It’s over for Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya.
The season 18 Bachelorette revealed in an Instagram story on Friday that she and her fiancé have split. Young, 29, began by expressing how “having a relationship in the public eye has not been easy,” before sharing news of their breakup.
“I’m struggling to say that Nayte and I will be going our separate ways,” the reality star wrote. “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 former partner, she wrote that he “quickly became my best friend.”
“And the love I have for you is incredibly strong. I will never stop wanting to see you succeed,” she continued. “I will always acknowledge and appreciate the adventures, support, and growth both Nayte and this experience have brought me.”
She then added that at the same time, “I’m deeply hurting and will need time and space to work through this heartbreak.”
During her season of “The Bachelorette,” Young chose Olukoya over traveling nurse Brandon Jones in the finale, which aired in December. Young was part of Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor.”
Olukoya, on his end, also posted his own statement regarding their breakup on his Instagram story.
“When we both started on this journey, we were looking for our Soulmates. Our forever. Our best friends,” he wrote. “However, as we grow and learn, we also realize that sometimes somebody that you hold dear to your heart isn’t somebody that you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with.”
He then explained that he and Young “are going to move forward separately” and that their “hearts are heavy, emotions are high and we are dealing with the best way we can.”
Olukoya added that while the two are private people, he wants to clarify that their relationship was very much real.
“We genuinely fell in love, and we genuinely became each other’s best friends. Michelle and I will always cheer each other on, but moving forward, we will be cheering from a distance,” he noted.
He continued by thanking people for their support, asking people to “allow us our privacy so that we can mend our hearts.”
Earlier this month, the couple celebrated Young’s 29th birthday. Olukoya fawned over his former fiancée, writing in an Instagram post, “Happy birthday to this special woman right here!”
“I admire how strong and caring you are. You have a heart of gold and I appreciate you for so much, Michelle. Can’t wait to see what this year brings you.”
Adding, “I love you toots. Cheers to 29.”