Overall, the song seems to be about Grande’s commitment to boyfriend Dalton Gomez and her willingness to make the relationship work, as she sings on the chorus, “Switchin’ the positions for you / Cookin’ in the kitchen and I’m in the bedroom / I’m in the Olympics, way I’m jumpin’ through hoops / Know my love infinite, nothin’ I wouldn’t do / That I won’t do, switchin’ for you.” It’s some lyrics that come before those ones that are drawing attention, though.
The song’s opening words are, “Heaven sent you to me / I’m just hopin’ I don’t repeat history.” That doesn’t look like much on paper, but on the song, Grande takes an extended pause in the middle of “repeat.” So, it sounds like she’s saying “Pete,” which fans are perceiving as a nod to her failed relationship with Pete Davidson.
Some fans noticed this pretty quickly, and Twitter was flooded with Grande stans picking up what they believe the singer is putting down.
“Heaven sent you to me.
I'm just hoping I don't repeat history.”
re-PETE history. Pete Davidson!
— Delvin Christopher (@DelvinJordan) October 23, 2020
Ariana really said im just hoping i dont re(pete) history pic.twitter.com/6KcpUjjYah
— m | adele on SNL tmrw (@muhadkins) October 23, 2020
— Sihaya (@Sihaya99) October 23, 2020
ariana did not just split repeat to sound like re–PETE hahahah so smart #POSITIONS
— jillian (@jillygabrielle) October 23, 2020
If this really is a nod to Davidson, it wouldn’t be the first time either has referenced the other in their work. In the Netflix stand-up special Davidson released earlier this year, he was transparent about his dig at Grande when he commented on her appearance.