Split Started Brewing Months Ago

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, who were America's cutest couple for almost two years, broke up officially late last week. While it's fine and well to shrug it off as just growing pains for the two young stars--and we're sure plenty of their respective fans are thrilled the two are single again--there's actually been signs that a split has been in the works for some time now. As early as this summer, in fact. Let us count the ways... First off, all the way back in June, Bieber showed up late to a Fuse TV taping. According to a source that tipped off People, his tardiness stemmed from a fight with and Gomez. A different source reported to People that Gomez was in tears at pal Ashley Tisdale's early July birthday party due to yet more strife with Bieber. The two appeared to work things out, but just a few short months later, trouble appeared again. In late October, Bieber tweeted two cryptic photos that fans immediately leapt upon to decipher. In one, he positioned himself in front of a mirror with a sad face, and the caption "Just me." This could be written off as merely artistic navel-gazing, except that he also tweeted another photo--again looking dejected, and with the notation "lingse." It doesn't take a genius to figure out that "lingse" can be unscrambled to read "single." Bieber deleted the photo and caption shortly after fans began commenting and questioning it. However, in addition to the pensive (and deleted) portraits, Bieber began throwing up shots of his physique--flexing for the camera and showing off some fairly cut-looking guns; suffice to say this hasn't really been a habit for him in the past...and, let's face it, it's generally not a habit of most guys who are happily committed in a relationship. Enter November--last Wednesday, while Gomez was working in Los Angeles, Bieber took the opportunity to perform at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York City. Afterwards, he clubbed at hotspot Lavo, where VS models reportedly fawned over him. Three top models--Erin Heatherton, Lindsay Ellingson, and Lily Aldridge--showed up at his concert at New Jersey's Izod Center Friday night and posed for the cameras. But the Big Apple fun didn't end there. A shot of Bieber accompanied by model Barbara Palvin appeared on the Twitter account of rapper Lil' Twist--a friend of Bieber's--but was quickly taken down after Gomez herself retweeted the photo with an ominious "..." comment. (Palvin herself denied anything going on, tweeting "There is nothing going on w him. I met him and I did a pic w him. Wouldn't u do the same?") Bieber didn't address all the rumors directly. He tweeted on Sunday, "Regardless of what happens i see all of the tweets and all the love you guys are sending me. thank u. love u too." During a radio interview on Saturday, he commented, "I don't know what to say...I don't know if really -- if you even know what's going on in my life, so to even assess that doesn't make any sense, because I've not made any comments." Whether the split was long time in the making or fairly recent, it genuinely appears the two stars are done...for the time being. As a source told Us Weekly, "Right now it is a break and tomorrow it could be back." Bieber and Gomez first threw hints about their budding relationship in November of 2010.

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