In Selena Gomez's new song, Lose You To Love Me, she says:

"I needed to lose you to love me."

I was wondering if this means she needed to lose them, so that they would love them. If so, is this an established way of saying it? Shouldn't it have been "I needed to lose you for you to love me.", if that was the intended meaning?

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    I think it means "I needed to lose you to [be able to] love myself". Significantly, she later says "I needed to lose you to find me". The lyrics seem to be about the other person denying her identity and being abusive or controlling. – Michael Harvey Oct 24 '19 at 20:26
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    RE: Is this a standard way of saying it? That's a fair question, I suppose, but it's worth mentioning that we can't expect song lyrics to always reflect the way we say things. (See this related meta question.) – J.R. Oct 24 '19 at 20:47
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    Using 'me' in place of 'myself' is common in self-help-therapy and motivational texts, etc, e.g. "I need to find me", and the theme of the song (such as it is) seems to point that way. – Michael Harvey Oct 24 '19 at 21:00

The more likely meaning is something like:

I needed to get out of my relationship with you, so that I could learn to love myself.

It's poetic phrasing, typical in song lyrics. You can say it in ordinary conversation, but it would sound like you are quoting from a song or poem.

The implication is that the other person in the relationship was overwhelmingly dominant, but your interpretation is going to be as good as mine, as that kind of situation isn't English-specific.

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