Clayton Echard and Susie Evans Split 6 Months After 'The Bachelor' Finale
Clayton Echard and Susie Evans have broken up. In a joint Instagram post on Friday, the pair announced they're going their separate ways, six months after they unveiled their relationship on the season finale of The Bachelor.
"With incredibly heavy hearts, we wanted to share that we have decided to go our separate ways," Clayton and Susie wrote. "For anyone who has ever loved, knows this was a painful decision to make and not one taken lightly. We understand that there will likely be a lot of questions about this decision -- social media is definitely a highlight reel and much of our experiences together we have kept private as I’m sure most can understand."
"But we will share this -- although this last year together has brought us so much joy and so many laughs, there has also been a significant amount of pain," the pair continued. "We know no healthy relationship comes without its struggles, but we’ve realized that we were not prepared for the external forces that hindered our ability to not only heal as individuals but also as a couple."
The duo added that they are both "focused on continuing to work on ourselves, so we can be the best version of ourselves."
"This is not an easy time for either of us but we stand in support of each other and hope to see the other go on to find happiness and healing," they wrote. "Although Claysie is no more, we hope that our communities can support us individually as we move forward with love and respect for each other."
Clayton and Susie concluded their post by writing, "Thank you to all of you that supported our relationship. It means so much more than you will ever know."
The pair met on Clayton's season of The Bachelor, which aired earlier this year. While Susie left the show in tears after learning that Clayton was in love with -- and had slept with -- two other women, she came back in the finale.
However, Susie didn't accept a proposal from him then, instead leaving Iceland on her own. It was after filming on the show wrapped that the pair reconciled and started a relationship together.
"I love you. I love you. I do," Susie told Clayton during the live finale. "We took some steps back when we left Iceland, which I think, as I said, was best for both of us. But I always had love [for] Clayton, I always had that love in my heart. I loved him as a person before I ever fell in love with him. I can confidently say, yeah, he’s incredible."
Meanwhile, Clayton gushed, "I couldn’t be happier. I spent the last four months with her. She just impresses me more and more every day. She continues to give me reason after reason why following my heart was the best decision I could’ve ever made. I could not be more in love with this woman."
Following the finale, the then-couple opened up about their love in an interview with ET.
"He was transparent from the beginning. We did not jump back into this relationship without turning every stone. We talked about everything. I knew where his heart was at every point in the journey," Susie told ET. "... There were tough conversations or tough moments, but ultimately I am very proud of him for following his heart, and just for being the kind and compassionate person that he is, and growing so much through this."
Soon after, Clayton moved to Virginia to be with Susie. However, during an appearance on the Skinny But Not Fat podcast last month, Clayton revealed that he and Susie were planning on living separately, though he said that he and his then-girlfriend were "very, very happy... and in a really great spot."
"I'm moving to Scottsdale, [Arizona], and then she's going to move in the interim to L.A.," he said of himself and Susie, a wedding videographer. "It's only a 50-minute flight apart, but we're both chasing our dreams. I think for location-wise, we both feel that those are the spots that we want to be. I'm working on my computer 10,12 hours a day, so she was like, 'Clayton, I'll move to L.A. and then we can travel on the weekends to see each other.'"
In the same interview, Clayton praised Susie for how she handled their post-show relationship.
"We don't need to be in a relationship for anybody other than ourselves. We're not doing this for Bachelor Nation or anything like that," he said. "But we both came to the conclusion that we were like, 'You know what? Whatever happens we'll forever be thankful for part of each other's life because we both made each other better human beings.'"
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