“You never know how good you have it / Until you’re starin’ at a picture of the only girl that matters,” read the lyrics to the first verse of the track, which the Canadian crooner, 23, dropped on Thursday, March 31. “I know what we’re supposed to do / It’s hard for me to let go of you / So I’m just trying to hold on.”
The “In My Blood” singer and the “Havana” songstress, 25, called it quits in November 2021 after two years together. “Hey guys, we’ve decided to end our romantic relationship but our love for one another as humans is stronger than ever,” the former couple wrote in a joint Instagram statement at the time. “We started our relationship as best friends and will continue to be best friends. We so appreciate your support from the beginning and moving forward.”
Mendes debuted “When You’re Gone” earlier this month while performing at SXSW in Austin, Texas. The Grammy nominee played the song near the end of his set, delighting fans in the audience and social media users eager for more new music. “Shawn’s new song got me crying,” one Twitter user wrote at the time alongside a clip of the performance.
“I don’t wanna know what it’s like when you’re gone,” read the lyrics for the chorus of the new track. “I don’t wanna move on / I don’t wanna know what it’s like when you’re gone for good / You’re slipping through my fingertips / A little bit, by a little bit / I didn’t know that loving you was the happiest I’ve ever been.”
Earlier this month, the “Stitches” singer opened up about coping with the aftermath of the split, noting that he didn’t “realize” which things would be different once he was single.
“When you’re, like, breaking up with someone and you think it’s the right thing. You don’t realize all the s–t that comes after it,” Mendes said in March 2022 via a social media clip from his studio sessions, referring to the new music he penned after his split from Cabello.
“Which is like, ‘Who do I call when I’m in a panic attack? Who do I call when I’m f–king on the edge?’ And I think that’s the reality that kind of hit,” he said in a social media clip from his studio sessions. “It’s like, ‘Oh, I’m on my own now.’ Now I feel like, finally, I’m actually on my own and I hate that, you know? That’s my reality.”
Cabello, for her part, broke her silence about the split in an interview with Zane Lowe earlier this month. “As I get older, the priorities shift,” the former Fifth Harmony member explained. “And I feel like that was that way for both of us. Because we both started so young too, it’s like we’re really learning how to be healthy adults.”
The “Crying in the Club” singer went on to say that she and her ex-boyfriend are still on good terms. “I love Shawn and I feel like there is literally nothing but love for him,” she explained.
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