Several months after calling it quits, Michelle Young made her most candid statement about her split from Nayte Olukoya yet — declaring that the Bachelorette season 18 winner “tainted” engagements for her.
“It was my dream ring. I wanted the relationship to work. I was willing to put in work for the relationship. And I had the person take off,” the 29-year-old ABC personality said on a recent episode of the “Almost Famous” podcast. “That’s not something that I bluntly said [before] because Instagram and there’s all these other things on you, but, like, I know what it looks like to work through a relationship, and I know how hard relationships can get. But both people have to be capable of doing that.”
Bachelor Nation watched Young and Olukoya, 28, get engaged on the December 2021 finale of The Bachelorette. Six months later, the twosome announced their split.
“I feel like that was literally kind of stripped away from me. So it pisses me off,” Young continued to Ashley Iaconetti. “But I’m also like, ‘Great, I can’t wait to do it, like, for real this next time with somebody who [I] really know will be there.’”
She then quipped: “S-t, I’m gonna have to figure out a different cut of a ring because pear-shaped ain’t happening anymore!”
While Young has played coy about the end of the relationship, Olukoya previously admitted that he was the one to pull the plug on the engagement.
“Our relationship was tough. There’s lots of ups and downs, lots of arguments, lots of fights, and just not really clicking, not really seeing eye to eye,” he said on “Viall Files” in September 2022, claiming that they started having doubts within two weeks of the finale airing. “It was rocky. … Don’t get me wrong, we had amazing moments in between rockiness, but it was rocky.”
Olukoya ended things over the phone after a tense weekend at Wango Tango, but was surprised to hear that Young said she was “blindsided” by the end of their relationship.
“If Michelle felt blindsided, I can’t take that away from her, but I know the reality of it is, this wasn’t our first time talking about a breakup,” he claimed. “The day I left L.A. after her birthday weekend, it was kind of already being said without being said. And again, it wasn’t our first time having a breakup conversation, this is our third time nearly breaking up.”
He concluded a the time: “Once we left that world, I kind of just wanted to be two normal people. There was always this, like, background pressure to just be as perfect as possible, where I was like, ‘I mean, let’s just be ourselves.’ And I think that played a role in us not seeing eye to eye — we had conversations about the pressure. … I just wanted to be Nayte and Michelle.”