Selena Gomez Talks Wanting a Family, Mental Health, and Quitting Instagram

In a new episode of her bestie Raquelle Stevens's vodcast, "Giving Back Generation," the musician and actress shares her hopes for the future and explains that her biggest "love language" is physical touch.

Selena Gomez wearing a black blazer, straight hair, and lipstick at a rare beauty event
Photo: Getty Images

Having just turned 30, Selena Gomez is ready for a husband and a family, before she devotes her life to philanthropy, and then "peaces out" from public life. In a new episode of her bestie Raquelle Stevens's vodcast, "Giving Back Generation," the musician and actress shares her hopes for the future and explains that her biggest "love language" is physical touch.

In the episode, out on Friday, Stevens asks Gomez and another friend, Ashley Cook, about their dreams for the future.

"I hope to be married and to be a mom," Gomez says. "Eventually, I'm gonna be tired of all this, so I'm probably just gonna devote most of my life to philanthropy before I peace out."

Gomez's hopes for finding a spouse are reiterated when Stevens brings up Gary Chapman's book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, which claims that people speak in different love languages (acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation, gifts or physical touch). Asked which she values the most, Gomez responds "physical touch," to which Stevens points out, "Except you don't let me give you a hug sometimes!"

"I love you to the moon and back," Gomez responds. "I want a husband, and I want that kind of touch."

"So physical touch from a man?" Stevens questions.

"Yes. Or a woman," Gomez replies, before giggling and adding, "I'm kidding. I'm getting crazy!"

"I think my love language would be physical touch, and I actually would say acts of service," Gomez continues. "The older I get, the more I appreciate it. I hung out with somebody a bit older, and it was so wonderful. It was like being taken care of [with them asking], 'Are you comfortable? Do you want a blanket?' Just very sweet things. It was so kind, and I don't feel like a lot of people are like that anymore."

Gomez is one of many celebrities appearing on Giving Back Generation's seasons two and three, which are focused on different aspects of mental health, including grief, eating disorders, and bullying. Jay Shetty and wife Radhi, Gabe Kennedy, Tanya Rad, Serena Poon, Taylor Thompson, and Leah Haywood also appear in the episodes, directed by Chiara Tilesi and premiering each week on TaTaTu, a social entertainment platform that rewards people for social media activities, such as watching signature content.

Gomez has been open about her mental health struggles, which include dealing with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and lupus. She has worked tirelessly to use her platform to promote mental health awareness, donates a portion of her beauty line Rare Beauty's profits to mental health services, launched a platform called Wondermind to help connect people with resources, and was recently invited to the White House to discuss mental health with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

During her Giving Back Generation episode, Gomez credits her friends for being her "rainbow" through tough times, before adding how much her nine-year-old half-sister, Gracie (from her mom Mandy Teefey's side), also brightens up difficult days.

"She puts things in perspective," says Gomez, who also has an eight-year-old half-sister, Victoria, from her dad Ricardo Gomez. "I watch this little person grow into a human being, and there's no better feeling in the world. I feel like a parent in a way, even though I'm not, but it's just so rewarding to see that life was so simple at one point. I want to enjoy life the way she enjoys life."

"And my fans," she adds. "I haven't been able to perform in a really long time, and it's been really, really hard because I feel so disconnected from people. They keep me going, even when I've been in tough moments on tour. They make me so happy. I never knew what I did to deserve it, but I'm so lucky."

Although Gomez adores her fans, she's a little less connected to them these days, having quit social media in order to protect her mental health and ensure she's surrounding herself with authentic relationships. Describing herself as an "extremist," she explains how she deleted Instagram from her phone, doesn't know the password to her account, and texts anything she wants posted on her page to her assistant.

"It's been purposeful because I get excited when I see you guys because I didn't look at your Instagram, so I don't know what you did or how you are," she says. "That's real-time that we can gain together instead of just, 'Did you see my story?' I give people advice saying, 'Just take the weekend off or start with one day where you just don't pay attention to it, and really be present for what's around you.' I think that's so crucial and a part of our mental health."

"Social media – it's not bad," she continues. "I just know I have to be responsible for what I'm feeling and need to take care of my emotions because I'm not gonna get that from strangers who are giving me their opinion."

While she doesn't spend time on Instagram, Gomez notes that she has found solace in other parts of the Internet, having anonymously spent time on a chat board where others were discussing mental hurdles similar to what she was experiencing. "For an hour, I felt so much relief. Like, 'I'm not the only one that feels this way. This is so cool.' That made me feel incredible."

However, it's Stevens, Cook, and Courtney Lopez (who rounds out Gomez's girl squad) who have helped her through obstacles. She says a key factor to their enduring friendships is that she needed pals who would "unconditionally say, 'You may not have made the right choice, but we love you, and we don't think any less of you [or] think you're a bad person.'"

Acknowledging that not everyone's able to find such wonderful loved ones, her advice for anyone on the hunt for great friends is to be yourself and seek like-minded people.

"I get an insight when I pick up [my sister], or her friends come over for a playdate, and it starts when you're young," she says. "My sister will go sit down with a girl that nobody's sitting with, and she'll just ask her how she is. There are moments that seem so crippling – I would get so nervous talking to people and was extremely shy in middle school!"

"But taking small moments like that, even though they take a lot of courage, is really special," she continues. "I try to find people who live life the way I want to live my life because you are who you surround yourself with, and you want to be proud of that. Don't try to conform or fit in because it won't work, and even if it does, you can only keep up a facade for so long."

Gomez's episode of 'Giving Back Generation' releases at 9 am on 5 August. A new episode of the vodcast will then continue to premiere every Tuesday on TaTaTu.

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