Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya Break Up Less Than a Year After 'Bachelorette' Engagement
Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya have called it quits. Less than a year after the pair's engagement played out on the December 2021 season finale of The Bachelorette, the pair have revealed that they're going their separate ways.
Michelle and Nayte both took to their Instagram stories on Friday to share the news of their split.
"To those who have supported Nayte and I, including Bachelor Nation, I know I speak for the both of use when saying having been in the public eye has not been easy," Michelle wrote in her post. "I'm struggling to say that Nayte and I will be going our separate ways but I stand with him in knowing that heaviness that is present in both of our hearts as this relationship has been very real for us."
Addressing Nayte, Michelle expressed, "You quickly became my best friend and the love I have for you in incredibly strong." She also said she is "deeply hurting and will need time and space to work through this heartache."
Nayte shared similar sentiments in his own statement, also posted to his Instagram story, sharing, "When we both started on this journey, we were looking for our Soulmates. Our forever. Our best friends. 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."
"Michelle and I are going to move forward separately," he continued. "Hearts are heavy, emotions are high and we are dealing with the best way we can... 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."
Back in May, Michelle addressed rumors that she and Nayte had split after she was spotted without her engagement ring.
"There is a video circulating of me on a rooftop this weekend and I'm not wearing my engagement ring," she said in a video on her Instagram Story. "And what I will have to say is to the person who is paying close enough attention to catch that moment, you also had to be paying close enough attention to see one of my friends briefly remove my engagement ring to try it on and then place it back on my finger. Just a friendly reminder that Nayte and I, we are human beings, not a zoo exhibit."
As for their love story, after the former couple exchanged I love yous during the Fantasy Suites episode, Nayte popped the question to Michelle on the show's season finale.
"The very first night I met you, I knew we had a connection that I wanted to hold on to. The second night we were together, we talked about running away together," Nayte said during his proposal, as he and Michelle stood together on a beach. "I'm standing in front of you right now and feeling the same. I want to run away with you. I want to run away into forever with the woman I've come to love."
Speaking to ET after the episode aired, Nayte told ET that he became "certain that this is who I want to spend the rest of my life with."
Meanwhile, Michelle, who recently opened up about her decision to quit teaching, gushed about bonding with each other's families.
"Me getting close to Nayte's sister, him getting close to my siblings and my family has been really special," she said. "... The moms are off wedding planning and on their own mother trips without us."
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