could be doing more if they’re going to claim that as part of their brand. To be honest, and this will probably get me in trouble, I don’t see anybody in any sort of squad that has a normal body,” Lovato told Glamour. “It’s kind of this false image of what people should look like. And what they should be like, and it’s not real…. It’s not realistic.”

Lovato also called out the “Bad Blood” singer for her Katy Perry diss track and music video (which starred Gomez), telling the magazine, “And I think that having a song and a video about tearing Katy Perry down, that’s not women’s empowerment. We all do things that aren’t, but I have to ask myself, Am I content with calling myself a feminist? Yes, because I speak out.”

Gomez and Lovato didn’t seem cool for the winter or spring, but by summer 2017 an olive branch was extended on social media.

Despite no evidence of chumminess between the starlets at the WE Day taping the following month, Lovato sent her pal well wishes after it was revealed Gomez had a kidney transplant. “I think that she is a very strong woman,” she told People. “I’m very happy and proud of her.”

The public support was reciprocated after Lovato released her documentary earlier in October.

“This was beautiful. I’m so happy for you,” Selena commented on Instagram. “You always continue to be bold and real. I wish more people were like you. Love you.” Demi wrote back, “Thank you so much, this means the world to me and more. Love you too.”

So, is Delena here to stay? We certainly hope so!

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