Katie Thurston's Beau John Hersey Pens Sweet Birthday Tribute to His 'Beautiful' Girlfriend

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Katie Thurston and John Hersey
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Katie Thurston is getting some birthday love! The former Bachelorette's beau, John Hersey, took to Instagram on Monday to mark her 31st birthday with a romantic post.

John shared a photo of him and Katie kissing one another on the dance floor.

"I could have never dreamt up what this year had in store for me," John wrote. "I am both in awe of, and extremely grateful for the circumstances that brought us together."

The pair first met on Katie's season of The Bachelorette last year, though she sent the 28-year-old bartender home in the second week. Katie went on to get engaged to Blake Moynes, while openly maintaining a friendship with John. She and Blake called things off in October, and, the next month, Katie and John revealed that they'd begun dating. They made their red carpet debut in December.

"Thank goodness you dumped me on national television, or else we could have never gotten to where we are now," John quipped. "Falling for you was the best decision I never had a say in, and I couldn’t be happier. Cheers to another year around the sun- happy birthday beautiful girl!!"

"I sure do love you," Katie commented.

After Katie and John went public with their relationship, Blake spoke out against the pair and questioned the timeline of their romance.

"[John] had more into it or was at least pursuing it or something or wanted something to be hanging out with her all the time," Blake said. "... I put my full trust in there's nothing more than literally just a friendship. I think it just was, but it allowed them to form something, at least emotionally, where they could see something with each other that made it so easy for them to transition when this ended."

In a post to Reddit, John denied any wrongdoing.

"Katie and I developed an incredible and deep friendship over the last half year or so. The circumstances by which this friendship formed was a series of crazy, random, and coincidental events, that I’m sure you will all hear about at a later time," he wrote. "My point for now, is that we were ALWAYS platonic. Even during my short stint on the season, we never had a chance to foster anything romantic."

While John admitted that "the timeline seems fast and messy," he urged Bachelor Nation to "put yourselves in our shoes."

"Once Katie and I realized there was a romantic connection that we were interested in exploring, we were not starting from scratch; we were building off of the foundation of a close friendship through which, we had already gotten to know each other so well," he wrote. "The speed at which I fell for this incredible, nurturing, and genuinely caring human being was honestly terrifying. I was scared. But every step of the way felt so right."

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