"It was my first breakup ... and so public," Hadid told Teen Vogue

By Karen Mizoguchi
February 13, 2017 09:35 PM
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Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty

Bella Hadid has finally opened up about her highly-publicized break-up from The Weeknd, but the model also explained that it’s not her first painful split.

For Teen Vogue‘s new Love issue, Hadid, 20, recalled her heartbreaking farewell from beloved horse Lego after giving up her Olympic equestrian aspirations at age 16 due to Lyme disease.

And though she was familiar with what parting ways felt like, when her romance with the “Starboy” singer came to an end, she wasn’t expecting to have the whole world watching.

“It was my first breakup — or second, next to the horse — and so public. As an outsider, you might think I handled it so well, but it’s always in your heart, and you always feel it very heavily,” Hadid admitted. “It’ll be hard for a while. Love hurts, but you have to pull through.”

Since the couple broke it off in November, The Weeknd has been pictured with new girlfriend Selena Gomez.

“I’ll always respect him, and I’ll always love him,” Hadid shared, adding that the pair remain on friendly terms – after all they did meet at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show just days after news of their break-up went public.

“Sometimes you want to be sad about it or handle it differently, but at the end of the day, you never want to burn a bridge that you’ve fought so hard to build.”

A source previously told PEOPLE that Hadid ultimately pulled the plug on the duo’s romance. “Bella and Abel’s split wasn’t dramatic, but of course she’s hurt and pissed that he’s moved on so quickly with Selena,” the insider said.