It’s been a few weeks since Bachelor Nation fan favorites Shawn Booth and Kaitlyn Bristowe called off their engagement, and yep, it’s still sad. In fact, it just got even sadder because Bristowe has finally broken her silence about the split. Spoiler alert: What she has to say will make your heart hurt.
Bristowe took some time at the top of Tuesday’s Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe podcast to address “the big elephant in the room” — the breakup.
More: The Bachelorette‘s Kaitlyn Bristowe & Shawn Booth Split After 3 Years
“I’m gonna try to get through this,” Bristowe said, confessing she had gone to extra trouble to make herself comfortable so she could address the split “in the right way and the right tone.”
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I would usually look at this quote during a relationship. But today I’m able to look at it after. My relationship with Shawn was a blessing, and it has allowed me to acknowledge my strength, vulnerability, and ability to move forward to be a better, stronger person. I did my best to open up on today’s podcast. @offthevinepodcast #OffTheVine
To start, Bristowe set the record straight regarding the breakup announcement, saying the couple didn’t get any money for giving their statement to People. She also noted that she didn’t put any time frame on opening up about the breakup after the official announcement, but simply planned to do so when it felt right.
“I’m not sure that this even feels right, right now, but here we are,” she continued. “This was all so much harder than I thought it would be, and I’ve been getting a lot of messages from people over the past few months saying, ‘We know it’s done so just tell us!’ To be honest, I guess I just wasn’t ready to accept it until I was, and that is when we announced it.”
Although Bristowe understands fans desire for answers, she insisted the announcement “had to be on our timeline of our relationship and not what other people expected from us.”
And then came the really tough stuff.
“It’s actually just been a really hard few months now. I really did think we would get through it. When I did the podcast back in the summer, I know I addressed the rumors — and there were a lot of rumors when I went to Canada — and I realized that we were in a crossroads in our relationship. But to be honest, I thought we would choose the road where we would end up together,” Bristowe said, fighting through tears.
Although she suspected the split was coming, Bristowe never intended to give up. “I just never took our commitment or being engaged lightly at all. I had the mindset of doing whatever it took to make it work,” she revealed.
She chalked the experience up to a life lesson, though, elaborating that she had to force herself to reevaluate.
“Sometimes, you need to just take a moment and take a step back to think about what you are fighting for and if it makes sense for your long-term happiness, and I think Shawn and I realized there were some important fundamental values that weren’t lining up and some things we probably would never see eye-to-eye on — and we were left with no choice than to be honest with ourselves and with each other,” said Bristowe.
Still, she considers herself (and Booth) fortunate to have shared so many “beautiful moments” during the three years they were together — moments largely documented on social media.
While Bristowe insists their love was real, she does admit the pair had their issues.
“When it comes to roadblocks and, again, those fundamental values and getting through things together, I just don’t think we were on the same page,” she said. “It’s painful to admit that, and I just believe you need that foundation and you need that partnership if it’s going to last forever.
Although Bristowe and Booth didn’t have any children together, they did have the next-closest thing: a pet. And it’s clear Bristowe is suffering the loss of their dog, Tucker, almost as much as she is the loss of Booth.
“Sorry,” she said, struggling to regain her composure through crying. “Sometimes, I feel like he was almost the glue to our relationship. I clearly love that dog so much, but I will still see him.”
Ultimately, Bristowe reassured her fans she’ll find happiness and she and Booth will remain friends (including custody visits with Tucker, presumably).
On Nov. 12, Booth posted a photo of himself and Bristowe during happier times, thanking fans for their support over the years and during this painful time.
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I just want to thank everyone who has been so supportive of my relationship with Kaitlyn over the years. You’ve made me feel incredibly special, supported, and very loved. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. It truly means a lot. And thank you to everyone who has sent their love & support during this painful time. I love you guys.
He seems to be channeling most of his post-split energy into his new Nashville-based fitness studio, Boothcamp.
For her part, in addition to the podcast, Bristowe is pouring her heart and soul into song — the aspiring musician has been in the studio as of late, even recording a new song on Nov. 3.