'The Bachelorette': Jason Reflects on 'Especially Painful' Time Since His Split From Gabby

Jason and Gabby Windey
ABC/Craig Sjodin

The couple called it quits when Jason decided it wouldn't work in the real world.

Jason Alabaster is speaking out. On Monday, just over a week after the investment banker and Gabby Windey broke things off on The Bachelorette, Jason took to Instagram to address his time on the show and give an update on how he's been since.

"This has been an especially painful time, and watching back those final moments we shared was absolutely heart wrenching," Jason wrote alongside a photo of himself walking on the beach. "I have learned so much about myself through this process, but mostly I have learned that Gabby is one of the strongest women I’ve ever met."

"Her ability to keep her heart open and be vulnerable while navigating an impossibly complex and delicate situation is testament to that," he added, "and I have nothing but admiration and respect for her."

While Jason and Gabby's relationship appeared to be going strong in the latter part of the season, he realized that he wouldn't be ready to propose during Hometowns week, despite things going well between the nurse and his family.

Though he knew a proposal wasn't coming, Jason traveled to Mexico for Fantasy Suites. He and Gabby had a fun day playing tennis, and it wasn't until their dinner together that Jason revealed he wasn't planning on getting down on one knee.

"I know what the expectation of this is for a lot of people, being engaged and being fully in love. To be completely transparent and honest, I don’t think I’m fully there yet," he confessed. "I think it’s because in this environment it’s constantly in my head what’s real, what’s not real. I’m questioning so many things. I don’t think in another seven days I’ll be ready for that."

He took things further shortly thereafter, telling Gabby, "I feel like you don’t even know who I am completely. I don’t fully feel like I know who you are."

Gabby walked away from the conversation in tears, wondering if her relationship with Jason "is a love that’s just not destined to be." Jason was able to convince Gabby to continue the discussion by telling her, "I totally see us getting to a point in real life where we can spend time together."

The pair entered into their Fantasy Suite hoping that some off-camera time would solve their problems, but that didn't happen.

"Once we got behind closed doors, we were talking in circles and couldn’t agree on how things were going to go, if we needed more time, and honestly I was running out of patience," Gabby told the cameras. "I was like, 'Maybe it’s not meant to be,' and then he was like, 'Yeah, definitely.' Like, when were you going to tell me that?"

When Gabby went to Jason's room to make the breakup official, he told her, "I truly needed that time to realize this wasn’t going to work for us. I’m sorry. I genuinely want the best for you. I think you’re an amazing person. I’m really sorry."

While Jason insisted that he had fought for the relationship, Gabby disagreed, telling him, "I think you’re so terrified to hurt me [that] you’ve been treading so lightly, but it’s like, you knew how you feel and couldn’t tell me." Gabby added that she felt "led on" by the investment banker, before telling the cameras that Jason was "reckless" with her feelings.

The whole situation left Gabby questioning if she was "too broken for anyone to love," something Jason firmly fought back against in his post. In fact, he even referenced a controversy from earlier in the season, when a different suitor told the nurse that she was "rough around the edges."

"If Gabby is rough around the edges, then she’s the type of rough that everyone should aspire to be -- the kind of person who has learned to embrace life and its uncertainties, who is warm, loving, and accepting of other’s imperfections…who has the kind of innate confidence that comes only from a lifetime of challenges overcome, love lost, and love gained... the incredible level of self awareness that allows her to confidently be exactly who she is while also lifting up those around her," he wrote. "Our stars may not have aligned in the end, but I will be forever grateful that our paths crossed."

Part 1 of The Bachelorette's live, two-part season finale will air Tuesday, Sept. 13 on ABC. Keep up with the historic season by following along with ET's coverage of the series.