Are Dua Lipa's "French Exit" Lyrics About Her Ex, Romain Gavras?

Are Dua Lipa's "French Exit" Lyrics About Her Ex, Romain Gavras?

Dua Lipa's third album, Radical Optimism, is officially upon us. ICYMI, she recruited musical powerhouses Caroline Ailin, Danny L. Harle, Tobias Jesso Jr., and Tame Impala's Kevin Parker to create the highly anticipated follow-up to Future Nostalgia. "Everybody's backgrounds and ways of working all gelled so well, as friends and musically," Dua said of the process. "We were just so open with each other, and I felt like in that room, I could be vulnerable and talk freely about my experiences. The musicality of it felt so rich and exciting, and I wanted to dive in and be a part of that." According to a press release, the psychedelic Brit-pop-inspired album "speaks to the pure joy and happiness of having clarity in situations that once seemed impossible to face"—and Dua isn't holding back in its lyrical contents.

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Anonymous sources, tortured man clubs, cheating rumors—it's all just a lot.

As the Grammy winner preps for double duty on Saturday Night Live, we've been bumping her new album and dissecting its lyrics between blissful vibes. While "Houdini" and "Training Season" are straight-up bops, other tracks dive into Dua's past relationships—specifically, "French Exit," which fans theorize is about her filmmaker ex, Romain Gavras. 👀

So, let's unpack the meaning behind Dua Lipa's "French Exit" lyrics and see if the receipts hold up.

Lyrics provided by Genius.

[Verse 1]
I don't wanna stay till the lights come on
I just can't relate to the words of this love song
What's it gonna take to right all the wrongs?
'Cause, right now, I can't give you what you want

In the opening verse, Dua reveals that she's losing feelings and expresses that she can't provide her partner with the love they need.

Everybody's still dancin'
Everybody's holdin' hands and romancin'
Someone's gotta be the last one standin'
And I hate that I'm leaving you stranded

But I gotta hit the road
(But I gotta hit the road)

It's not a broken heart if I don't break it
"Goodbye" doesn't hurt if I don't say it
And I really hope you'll understand it
Only way to go is a French exit

A French exit is technically the same thing as an Irish exit (in which you leave without saying goodbye). In this case, Dua could be referring to the end of her relationship with French filmmaker Romain Gavras.

French exit, filer à l'anglaise
French exit

"Filer à l'anglaise" directly translates to "to leave English style." Perhaps she's insinuating that all these "exits" mean the same thing, or because it's in French, her partner may be accusing her of leaving.

[Verse 2]
Maybe time away will make it make sеnse
I'm better at a clеan break than leaving doors open
I know you're gonna say I shoulda stayed till the end
But, right now, I can't give you what you want

In a conversation with Rolling Stone for her January 2024 cover story, Dua reflected on the growth that comes with ending romantic connections with no drama. "I think I've had breakups in my life where I felt like the only kind of breakup you could have was when things just ended really badly," Dua explained. "Things ending in a nice way was such a new thing … It taught me a lot."

While she revealed the lesson inspired another track on Radical Optimism, "Happy for You," it can also be applied here as she's reached her limit within the relationship and has the emotional maturity to be straight-up about her emotions—or lack, thereof.




And you know, you know, you know, you know I'm right
And it's better to do this than say goodbye
And the only, only, only fix is time
And a lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely night

According to a December 2023 report from The Sun, Dua and Romain shared a "summer of love" together and broke up by the end of the year. An anonymous source dished that Dua "has blinkers on when it comes to her career and the pair ended the relationship before things turned sour."



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