‘The Decision Was Not Made Lightly’

John Hersey and Katie Thurston

Christopher Polk/E! Entertainment/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images John Hersey and Katie Thurston

Katie Thurston and John Hersey have called it quits.

The couple announced Monday that they had broken up. The split comes 15 months after the pair put on Tea Bachelorettethough their romance blossomed off camera when filming for the series concluded.

Each spoke out about their breakup on their respective Instagram Stories. “Statement: no we aren’t together,” Thurston, 31, simply wrote in her post.

Hersey, 28, was more verbose. “As Katie stated earlier, we are no longer dating,” he began. “The decision was not made lightly and it was obviously not an easy one to make.”

“I love being able to share special moments with you all — the funny ones. The happy ones. The outrageous, embarrassing, and heartfelt ones. But I don’t know if it will ever get easier to share the sad ones,” he also said. “I appreciate every one of you that has supported us throughout this journey. We could not (and would not) be here without you.”

RELATED: Katie Thurston Says She’s the ‘Happiest Version’ of Herself During Vacation with John Hersey

RELATED: Katie Thurston Is Exploring ‘Romantic Connection’ with John Hersey After Blake Moynes Breakup

After appearing as a contestant on Matt James’ Bachelor season in 2021, Thurston was named the Bachelorette for season 17. She ended her journey engaged to Blake Moynes, though the former couple announced their split in October of that same year.

A month later, PEOPLE confirmed that Thurston and Hersey were dating. The pilot in training had been eliminated during week two of Thurston’s season.

“It’s known Katie and John became close friends post-season,” her rep said in November 2021. “John has been there for her through all the major changes in her life and they are excited to explore this newly found romantic connection.”

The two shared much of their relationship on social media with PDA-filled posts, including one in January when Thurston revealed that she’s the “happiest version” of herself with Hersey.

“Falling for you was the best decision I never had a say in, and I couldn’t be happy,” Hersey said that same month. “I could have never dreamed up what this year had in store for me. I am both in awe of, and extremely grateful for the circumstances that brought us together. And thank goodness you dumped me on national television, or else we could have never gotten to where we are now.”

RELATED: The Bachelorette’s John Hersey Shuts Down Rumors That Katie Thurston Cheated on Blake Moynes

John Hersey and Katie Thurston

John Hersey and Katie Thurston

Paul Archuleta/Getty

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Back in March, Thurston celebrated the one year anniversary of when she and Hersey met.

“A year ago I’d never believe I would be right here in these moments with you 🖤,” she wrote in a heartfelt post, captioning a shot of the pair sharing a loving look.

“Sorry to all the bachelor brackets we f—ed up,” she teased in a comment on Thurston’s page, acknowledged that the couple’s love story might have been unexpected to fans. “We owe you one 😂.”

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