Miley Cyrus' Journey to Self-Love in 2019

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Miley Cyrus
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Miley Cyrus' 2019 has been a roller coaster of love -- but in the end she is focusing on the importance of the relationship she has with herself.  

After starting the year as a newlywed with her then-husband Liam Hemsworth, the 26-year-old singer has since had two more relationships over the last few months.

Through all the ups and downs, Cyrus has managed to stay true to herself, speaking out about the importance of nature when life gets complicated, releasing a new track, "Slide Away," about growing up, and getting a tattoo to declare her "freedom" from everything holding her back.

In fact, in the August issue of Elle, Cyrus opened up about why it's so important to love yourself, no matter where your romantic relationships stand.

"Why are we trained that love means putting yourself second and those you love first? If you love yourself, then what? You come first," she insisted.

Then, in August, a source echoed that sentiment, telling ET that Cyrus was completely focused on discovering herself -- through both introspection and her music -- in the face of her romantic struggles.

"She still feels the need to explore herself, her sexuality and her music," the source said. "Miley has been working in the studio and wants to blow off steam."

Keep reading for a full breakdown of how Cyrus navigated love -- both of the personal and romantic varieties -- throughout 2019. 

Feb. 1: Cyrus says she isn't sure if she would've married Hemsworth if their home hadn't burned down

When Cyrus covered the March issue of Vanity Fair, she told the magazine that the Malibu fires that destroyed their home were a large reason behind their December 2018 nuptials.

"What Liam and I went through together changed us. I’m not sure without losing Malibu, we would’ve been ready to take this step or ever even gotten married, who can say?" she said. "But the timing felt right and I go with my heart. No one is promised the next day, or the next, so I try to be 'in the now' as much as possible. If I ever find myself thinking too far ahead, I acknowledge that anxiety and bring myself back into my body and out of my head."

“When you experience what we experienced together with someone, it is like glue," she added of the fire, which she called "unsettling." "You’re the only two people in the world who can understand.”

In the same interview, Cyrus said that she and Hemsworth were "redefining... what it looks like for someone that’s a queer person like myself to be in a hetero relationship."

"A big part of my pride and my identity is being a queer person. What I preach is: People fall in love with people, not gender, not looks, not whatever. What I’m in love with exists on almost a spiritual level," she said. "It has nothing to do with sexuality. Relationships and partnerships in a new generation -- I don’t think they have so much to do with sexuality or gender. Sex is actually a small part, and gender is a very small, almost irrelevant part of relationships.”

"Like, who gives a f**k if he’s a guy, if I’m a girl, or if he was a woman? Who gives a f**k?" Cyrus added. "We really are stronger together. One is the loneliest number."

July 11: Cyrus opens up about her modern marriage

Just over six months after tying the knot with Hemsworth, Cyrus covered Elle's August issue and opened up about her "modern marriage" to the actor.

"I think it's very confusing to people that I'm married," Cyrus confessed. "But my relationship is unique. And I don't know that I would ever publicly allow people in there because it's so complex, and modern, and new that I don't think we're in a place where people would get it."

Aug. 9: Cyrus is spotted kissing Kaitlynn Carter

One week after Kaitlynn Carter and Brody Jenner jointly announced their decision to "amicably separate" after five years together, Cyrus and Carter were spotted kissing in Lake Como, Italy. The bikini-clad women were seen making out poolside, where they also sunbathed and wrapped their arms around each other.

"They were not trying to hide it at all," an eyewitness told ET at the time. "There were other people sitting by the pool."

The eyewitness added that the pair went out by themselves while on the trip, saying, "They were fully on a date, getting drinks, just the two of them. They even got a couple of massages at the hotel."

Aug. 10: Cyrus and Hemsworth confirm their split

Shortly after the pics of Carter and Cyrus were published, the latter confirmed to ET, through her rep, that she and Hemsworth had called it quits.

"Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time," the rep said. "Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what’s best while they both focus on themselves and careers."

"They still remain dedicated parents to all of their animals they share while lovingly taking this time apart," the rep added. "Please respect their process and privacy."

Shortly thereafter, a source told ET that, though Cyrus was the one to ask for the break, both she and Hemsworth "knew it was coming."

Aug. 12: Hemsworth speaks out and files for divorce

Days after Cyrus' confirmation of their split, Hemsworth took to Instagram to share a message of his own.

"Hi all Just a quick note to say that Miley and I have recently separated and I wish her nothing but health and happiness going forward," he wrote. "This is a private matter and I have not made, nor will I be making, any comments to any journalists or media outlets. Any reported quotes attributed to me are false. Peace and Love."

Shortly thereafter, a source told ET that Hemsworth was "heartbroken" that Cyrus "moved on so quickly and so publicly" with Carter.

"Liam loves Miley and is crushed by all of this," the source said. "But right now Miley doesn't want to answer to anyone. She still feels the need to explore herself, her sexuality and her music. Miley has been working in the studio and wants to blow off steam."

Before the end of August, Hemsworth officially filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

"Liam's decision to file for divorce is sad, but in the end, it was never going to work," a source told ET at the time "They are too different. Liam never wanted to share Miley with anyone. He loves her and he is far too traditional. He finally realized he just wants to start fresh."

"Liam has come to terms that it was time to move on. Liam's family has been incredibly supportive. They are relieved it's over," the source added. "At first, Liam wanted to just give it time but he finally felt like things were getting nasty and he didn't want to drag it out publicly. He decided it was all too much."

Sept. 21: Cyrus and Carter split

After nearly two months of dating, a source confirmed to ET that Cyrus and Carter had called it quits. 

"Miley and Kaitlynn are no longer together romantically," the source said at the time. "They have been there for each other through tough times recently but decided it's best to be friends."

"Miley leaned on Kaitlynn throughout the divorce and she felt that they moved far too quickly," a second source told ET. "Miley made the final decision to split with Kaitlynn. Her relationship with Kaitlynn is over and she wants to be on her own. Miley wasn’t thinking long-term, and when Kaitlynn realized Miley was done, it was a total shock."

Throughout their brief relationship, Cyrus and Carter got flirty on social media, were spotted in matching outfits, and were seen out and about many times. 

Oct. 3: Cyrus is spotted kissing Cody Simpson

Shortly after splitting with Carter, Cyrus was spotted with a new romantic interest -- Cody Simpson. The pair were photographed kissing while getting acai bowls. Despite the PDA, a source told ET that the duo had "no plans to start dating exclusively."

"Miley and Cody have been friends for years. They have hooked up in the past... They both just want to have fun and are open and honest with each other about that," the source said. "Miley and Cody talk to each other about everything. They are very close and feel comfortable sharing details with each other about their lives. Cody’s friends would describe him as a 'player.' He adores Miley, but isn’t looking for a lifetime partner or even a girlfriend at the moment."

"Cody and Miley are in the same social circle and both have firsthand knowledge of what it’s like constantly being in the public eye. He is safe to her because they have been friends for years and she feels no pressure at all," the source added. "Miley wants to show people she isn’t willing to change to satisfy others. She wants to be open and honest and hook up with whomever she pleases. Right now, Cody is that person."

Oct. 4: Cyrus speaks out about slut shaming

After being criticized for her relationships, Cyrus took to Instagram to defend herself and speak out against sexism.

"I know the public feels invested in my past relationships because they felt like they saw it thru from the beginning," she wrote. "I think that's why people have always felt so entitled over my life and how I live because they've watched me grow up."

"I refuse to recluse and 'date' from home because A. That's not fun B. Extremely uncomfortable / puts me in a vulnerable position," she continued in part. "... This 'dating' thing is new to me too. I've never been an 'adult' / grown ass woman experiencing this."

Cyrus concluded by writing, "PLEASE don't make this awkward for me! I am trying to make light and like always MAKE FUN of myself / and the public's perception of me! Get used to me dating - this is where I'm at."

Oct. 8: Cyrus refers to Simpson as her boyfriend

When Cyrus was hospitalized with tonsillitis, Simpson made sure to visit her in the hospital and sing her a new song. While sharing pics from his visit -- which came shortly after he called her "baby" -- Cyrus referred to Simpson as her "BF," making many think that their relationship was official.

Oct. 18: Simpson releases song inspired by Cyrus

After serenading Cyrus while she was sick, Simpson decided to drop the track that made her swoon. Titled "Golden Thing," Simpson crooned about his "Cali queen" who "let me in" and even implies that their love would make the gods cry tears of joy.

"If we could be heard / For whatever it's worth / The rulers in the sky / They'd cry," he belted out.

Another notable lyric in the melodic track comes when Simpson sings, "Shouted the words / In the first daylight / And the chorus of birds / Burst on into sight," leading some to believe that he has said "I love you" to Cyrus.

Despite the seemingly implied seriousness of their relationship, in the closing line Simpson admitted, "I'm shocked / It's the golden thing we've got."

Oct. 20: Cyrus calls Simpson a good man

During an Instagram Live with her beau, Cyrus said she's "only met one" good man, referring to Simpson as she said so.

"There are good men out there guys, don't give up," she said. "You don't have to be gay. There are good people with d**ks out there, you just gotta find them. You gotta find a d**k that's not a d**k, you know what I mean?"

"I always thought that I had to be gay because I just thought all guys were evil, but it's not true," Cyrus added. "There are good people out there that just happen to have d**ks."

Oct. 22: Simpson refers to Cyrus as his girlfriend

While on The Kyle & Jackie O Show, Simpson gushed over Cyrus, even referring to her his girlfriend.

"I'm very, very, very romantic," he said. "She'd talked about how she hadn't had that kind of an experience in a relationship before."

"She's been through a lot this year, and I was trying to be respectful of that and we kind of found each other," Simpson continued. "We just found each other in a place where we're both ready for something like this and we're both sober… We keep each other in a good space. I've never had that in a relationship... I'd like to be the best boyfriend I can possibly be. Especially for her. She deserves that much."

Simpson also revealed that his relationship with Cyrus was "a friendship and it was fun and it just developed over, like, five years."

Nov. 29: Cyrus and Simpson spend Thanksgiving together

The pair went on to have many flirty moments over the next month, with Cyrus spending Halloween with Simpson, bringing him as her date to her brother's wedding, and celebrating her 27th birthday with him. The relationship culminated, though, when the couple spent Thanksgiving with Cyrus' family, which her younger sister, Noah Cyrus, documented on Instagram.

"Extremely thankful for everyone at the table. (a very sober thanksgiving staying hydrated ?)," Noah captioned the pic, which also features her brother, Trace Cyrus.

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