In the approximately three months since Zayn Malik called off his engagement to Perrie Edwards, with one emotional video of Edwards breaking down during a show and no followup comments from the former One Direction singer after his initial confirmation of the split, fans have been left to fill in the pieces of their breakup themselves — including a persistent rumor that Malik ended things with Edwards via text. It's been easy to cast Malik as the villain as of late — from unyielding claims that he cheated on Edwards to quitting One Direction to ending things with his fiancee — but, thanks to an insightful and honest new interview with Fader, I am now starting to see Zayn Malik in a different light, maybe even a respectable one. And no, as it turns out, Malik says he did not dump Edwards via text message.
In the lengthy and candid interview — during which Malik touched on everything from his reason for quitting One Direction to his thoughts on Larry Stylinson to what he hopes to accomplish with his new music — Malik spoke about calling off his engagement to Edwards. And in, doing so, he wanted to make one thing very clear: He loves and respects his ex and would not end something as serious as a long-term relationship over iMessage. Good.
"If you could word it exactly this way, I’d be very appreciative," he told the Fader reporter. "I have more respect for Perrie than to end anything over text message. I love her a lot, and I always will, and I would never end our relationship over four years like that."
"She knows that, I know that, and the public should know that as well," Malik said. "I don’t want to explain why or what I did, I just want the public to know I didn’t do that."
It's an upfront, honest, and extremely respectable statement from Malik, who has not always shown his best behavior regarding the split (see: that time he Instagrammed a shirtless photo of himself cozying up to a mystery blonde just a month after he and Edwards broke up). Not that Malik should be lauded for not breaking up with Edwards via text (tbh, we as a society should pretty much hold anyone in a long-term relationship to that standard), but his straightforward comments about Edwards show a type of maturity from Malik that should be applauded.
By claiming that he will always love Edwards, Malik isn't just chucking away the past four years and starting entirely fresh; he acknowledges that he was in a serious relationship for a good chunk of his adult life and that Edwards was an enormous (and significant) part of that. And most importantly, according to Malik's passionate statement, it seems as if he genuinely respects the Little Mix singer as a person, perhaps the most telling trait of all of someone's character.
While Malik's Fader interview could've portrayed a dislikable guy who essentially dumped both his fiancee and his band (and it wasn't exactly without his "Bradford Bad Boy" persona, with the singer lighting up a spliff throughout the interview), it ultimately made me see Malik as someone at a crossroads in his life — who now finally has the freedom to pursue the projects that are satisfying to him. It's not easy to walk away from things that have brought you so much joy for so long, but I give him credit for having the courage to know when things aren't right and to instead go off in search of what will make you happy. It's admirable.