During an Apple Music interview with Zane Lowe that aired on Tuesday, Nov. 17, Mendes revealed that he had previously thought of himself as sensitive and open about his battles with anxiety. But through his romance with his longtime girlfriend, he discovered that he was not always as vulnerable as he wanted to be.
"I went through a month where I couldn't really even communicate with her because I was struggling with anxiety, and I didn't want her to see me weak," the 22-year-old "Wonder" singer said. "And I was on the verge of ruining our relationship. And then when you come out on the other end, and you're like, ‘Listen, I'm struggling here. It's hard for me to even say this to you.' And everything starts building and growing and getting stronger, and the roots fortify, and you look around, and you're like, ‘Oh, s--t.' Bravery. That's bravery. That's strength."
For Mendes, learning to appreciate himself has been vital to the success of the relationship.
"You cannot be the best version of a son or a brother or a boyfriend or a friend to anybody if you're not constantly there for you, and you're watching out for you, and you're checking in on your heart and your space and your energy," he said.
According to Shawn, he and the 23-year-old "Havana" performer "started giving ourselves a lot more time, which then allowed us to give everything more time and space, if that makes sense."
Mendes explained that this is the first time he has fallen in love, and Cabello's support in his life lets him fully commit to seeing where it can lead.
"It really allows you to be like, ‘Okay, well, if I'm going to do this, I might as well be doing it for the right reasons and really, really, really enjoying it,'" the "If I Can't Have You" vocalist said. "Otherwise, I'd just rather watch movies with you all day."