The "Same Old Love" crooner opened up to The New York Times about how her past relationship helped shape her upcoming (and highly anticipated) album, Revival.
"While people were writing that I was stupid for being in [the relationship], this is what I always saw in him. I'm like, duh!"
Gomez continued, "It's all part of my story. I'm growing and changing. I was in a relationship, and I was being managed by my parents, and I was still under Hollywood and Disney, and I was being held to this expectation of being the good girl."
But after a lot of personal and professional growth, Gomez says she's ready for the world to see (and hear) a different, more vulnerable side of her.
"I knew deep down that this wasn't what I wanted to do—being exhausted of forcing something that wasn't right, even in my personal life. I had to have moments where I was crying and I was like, 'Why am I not in love with what I do?' I was forced to get very uncomfortable for a while in order to make the decisions I made."
She added, "I definitely remind myself that I'm in control. I feel like ultimately if I sit down and think about a decision I need to make, it's really within myself. I make the decision, everything goes through me."
Meanwhile, Gomez's bestie Taylor Swift told the Times, "In the last two years, I've seen Selena start to make her career her own…Her childhood was defined by working hard, with the major business decisions primarily being made by others. The coolest part of watching her grow up has been seeing her gradually take the creative reins and start to steer the ship."