LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Demi Lovato attends the 2021 iHeartRadio Musi...

Here’s How Demi’s Breakup From Max Helped Them Be Their “Most Authentic Self”

“I was able to stand on my own two feet without needing someone else to validate me or to make me feel accepted.”

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Demi Lovato has been making moves over the past year. They launched a new podcast, debuted a four-part documentary series, and dropped an album. They’re making a return to acting, and in May 2021, they revealed they’re non-binary. All this comes after a very public breakup from Max Ehrich back in September 2020, but in an Aug. 19 interview with The 19th, Lovato revealed that cutting ties with Ehrich actually helped them get to a place where they could live their truth.

“I was able to stand on my own two feet without needing someone else to validate me or to make me feel accepted,” they said during the publication’s virtual summit. “And when I said goodbye to that relationship, I also said goodbye to everything that was holding me back from being my most authentic self.”

Lovato said they first started identifying as nonbinary in March 2020. That same month, they started dating Ehrich. “I met someone and I got into this straight relationship, and that was great, but that led me to ignoring all the parts of myself that I didn't think were digestible for my partner at the time, who ended up becoming my fiancé,” they continued.

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Lovato and Ehrich got engaged in July 2020, and parted ways two months later in September 2020. In their docuseries Dancing With The Devil, which dropped in March 2021, they said they felt pressure to “rush” into their relationship, especially while quarantining with Ehrich. “I think I rushed into something that I thought was what I was supposed to do. I realized as time went on that I didn't actually know the person that I was engaged to,” they said.

The breakup wasn’t an easy one. In a September 2020 Instagram Story, Ehrich claimed he learned about their split “through a tabloid,” and a month later, he went Live on Instagram and said he felt “used.” Then, a month after that, he started leaving shady comments on Lovato’s Instagram posts.

But with that entire ordeal in the rearview, Lovato seems to feel freer than ever. As they told The 19th, they might identify as trans in the future. Maybe they’ll identify as a woman. Or maybe, they explained, they’ll “identify as nonbinary and gender-nonconforming my entire life.” Right now, they’re just enjoying living their most authentic life.

“I don’t know what that looks like for me, but for me, in this moment right now, this is how I identify,” they said. “And I have a feeling that it's not going to ever go back to one way or the other, but it's about keeping it open and free and just I'm a very fluid person, and so that goes with how I express myself as well.”