Demi Lovato Said the End of Their Engagement Was the 'Best Thing That's Happened' to Them

In a recent interview, the 28-year-old artist opened up about how their split from ex-fiancé Max Ehrich allowed them to find their true self. 

demi lovato found self after breaking off engagement
Photo: Getty Images

For many people, calling off an engagement might be devastating. For Demi Lovato, however, breaking up with a potential lifelong partner seems to have been more of a, err, breakthrough.

During The 19th Represents 2021 Virtual Summit on Thursday, the 28-year-old singer opened up about their split from actor Max Ehrich and described the "dissolvement" of their relationship as "the best thing that's happened to [them]." (

"I was able to stand on my own two feet without needing someone else to validate me or to make me feel accepted. When I said goodbye to that relationship, I also said goodbye to everything that was holding me back from being my most authentic self," explained the Grammy-nominated artist.

Lovato said they started to identify as nonbinary in March 2020, around the same time they "met someone" (Ehrich) and began a heterosexual relationship. "That led me to ignoring all the parts of myself that I didn't think were digestible for my partner at the time," they shared. When the couple called it quits in September 2020 (after about seven months of dating and a very public engagement), Lovato felt free to begin "identifying as the person [they] do today."

During the interview, the former Disney star also shared that they first began questioning their gender identity when they were "in the fourth or fifth grade."

"In my downtime, I was finding it more comfortable to be around the boys, or I guess at the time, to make fart jokes, whatever fifth graders do. I realized I'm not that girly," they recalled. "It wasn't until I went to middle school that I completely changed my image and my branding to make myself more digestible for people in middle school because I just had a sense that they weren't going to be as friendly as they were in elementary school. And sure enough, I was right!"

Fast forward to May 2021 and Lovato came out as non-binary publicly on their podcast, 4D with Demi Lovato. And when asked what being nonbinary means to them during Thursday's interview, Lovato replied, "That I'm so much more than the binary of man and woman." (

They continued, "It's just challenging everything I've known, everything I've grown to believe I should look and do and act a certain way, and it's chucking all of that out the window and being like, 'this is who is am, take it or leave it. I don't need you to take it but I feel great even if you don't.'"

But that's just right now. Lovato went on to explain that they think their gender journey will last "forever," and "there might be a time when [they] identify as trans." "Or maybe there's a period of time when I get older that I identify as a woman, I don't know what that looks like, but for me, in this moment right now, this is how I identify," they said. (

And at the end of the day, all that truly matters is that Lovato feels confident and comfortable in their skin — no matter their label.

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