Finding the silver lining. Susie Evans reflected on her split from Clayton Echard in a lengthy blog post — and said that she’s actually grateful for everything the breakup has taught her.
“All of my relationships have left me better than they found me,” the Bachelor season 26 winner, 29, began in an essay shared via her new blog, Susie Was Like, on Monday, November 21. “Even the biggest heart breaks and lapses in loyalty from previous partners have taught me lessons on self worth.”
After explaining what she’d learned in her previous relationships, the Virginia native revealed that the “biggest lessons” she learned after her split from Echard, also 29, “may actually have been about understanding myself better and learning how to communicate my expectations.”
The wedding videographer and the former NFL player called it quits in September after meeting during Echard’s season of The Bachelor, which aired earlier this year. “With incredibly heavy hearts, we wanted to share that we have decided to go our separate ways,” they said in a joint statement at the time. “For anyone who has ever loved, knows this was a painful decision to make and not one taken lightly.”
One month before announcing their split, the duo revealed that they were moving to different states after living together in Evans’ hometown of Virginia Beach. The Bachelorette season 18 alum returned to Arizona while Evans moved to Los Angeles.
In her new blog post, Evans explained that she was “in a pretty low place” with herself before the breakup. “I believe this was because I was trying to make something work that just wasn’t a natural fit,” she wrote. “It’s emotionally taxing and not good for the soul. Not to mention, my Google search history was filled with questions like, ‘Can you love someone and not be compatible?’ I’m really outing myself with that.”
Though things between her and Echard didn’t work out, Evans went on to outline what she learned about “falling in love” from her ex. “What I found in my last relationship is that a partnership rooted in love alone doesn’t always have the building blocks to grow tall and strong,” she explained. “So before you go and fall in love with just anybody, keep in mind that finding a partner that aligns with you on those crucial foundation pieces will more likely set your relationship up for long-term success.”
She concluded by reassuring readers that she and Echard are still “rooting each other on from afar” despite their split. “There is so much more good that has come from this breakup, for both myself and Clayton,” she wrote. “Just because something wasn’t forever, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t wonderful.”
Last month, the former couple detailed their breakup during a joint interview on Kaitlyn Bristowe‘s “Off the Vine” podcast. The Missouri native revealed that the pair’s differing communication styles led to challenges in their relationship.
“I wish, I guess, I could be a better communicator,” he explained in October. “It’s, like, tough when we spend hours and hours and hours and, like, there’s a lot of hurt in those hours. But then we get to this endpoint, like, ‘Oh, that’s what you were trying to say.’ And it’s just like, ‘Dang, why couldn’t I have said it that way at the beginning, or why couldn’t we have understood at the beginning?’”
Evans, for her part, said that she struggled as Echard attempted to heal from the backlash surrounding his season of The Bachelor. “I think a lot of it was just self-identity and I think that he was looking for stability,” she told Bristowe, 37. “And there were times [when] I didn’t provide that as well because I just wasn’t sure. I was like, you know, ‘I can’t wait three months.’ I can’t promise three months or whatever. And I think that’s really hard in a relationship too when I’m on the other hand like, ‘I need security. … I want to be two whole people.’”