'It was a little bit of a surprise.'
Kendall Long is still processing her split with Joe Amabile. About six weeks after the Bachelor in Paradise alums announced their breakup, ET's Lauren Zima spoke to Long at the launch party for Chris Harrison's Seagram's Tropical Rosè, and she recalled what led to the end of their relationship.
"It was a little bit of a surprise," Long, 28, admitted of her breakup with Amabile, who she met during season five of Paradise in 2018. "But I think, ultimately, Joe foresaw his happiness and work in Chicago, and I can't resent him because of that. And for me, I just never foresaw a future there."
"So I think that it became an ultimatum within itself, where either I move to Chicago or we break up, and I didn't really wanna have a relationship like that," she added.
Following their split, which happened "about a month" before the pair announced the news, Long and Amabile, 33, were still living together.
"[It was] a little awkward, but I feel like it helped us get everything out of the way," she said. "So we had no questions and we just agreed mutually that it was best that we separated."
Since calling it quits, the former couple still communicates "every few days."
"It's hard to talk every day. But we tried our best to keep it amicable cause we decided to break up and go through everything first and then go public," she explained. "So I think, in a way that's helped us to remain friends. And also we just don't talk bad about each other... There's nothing bad to talk about."
Long said that before their "difficult" split, she thought of Amabile as the person she was "potentially gonna marry," a feeling she's now glad to have experienced.
"It taught me how to get there with somebody, in terms of seeing a marriage with somebody," she said. "... If anything, it taught me that I'm capable of that sort of love. Like, marriage love."
Long said that her ex is now "doing really well," adding that she's "happy for him."
"I like to see hope and happiness in the future of where I'm going to go," she said. "And I think as long as we both had good intentions for why it ended, I feel like I can kind of move past that."
Though she's confident they'll be able to move on, Long has a "never say never" mindset when it comes to potentially reuniting with Amabile.
"It's hard. The feelings are still there," she said. "But right now I feel like there would have to be a lot that would happen for me to see that future again. But I still love him. It's hard not to love Joe."
Long said that she's currently single and "not really" dating, though she's "open" to the possibility.
"It's almost weird to date again after being in a relationship that serious," she said. "So I guess I'm trying to learn how to date in this day and age with apps and everything."
As for what she's looking for in a guy, Long feels like she knows better what qualities she wants following her relationship with Amabile.
"There's a lot of amazing qualities that Joe has that I'm looking [for in] someone to date in the future," she said. "But [it] also taught me a lot of stuff that he doesn't possess that I'm looking for as well."
While Long won't be looking for love as the next Bachelorette -- though she noted that the idea was discussed "a little bit" before Clare Crawley was cast -- she wouldn't rule out returning to Paradise one day.
"There's going to be a lot more mature men that are going. That'll be kind of an interesting contrast," she said, alluding to the fact that Crawley is 38 and has contestants up to age 42. "... Again, never say never, but who knows?"
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