December 2, 2020

Are Ariana Grande and The Weeknd’s ‘Off the Table’ Lyrics About Mac Miller?

5 min read

The bulk of Ariana Grande’s new album Positions seems to be about her new boyfriend Dalton Gomez and how their relationship has really flourished. But another love of Grande’s, the late Mac Miller, made it onto the album too in the most poignant of ways. In Grande’s track with The Weeknd, “Off the Table,” Grande grapples with whether she’s ready to move on and into a more serious relationship (presumably with Gomez) after losing Miller.

For context, Grande and Miller broke up shortly after Coachella 2018 after dating for two and a half years. The two had been longtime friends, and Grande later detailed on Twitter that Miller’s substance abuse issues had made the relationship really toxic. “I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be,” she wrote in May 2018. “I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety and prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course) but shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his shit together is a very major problem. Let’s please stop doing that. Of course I didn’t share about how hard or scary it was while it was happening but it was. I will continue to pray from the bottom of my heart that he figures it all out and that any other woman in this position does as well.”

ariana grande and mac miller in march 2018

Ariana Grande and Mac Miller in March 2018

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Grande would go on to start dating Pete Davidson later in May 2018. The two got engaged in June 2018 and ultimately ended things in October 2018—shortly after Miller passed away in September from an accidental overdose.

Grande was first seen with her new boyfriend Dalton Gomez in February and was single before that. The singer spoke to Vogue in July 2019 about mourning Miller. Miller’s passing was “pretty all-consuming,” she said. “By no means was what we had perfect, but, like, fuck. He was the best person ever, and he didn’t deserve the demons he had. I was the glue for such a long time, and I found myself becoming…less and less sticky. The pieces just started to float away.”

She added that after her breakup with Miller, “My friends were like, ‘Come [to New York City]! We’re gonna have a fun summer.’ And then I met Pete, and it was an amazing distraction. It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn’t know him. I’m like an infant when it comes to real life and this old soul, been-around-the-block-a-million-times artist. I still don’t trust myself with the life stuff.”

That struggle trusting herself with “life stuff” comes through in the lyrics of “Off the Table.” In one verse, she sings about her confusion knowing where she is: “Might not be quite yet healed or ready / Should I be goin’ too steady? (Too steady) / But I just wanna know is love complеtely off the table?” She starts the song by addressing Miller, saying, “Will I ever love the same way again? (Way again) / Will I ever love somebody like the way I did you? / Never thought you’d be so damn hard to replace.”

The Weeknd sings about being a new partner who’s willing to wait for her to get ready—perhaps something Gomez did in the beginning stages of their relationship.

The song, altogether, offers an intimate look into Grande’s headspace and healing process. Here, the lyrics via Genius to take in. You can listen to the song below too.

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Verse 1: Ariana Grande
Will I ever love the same way again? (Way again)
Will I ever love somebody like the way I did you?
Never thought you’d be so damn hard to replace
I swear I don’t mean to be this way
If I can’t have you, is love completely off the table?
Do I sit this one out and wait for the next life? (Next life)
Am I too cold? Am I not nice?
Might not be quite yet healed or ready
Should I be goin’ too steady? (Too steady)
But I just wanna know is love complеtely off the table?

Chorus: Ariana Grande


Will you bе there? (Will you be there?)
Can I still love you? (Can I, can I, babe?)
Not yet healed or ready (Not ready)
Shouldn’t be goin’ too steady (Too steady)
Just wanna know is love completely off the table?

Verse 2: The Weeknd, Ariana Grande


I’ll wait for you
Even though it always feels like I’ll be number two
To someone you can’t hold anymore
If you let me in, I’m ready to give you what I couldn’t before
‘Cause I got you, girl, let me help you through it
You’re trying to fill the void with a couple boys
I can see right through it (You can see right through it)
I can you love you harder than I did before
Was in a dark place back then
I was toxic, then I was toxic to someone else
I was haunted by the hills (Oh yeah, yeah)
I couldn’t give you my all, but I will
If you let me in your arms (Your arms)
If you let me in your heart
I don’t think that love’s completely off the table

Chorus: Ariana Grande & The Weeknd

Will you be there? (Yes, I will be there for you)
Can I still love you? (Yes, I been hurt before, before)
Not yet healed or ready (Not ready)
Shouldn’t be goin’ too steady (Too steady, no, no)
Just wanna know is love completely off the table?

Bridge: Ariana Grande & The Weeknd


So can you hold me?
If I let you, can you prove it to me (Oh, no-no, no)
‘Cause I need you to calm me down, babe
Gotta get out of my head (Oh, woah)
Tryna be healed from this pain (Oh)
Just wanna know, just wanna know, can you, baby? (Hey)
Can you touch it like you believe in it, baby? (Oh, hey)
Do you think you never gonna leave on me, baby?
‘Cause I ain’t her and you ain’t him, thankfully (Baby, don’t leave)
But it’s gon’ be hard to let someone else in again (Woah)
Baby, baby (Woo-hoo)

Chorus: Ariana Grande & The Weeknd


Will you be there? (Will you be there? I’ll still wait)
Can I still love you? (I’ll still wait for you, babe, oh, no-no, no, can I still love you?)
Not yet healed or ready (Ooh, not ready)
Shouldn’t be goin’ too steady (No, no, ooh)
Just wanna know is love completely off the table, baby?

Outro: The Weeknd

I swear, I swear
I will wait for you, whenever you need
Ooh, ooh

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