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“Stranger” and “The Golden Years”: the never-ending story of Olivia and Joshua and why some relationships are just not meant to be

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

If you are a fan of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, you obviously know about all the Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Basset drama. Since the beginning of the show, when they were introduced as a screen couple, people around the world started shipping them and, eventually, they ended up dating. Well, as we know, the relationship didn’t work out.

The beginning

Since everyone keeps saying to never waste a crisis, Olivia Rodrigo released her debut album, Sour, and in it, she wrote many songs about her love life. Some of the tracks like Traitor, Drivers License, and Deja Vu drove the fans of the couple crazy! There are so many speculations about them all being about Joshua.

Joshua did not let all this go away and also used the situation to write some songs. Some examples are Crisis, Secret, and Set Me Free. This was during the same time and people believe it’s also based on the whole drama.

What is happening right now? 

At the end of last year, Olivia came out with her second album: Guts. In 2024, she released the deluxe version of it: Guts Spilled. In it, she added 5 new songs and, among them, the single Stranger. Since it came out, people worldwide have been talking and many fans believe it was made for Josh. In the song, Liv says things like “You’re just a stranger I know everything about ” and “I’ll love you ’till the end of time”. With that, it’s possible to imagine how she feels over Joshua and it’s obvious that she is grateful he made her the girl she is today.

Once again, the story it’s never over. In May, Josh released the single “The Golden Years”. “I’m terrified that I’ll never find love like yours” and “We were young, but our love, it was real” are pieces of the single that show he is still in love with their love story. He recently announced that this was the first single of his debut album which is coming out on July 27th.

Love is not always the key

Olivia and Josh both talk about still having a lot of love for each other but, we know things do not always work out. Unfortunately, people who love each other sometimes don’t end up together, but why is that? Well, that’s a really wide question…

Although love is a big part of a good relationship, it is not the key. To build something with someone there’s a need for a lot more; for example, it’s always important to have them as your best friend. Besides that, trusting each other and having the same life goals it’s also important. 

Every person is different from the other, so the reason why some couples didn’t work out could be different from the reason why you and your partner couldn’t be together. At the end of the day, we gotta trust what life reserves for us. Sometimes, a breakup,  though painful, it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to you, lending to positive changes. 
Just like Olivia and Josh, we have to embrace the golden years and accept that sometimes the person we think is the love of our lives, it’s just another pretty love story. Also, never forget that loving yourself is always going to be the purest and most beautiful type of love!


The article above was edited by Clarissa Palácio.

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