Hunter Hayes is no longer dating ex-girlfriend Libby Barnes, with the two having split last summer. Hayes and Barnes had been dating since 2014, and fans of the celebrity couple were wondering for some time if they were still together, since the usually-affectionate couple had stopped displaying as much affection for each other publicly.
Hayes, a successful country music artist, told People back in 2017 that his “heart was happy,” with Barnes, although he had no intention of rushing into a proposal.
“I think everybody has their own schedule,” he said. “Rush is never a good word for anything, but I know my heart’s happy, and I hope she’s as happy as I am.”
The two were first spotted together in 2014, when Hayes introduced her to fans as she accompanied him to the 2014 CMA Awards. He released a super romantic song inspired by Barnes called “Amen” but followed it up with his newest release post-breakup, titled “Heartbreak,” which marks his first single in nearly three years. “Hearbreak” is on his upcoming third studio album, which highlights “transformation of personal growth and the hardest form of that.”
Although the two have gone their separate ways and Hayes is now single, he still considers himself a hopeless romantic, who will “never stop trying to find his other half,” according to People.
“I’m pathetically always looking for my life partner, there’s no question,” he said. “It’s a bit overly romantic I think, [but] I am. I do love that partnership and team effort and a lot of creativity has been born from those experiences.”
Barnes and Hayes were together for close to four years when they split. According to Bustle, Barnes is a Nashville native and worked as a hair stylist and makeup artist for some time. The couple kept their relationship private for the most part, including their breakup. He hasn’t shed much light on the reasons behind the split, although he has mentioned that he poured a lot of what he dealt with throughout the last year into his newest album.
Although he was battling heartbreak, Hayes told People that he wasn’t going to let it get the best of him, and decided to set out on a mission to transform himself, which included “scrapping everything,” from the project he was working on for nearly four years and flipping it into something that spoke “no one’s truth but his own.”
“I said, ‘This is the record I want to make,’ I named the album and I gave myself a clear picture of where I wanted to go topic wise and what I wanted to talk about,” he says about his forthcoming album, which is due out later this year.
He says his newest single is a shout-out to his future wife, and that he hopes he can one day find someone who loves him completely for the person he is, including his flaws, according to People.
“I don’t know if I’m the only one — I don’t think I am, but I don’t want to speak for everybody — but I definitely have changed a lot about myself to make some relationships work. The best part about when they don’t work is that you get to go back to being yourself again and realize someone is going to love your really quirky things,” he says about becoming himself again after heartbreak, admitting in the song he’s experienced some “s— relationships.”
“You were built and designed to be something different and unique, so there’s no reason to leave behind magical, weird parts of your personality just because someone doesn’t necessarily 100 percent approve,” he adds.