Julia Michaels and JP Saxe Split After Three Years of Dating as Both Tease Breakup Songs: Sources

Michaels and Saxe began dating after writing 2019's "If the World Was Ending," a ballad about a flawed relationship and hope for its reconciliation

Julia Michaels, JP Saxe
Julia Michaels & JP Saxe. Photo: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Julia Michaels and JP Saxe have called it quits.

The "If the World Was Ending" singer-songwriters have broken up after about three years of dating, multiple sources close to the pair confirm to PEOPLE.

Reps for Michaels and Saxe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this month, breakup rumors were sparked after both musicians posted snippets to social media of unreleased songs featuring lyrical references to romantic turbulence.

On Sept. 9, Saxe posted a clip of himself playing guitar and singing a new song called "When You Think Of Me," seemingly about a breakup, to Instagram. "When you think of me / Are you setting fire to every memory? / Do you believe what doesn't last forever don't mean anything?" sang the 29-year-old "Line by Line" musician.

"'Cause I swear I loved you fully / And I'm sorry not for staying who we thought I'd be," continued Saxe. "When you think of me, am I just another man who leaves?"

The following day, according to a fan's screenshot featured in a TikTok video, Michaels posted a series of lyrics that appear to respond to Saxe's on her Instagram Stories.

"You're just another man / And this is just another doorway / Using promises like they're some kind of twisted fore play," wrote the "Issues" hitmaker, 28. "You keep saying that you're staying / When we both know that's not your forte."

"Cut to: you give me one last kiss / And leave your keys there in the foyer / And say you're sorry / You never meant to hurt me like you do / Well I'm sorry to me too," continued Michaels before posting more lyrics in a follow-up story. "For all the love I wasted on you / Baby I'm sorry to me / Sorry to me too."

Saxe then posted the lyrics to second verse of "When You Think Of Me" to his Instagram grid, writing, "I hate myself for hurting you / but it would make it worse to fix it / I wish I'd figured out a way / of keeping myself in it."

He continued, "I hate how I lived up to / your worst fears / makes it worse / how it worked / so well for three years / and it could all be for the best in the end / but for now it feels like losing my best friend."

On Sept. 16, Michaels shared a video to social media of herself playing the song featuring the previously shared "I'm sorry to me too" lyrics alongside the caption, "Assh---s live forever."

Saxe announced a Sept. 23 release date "When You Think Of Me" and its accompanying music video, which sees him burning a couch, on Wednesday. The same day, Michaels shared a video to social media featuring an unreleased breakup song playing in the background.

"The night we broke up, you called everyone saying it was my idea / So I'll put on a necktie for your composition / Of 'woe is me' lines and all your omissions / Oh, this could be like our new tradition / Where I play the bad guy and you play / The victim," she sings on the track.

Michaels and Saxe began dating after writing 2019's "If the World Was Ending," a ballad about a flawed relationship and hope for its reconciliation in which went on to sell over three million units in the US and earn the pair a Grammy nomination for song of the year in 2020.

The pair's romance blossomed as they quarantined amid the COVID-19 pandemic together, and they later both spoke to PEOPLE about drawing inspiration from one another for their respective 2021 albums.

"We figured if the first song we wrote together got us a Grammy nomination, we should keep writing together," Michaels told PEOPLE in April 2021, having penned the Not in Chronological Order tracks "All Your Exes" and "Little Did I Know" with Saxe.

He then detailed the influences behind his debut album, Dangerous Levels of Introspection, in a June 2021 interview with PEOPLE. "It's songs about Julia, there's a song hyping up a best friend who is going through heartbreak, there's a song talking about the loss of my mom at the beginning of last year," confessed Saxe. "All of the people who have been a really prominent part of who I am over the last decade are in some way represented on this album."

The "A Little Bit Yours" singer also opened up about running his lyrical ideas by Michaels. "I think to varying degrees, every artist is using their partner as a sounding board," he admitted. "When your partner is the greatest songwriter of all time, you may use them as a sounding board a little bit more. So I'm grateful for Julia's opinion and take the very seriously at every step of the process."

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