Jason Tartick wasn’t the only one who took to the mic following his and Kaitlyn Bristowe’s split. The former Bachelorette shed light on how she was handling the broken engagement — and navigating her followers’ reactions — on the Tuesday, August 8, episode of her “Off the Vine” podcast.
“I’m going through a breakup with someone I was engaged to. Now, we both are public figures, we both came from the same show, we have all these followers who we’ve let in. And we’ve invited them into our lives and our relationship and our home. And what we’re doing morning, afternoon, night — it’s become part of, like, business,” Bristowe, 38, explained to marriage and family therapist Jenny Wise Black.
Adding that she loves “using my phone to entertain,” Bristowe admitted she has struggled with the pressure to give Bachelor Nation answers after she and Tartick called it quits.
“I’ve gotten to this point where something like going through a breakup — it’s a loss, it’s grief, you’re going through, like, the thought of losing somebody, all of these big emotions — and now these people are on the other end of this phone expecting you to share it with them while you’re going through it,” she continued. “Then they think, ‘You’re hiding something from us, why wouldn’t you be honest? I thought you were an open book, I thought you were this and just tell us already that you guys are broken up.’ And I’m holding so much responsibility because I see them as this community that I’ve built for myself.”
Bristowe said that the online chatter has been “affecting my mental health so much.”
She continued: “Even though I have the logistics side of my brain that goes, ‘These people have their own things going on. They have their own traumas, they have their own dark places, they’re looking to me for an escape, like, this isn’t reality. You have to give yourself time first before you give strangers on the internet time, no matter how much you think they’re your community or family.’ But then my other side goes, ‘Oh, my gosh, they hate me. I’m gonna lose all the support, and people are judging me. And they think it’s just all me and it’s my fault.’ And my brain is, like, ‘Here’s the logic of everything. And then here’s the emotion,’ and I am finding myself in the middle of that.”
Bristowe and Tartick released a joint statement on Sunday, August 6, confirming that they had ended their two-year engagement. “We feel grateful to be ending our engagement with love and respect for each other,” they wrote in part. “It’s heartbreaking and sad to say goodbye, but our care and admiration for one another will never die.”
Bristowe started dating Tartick in 2019 after she split from her final rose recipient, Shawn Booth. While she called it “so crazy” that she and Tartick had to pen a statement about their breakup, the process also provided some closure.
“[It] also gives me the opportunity for them to understand it and then start to move on because otherwise, it just keeps going. We’re [posting it] today,” Bristowe said on the podcast. “And I would love to go dark [on social media after]. I want to do all of the things that I’ve learned over the last 11 years of therapy, so I got this, like, poster board. And last night, I wrote a target that just keeps getting bigger. I did the middle circle, the main one, I put Jason and Kaitlyn, those are the two people that matter through this right now. And then on the outside, it’s our family. And then outside of that is, like, our really closest friends. … But outside of that, I can’t let that come into this. … I can’t take that on as responsibility for [my followers’] feelings. I’m a mega empath — and I do take it on, and I can’t.”
Bristowe concluded that she has to stay off social media to try to heal without worrying about her “Off the Vine” listeners’ feelings. So far, Bristowe has stuck to her plan, signing offline on Sunday night shortly after their statement was shared — and even changing her Instagram bio to “BRB healing.”
“See you soon ❤️ bye for now,” she added alongside a crying selfie. “If everyone can say some sort of prayer for both of our hearts we would love that. I just know social media can be awful so taking a little break.”