“To those who have supported Nayte and I, including Bachelor Nation, I know I speak for the both of us when saying having a relationship in the public eye has not been easy,” Michelle said in an Instagram Story, according to Page Six.
Michelle continued, “I’m struggling to say that Nayte and I will be going our separate ways but I stand with him in knowing the heaviness that is present in both of our hearts as this relationship has been very real for us.”
Addressing her ex-fiance directly, the former schoolteacher went on to say, “To you, Nayte, you quickly became my best friend and the love I have for you is incredibly strong. I will never stop wanting to see you succeed.”
“I will always acknowledge and appreciate the adventures, support, and growth both Nayte and this experience have brought me. At the same time, I’m deeply hurting and will need time and space to work through this heartbreak.”
In response, Nayte told fans that he realized Michelle was not the person he’s “meant to spend the rest of [my] life with.”
He also expressed hopes of being able to navigate their split privately, despite the fact that so many fans of the Bachelor franchise have been invested in their relationship for months.
“Michelle and I are going to move forward separately. Hearts are heavy, emotions are high, and we are dealing with this the best way we can,” Nayte said. “Michelle and I are naturally private people, and when it comes to this breakup, we will continue being so.”
Nayte also acknowledged his gratitude for the public support he and Michelle have received throughout their short-lived journey as a couple.
“To the public who has supported these two complete strangers on your television screen, we appreciate you so much,” Nayte said, though he cautioned that fans should think twice before expressing any negative opinions about the pair’s decision to part ways. “Our relationship may have developed in the public eye, and we know this news will bring a lot of mixed reactions, but please remember that this is real.”
“The emotions are real. The heartbreak is real. And that we are real. We’re human beings going through a breakup, and we all know breakups are difficult. So we’re asking that you allow us our privacy so that we can mend our hearts in the privacy of our own lives.”
The couple is calling it quits just weeks after Michelle squelched rumors of a split when social media sleuths noticed she wasn’t wearing her 3.2-carat Neil Lane engagement ring.
“OK, I typically don’t . . . address these types of things, but because I received SO many messages about it . . . There is a video circulating of me on a rooftop this weekend, and I’m not wearing my engagement ring,” Michelle said in a series of Instagram Story videos.
“To the person who is paying close enough attention to catch that moment,” she continued, “you also have to be paying close enough attention to see one of my good friends briefly remove my engagement ring to try it on and then place it back on my finger.”
RELATED: The Bachelorette Alum Michelle Young Explains Why She Was Photographed Without Her Engagement Ring
I would guess that Neil Lane sparkler is now in a box on its way back to Bachelor producers. Sad news for Michelle, but Bachelor/Bachelorette fans are used to disappointment. Breakups on this franchise have become all too common, while long-lasting relationships seem to be the exception. Not really surprising when contestants know each other only a few weeks under highly unrealistic circumstances. But as fans, we keep hoping for a fairytale.
TELL US – DO YOU THINK THAT MICHELLE AND NAYTE WERE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER? DO YOU BELIEVE THERE’S ANY CHANCE THEY COULD GET BACK TOGETHER, AS BECCA AND THOMAS DID FOLLOWING THEIR BREAKUP?
[Photo Credit: David Livingston/FilmMagic]