The whirlwind is over. Clayton Echard as well as Susie Evans split into six after the dramatic season 26 finale Bachelor.
“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that we wanted to share that we have decided to go our separate ways. For anyone who has ever loved knows this was a painful decision and not to be taken lightly,” they wrote in a joint statement on Friday, September 23rd. “We understand that there will likely be many questions about this decision – social media is certainly a highlight and we have kept much of our experience together under wraps, as I’m sure most can understand. But we will share this – although the last year together brought us so much joy and so much laughter, it also brought a lot of pain. We know that healthy relationships are not without struggle, but we realized that we were not ready for external forces that hindered our ability to heal not only as individuals, but also as a couple. We are both focused on continuing to work on ourselves to become the best version of ourselves.”
The couple continued, “This is a challenging time for both of us, but we support each other and look forward to seeing others continue to find happiness and healing. Although Clacie is no more, we hope our communities can support us individually as we move forward with love and respect for each other. Thanks to everyone who supported our relationship. It means so much more than you will ever know. ❤️”
The news comes a month after the couple announced they were moving to different states, with Clayton returning to Arizona and Susie moving to Los Angeles after living together in her native Virginia Beach.
The 28-year-old former football player and the 29-year-old videographer met while filming their season of the ABC dating series, which premiered in January. Susie was given two one-on-one dates and lived to see the fantasy suite week where the couple hit a major roadblock. When the Virginia native revealed she didn’t like Clayton having sex with two of the remaining women, the retired jock admitted to having had sex with both. Gabby Windy as well as Rachel Recchia. He also told each of the finalists that he was in love with them.
“I don’t even know who I look up to more,” he said before sending Susie home during their fight. “You just made me feel like a bombshell and I totally disagree with the way you did it. I think it’s BS… I’m sorry I even raised my voice. It’s because I cared so much, I really loved you. … Whatever you say to me at this moment doesn’t matter to me anymore, so I’m going to see you off.”
Susie returned in the second part of the final after Clayton dumped Gabby, 31, and Rachel, 26, whom he introduced to his parents in Iceland. Despite the Missouri native’s efforts, Susie dumped him at the final rose ceremony and left the series alone.
“I had to make this decision for myself. It was the best decision I could make. … [But] I’ve always loved Clayton. There has always been love in my heart,” she explained during After the final rose specifically in March, showing that the couple had reunited and started dating after the show. “I loved him as a person even before I fell in love with him.”
hen-party alum, for his part, told the owner Jesse Palmer that there were ups and downs”[a] thousand percent”, in the end, it was worth it. “Every day she impresses me more and more. And she keeps giving me reason after reason why following my heart was the best decision I could ever make,” Clayton enthused. “I could not have loved this woman more.”
After a confusing conclusion to the season, the reality TV stars exclusively spoke Us weekly that they felt that “there is nothing wrong with the way we went through this process” – despite the strong opinion of the Bachelor Nation.
“What we could do better is just be more empathetic towards each other and be able to understand the other person’s point of view in the moment we were in that moment,” Susie explained in March. “But at that moment, our minds lived in different realities. And since then we’ve been able to come to the same reality, but when you’re there it’s such a challenging environment and we’re just lucky that we can get to the other side and be so happy and confident where we are now.”
As for Clayton’s love for Gabby and Rachel, who are set to star in Season 19 hen-party– said a graduate of the University of Missouri. Us that “it got to the point where I was only in love with Susie” and he “fell in love” only with the others.
“I think you can only love one person. You can fall in love with many, but you can only love one,” he added. “And here I made a mistake. I was confused on the show and thought I was in love with several women, but I’ve since realized that I don’t think so.”
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