Dove Cameron’s love life serves as the inspiration for her debut album Alchemical: Volume 1 — and her ex Thomas Doherty appears to be the subject of one of its songs.
“’Sand’ is about a boy who I loved very much, who I really thought I was going to spend my life with, and the crazy experience of having that seemingly perfect relationship, how quickly it became ugly, the feeling of shock and disintegration as a human being,” Cameron, 27, revealed in an interview with Teen Vogue published on Monday, November 13.
The Disney Channel alum continued: “This reality that was yours, this future that was yours, this human being that you were to them, feeling like it was suddenly, completely atomized, and realizing that your initial instincts in the first five minutes of meeting someone can be absolutely prophetic and correct, even after years.”
Cameron and Doherty, 28, met while filming 2017’s Descendants 2. She previously got engaged to her former Liv and Maddie costar Ryan McCartan in April 2016 after three years of dating before splitting that October.
After nearly four years of dating, the “Boyfriend” singer and Doherty announced their split in December 2020. “Hi all. We know there have been some rumors and confusion lately about the status of our relationship and we wanted to set the record straight,” Cameron wrote via her Instagram Story at the time. Noting that the pair had broken up that October, she added: “The decision was incredibly difficult, but we still have love for each other, and will remain friends.”
According to Cameron’s interview with Teen Vogue, she knew the relationship was “going to end” when it started: “I had the conscious thought, ‘This is going to last for years, and it’s going to devastate me and it’s going to completely tear down everything I thought I knew about myself and I don’t know if I’m going to survive it but I have a choice in this moment. I either dive in and I let this take me by the wrist and drag you behind this huge bus for four years, or I walk away right now.’ I remember thinking, ‘I don’t think that’s much of a choice,’ and I knew I had to dive in.”
For the next “four years,” Cameron felt like she was “losing sand between my fingers,” as she explained: “I knew time was running out, I knew he couldn’t love me as deeply as I loved him, and I jumped in anyway, and it ended exactly how I thought it was going to end.”
While Cameron didn’t confirm who the track was penned about, Doherty is the only public relationship she’s been in for four years.
At the end of the day, the lesson Cameron says she learned was that “no matter how much you love someone, if they can’t possibly love you as deeply, not because they don’t want to, but because they’re not capable, the relationship is bound to fall off the tracks, and sometimes in really ugly ways.”
“Sand” isn’t the only song Doherty inspired as Cameron told Entertainment Tonight in June 2021 that she wrote her single “LazyBaby” not long after their romance ended. “The breakup f—ked me up,” she stated. “It was really hard, and I needed something that was going to get me from where I was, in the mourning process, into the other side.”
Cameron came out as bisexual that same year and later opened up about celebrating her first Pride Month exclusively with Us Weekly. “It’s been interesting because I was always really shy about it and 1700015319 I’ve been getting so many, ‘Happy Pride for you!’ and I’m like, ‘Oh right,’ she told Us. “I’m not an ally. I’m a member part of this, I’m not just an ally. So it’s been, honestly, I would say it feels very vulnerable. It feels very exposed and different, but I’m surfing this new wave and it’s been really special. People have been really, really kind.”
Alchemical: Volume 1 will be released on Friday, December 1.