Ariana Grande’s ‘Boyfriend’ Lyrics Are a Real Take on Dating Casually But Wanting More

Culture
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Ariana Grande’s Sweetener tour continues on, but the singer isn’t waiting for it to end to drop new music. Grande and her friends (and tour opening act) Social House have released their new single “Boyfriend” tonight and its wild music video. The song lyrically captures that thrilling but simultaneously anxiety-inducing limbo stage between casually dating someone and making your relationship exclusive and official. Grande revealed on Twitter that she wrote it with the Social House boys, Mike Foster and Charles “Scootie” Anderson.

Grande explained the concept of the song on her Twitter ahead of its release. “We wanted to make something uplifting that captures that feeling of being afraid to take the leap & trust, being afraid of being hurt or feeling like you won’t be enough for that person…but also how it feels to have a crippling crush on someone,” she wrote.

She was writing from a more general place, she added. “I feel like this song captures a common theme in the lives of so many people i know ! People want to feel love but don’t want to define their relationship & have trouble fully committing or trusting or allowing themselves to fully love someone. even tho they want to.” (Grande herself told Vogue earlier this year that she is single, and dating isn’t her focus currently. “I think that this is the first album [Thank U, Next] and also the first year of my life where I’m realizing that I can no longer put off spending time with myself, just as me. I’ve been boo’d up my entire adult life. I’ve always had someone to say goodnight to,” she said. “So Thank U, Next was this moment of self-realization. It was this scary moment of ‘Wow, you have to face all this stuff now. No more distractions. You have to heal all this shit.’”)

Grande contrasted the song to her other recent boyfriend-related, “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” by describing it as sweeter. “i don’t think one is better than the other at all they’re just very different !” she wrote on Twitter. “One is darker one is bouncier and sweeter. That’s where i’m at rnnnnn [right now].”

The music video itself reflects the tone of the song. It has some cartoonish imagined fighting sequences in there as Grande watches Foster, her love interest in the video, talk to other girls. The two both attack each other’s possible love interests—in their mind, not reality—until they ultimately get over their fear of commitment and get together. It’s a fun watch:

And here, the lyrics Grande, Foster, and Anderson wrote for the song, via Genius, to take in.

Verse 1: Ariana Grande

I’m a motherfuckin’ train wreck

I don’t wanna be too much

But I don’t wanna miss your touch

And you don’t seem to give a fuck

I don’t wanna keep you waiting

But I do just what I have to do

And I might not be the one for you

But you ain’t about to have no boo

Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande

‘Cause I know we be so complicated

But we be so smitten, it’s crazy

I can’t have what I want, but neither can you

Chorus: Ariana Grande

You ain’t my boyfriend (Boyfriend)

And I ain’t your girlfriend (Girlfriend)

But you don’t want me to see nobody else

And I don’t want you to see nobody

But you ain’t my boyfriend (Boyfriend)

And I ain’t your girlfriend (Girlfriend)

But you don’t want me to touch nobody else

Baby, we ain’t gotta tell nobody

Verse 2: Social House’s Mike Foster

Even though you ain’t mine, I promise the way we fight

Make me honestly feel like we just in love

‘Cause, baby, when push comes to shove

Damn, baby, I’m a train wreck, too

I lose my mind when it comes to you

I take time with the ones I choose

And I don’t want to smile if it ain’t from you, yeah

Pre-Chorus: Social House’s Mike Foster

I know we be so complicated

Lovin’ you sometimes drive me crazy

‘Cause I can’t have what I want and neither can you

Chorus: Ariana Grande

You ain’t my boyfriend (Boyfriend)

And I ain’t your girlfriend (Girlfriend)

But you don’t want me to see nobody else

And I don’t want you to see nobody

But you ain’t my boyfriend (Boyfriend)

And I ain’t your girlfriend (Girlfriend)

But you don’t want me to touch nobody else

Baby, we ain’t gotta tell nobody

Bridge: Social House’s Scootie Anderson and Ariana Grande

I want to kiss you (Yeah), don’t wanna miss you (Yeah)

But I can’t be with you ’cause I got issues

Yeah, on the surface, it seems like it’s easy

Careful with words but still hard to read me

Stress high when the trust low

Bad vibes, where’d the fun go

Try to open up and love more

Try to open up and love more

If you were my boyfriend

And you were my girlfriend

I probably wouldn’t see nobody else

But I can’t guarantee that by myself

Chorus: Ariana Grande

You ain’t my boyfriend (Boyfriend)

And I ain’t your girlfriend (Girlfriend)

But you don’t want me to see nobody else (Nobody)

And I don’t want you to see nobody

You ain’t my boyfriend (Boyfriend)

And I ain’t your girlfriend (Girlfriend, yeah)

But you don’t want me to touch nobody else (Nobody)

Baby, we ain’t gotta tell nobody

You ain’t my boyfriend (Boyfriend)

And I ain’t your girlfriend (Girlfriend)

But you don’t want me to see nobody else

And I don’t want you to see nobody

You ain’t my boyfriend (Boyfriend)

And I ain’t your girlfriend (Girlfriend, yeah)

But you don’t want me to touch nobody else (Nobody)

Baby, we ain’t gotta tell nobody

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