The Bachelorette couple -- who got engaged on season 11 of the show in 2015 -- have decided to go their separate ways, they revealed toPeople on Friday. Booth and Bristowe were the longest-running engaged pair to come out of the series.
“After three incredible years, we have decided to go our separate ways. This difficult decision comes after thoughtful, respectful consideration. Even though we are parting as a couple, we’re very much committed to remaining friends. We have both evolved as people, which is taking us in different directions, but with the hope that we will continue to support each other in new ways," their statement read. "Due to the nature of how we met, our relationship has always been very public, and we have enjoyed sharing it with all of you, but we ask that you respect our decision and our privacy at this time.”
Fans had noticed that Booth and Bristowe had started to appear less and less on each other's social media over the last few months, though they did spend Canadian Thanksgiving together in October.
In a June interview with ET, Booth opened up about how he and Bristowe had made their three-year relationship work, candidly admitting, "It's tough. I can understand why couples break up."
"If you're not strong enough to handle a lot of the outside noise and just the concept in general, it's very easy to call it quits," he said. "We've obviously had a lot of bad times, but a lot of good times. We've just stayed humble through it all, put each other first and worked on our relationship. But it's not easy."
"We've learned to walk out of the room, because we'll go at it," Booth said of how they've dealt with fights. "Me and her are both kind of stubborn... but at the end of the day, we wake up still saying, 'I love you,' and it's onto the next day."
Booth proposed to Bristowe on the season finale of The Bachelorette in 2015, and while they were seemingly inseparable after the show aired -- living together first in her home of Vancouver, before setting down roots in Nashville -- they famously weren't too concerned about wedding planning.
“We talk about it, it’s not that we don’t talk about it, we just haven’t set a date,” Bristowe explained. “And also, I just feel like I don’t have time to get married right now. I'm a busy woman!”
“It’s never been discussed [with a network], so I don’t even feel like we ever think of it as an option,” she added of the possibility they'd get married on TV. “We’re open to it. So many people are invested in our relationship and they were there with us from the beginning, from the day we met, so I think if it would make other people happy, we would do that too, and then we can always do a little private one ourselves.”
But at the end of the day, getting married just wasn't Bristowe and Booth's top priority. "In the next three years, you can expect babies. That would be ideal… [Shawn] is so good with kids and even seeing how he is with our dog, I'm like, ‘You’re gonna be such a good dad! He's gonna be amazing," she said.
Bristowe recently appeared on Becca Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette to give Kufrin some advice as she started her journey to find love. Until Bristowe and Booth's breakup, the last four Bachelorettes -- Kufrin, Rachel Lindsay, JoJo Fletcher and Bristowe -- all were engaged to the man who earned their first impression rose.