Grimes and Elon Musk's Relationship Was My Pandemic Hobby

I spent hours analyzing this confusing union. What do I do with my free time — and all my weird theories — now that they’re over?

Grimes and Elon Musk's Relationship Was Art
Photo: BFA/InStyle

What's to love when a billionaire tech mogul and a socialist pop star fall in love? Seemingly nothing. You only need to skim Grimes's social media comments to find out what people thought about her union with her cyber-villain boyfriend, Elon Musk.

When she and Musk recently announced their "semi-separation," the internet, including Azealia Banks, who famously beefed with the couple, broke out into cheers. People laughed. Memes were shared. I, however, quietly pained. I may not support the existence of billionaires, but I did support the existence of this union.

The day I saw their debut at the Met Gala 2018, I let out a scream. It made so much sense, but also no sense at all. The artist and the insanely rich futurist. Both wanted to go to Mars. Of course they met over Twitter via an unconscionably niche tech joke. For a while, my saved folder on Instagram was just pictures of them on the red carpet.

Grimes and Elon Musk's Relationship Was Art
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During the dreary days of lockdown, I followed every single bit of content I could get about them; I supplemented my friends with daily, if not hourly, updates on "Grusk" against their wills, adding the hashtag "#GRIMESTALK."

"I literally don't care pls stop," they would say. "GRIMES NAMES FIRSTBORN CHILD X Æ A-Xii" I would reply.

The union of Grimes (whose real name is Claire Boucher) and Musk provided an absurd escape from my repetitive days locked indoors. I would often ponder things like, What do they talk about? Do they cook? Can either of them do laundry? Who bears the brunt of child-rearing? Every time Grimes posted on TikTok I would imagine it was Elon behind the camera, telling her to dance faster, sing louder, or stop talking about socialism on camera.

She often replied to comments about Elon on her TikTok videos, at one point defending herself by telling everyone to "stop harassing me on this app over fake news. I am not my bf's spokesperson."

Once she got with Musk though, her music seemed overshadowed by her relationship with a personality that loomed so large. I feared she had begun to lose herself. To me, a Grimes stan, her music and messaging began to feel disingenuous. Fans began calling her a sellout while the rest of the world was just finding out about her — and not through listening to 2015's Art Angels. She was being referred to as "Elon Musk's new musician girlfriend." At one point, she proclaimed, "My boyfriend doesn't fund my career!"

There are so few photos of them actually together that my mind had ample room to fill in the gaps of their relationship. Elon was future-focused and out of touch with reality. Grimes was openly vulnerable and emotional. Being with Grimes made Elon more interesting, yet still not unhateable.

As the world closed off to socializing, including dating new people, I would think about what they saw in each other. Maybe she brought out the best (...) in him. He must have admired her art and creativity. Grimes was open about her desire to settle on Mars, and so, I told myself, this had to have been his appeal. He was her ticket to Mars. Simply put, they were both geeks at heart. Despite how quickly it all fizzled out, for a while, Grusk had me believing that there really is someone out there for everyone.

Breakups That Broke Us is a weekly column about the failed celebrity relationships that convinced us love is dead.

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