It’s over for Clayton Echard and Susie Evans. The Bachelor Nation couple announced their “painful” split in a joint Instagram statement shared on Friday, September 23.

“With incredibly heavy hearts, we wanted to share that we have decided to go our separate ways,” the social media post began, noting that the decision to split was “not one taken lightly.”

Explaining their decision behind the breakup, the duo shared that “social media is definitely a highlight reel and much of our experiences together we have kept private as I’m sure most can understand.” However, the former flames noted there has “been a significant amount of pain” over the past year.

“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. We both are focused on continuing to work on ourselves, so we can be the best version of ourselves,” Clayton and Susie wrote. “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.”

Clayton Susie Split
Courtesy of Susie Evans/Instagram

The pair noted that they hope fans can still “support us individually as we move forward with love and respect for each other” and thanked them for their support. “It means so much more than you will ever know,” they shared.

Clayton and Susie met during season 26 of The Bachelor, which ended in March 2022. They didn’t leave the show as an engaged couple after Susie self-eliminated ahead of her fantasy suite date with Clayton.

“For me, sex is connective with somebody,” she shared during the show. “I just hope that, like, Clayton’s on the same page and sees it from my perspective.”

When discussing this with Clayton, she said it would be “impossible to ” if he had slept with the other contestants. He later admitted to doing so. While it seemed like they were on bad terms after she left, the former reality stars reconciled after filming came to an end and decided to give their relationship a try in the real world.

“We’re really happy and we’re happy to be here today,” Susie told viewers during the After the Final Rose special in March. “That’s my boyfriend.”

While it seemed like things were perfect between them, Clayton and Susie made headlines in August for revealing their decision to no longer live together.

“I’m moving to Scottsdale, and she’s going to move in the interim to L.A.,” Clayton shared during an appearance on the “” podcast at the time. “[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.”

He added, “People might look at us like, oh, they’re separating. … I think a little distance never hurts.”