“We don’t [talk]. I was very open-minded to how it would look like,” the 29-year-old wedding photographer said on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast about their potential to stay friends. “I pretty much told Clayton and I was like, ‘I’m comfortable with however this is gonna work for both of us. I respect you and I love you and I don’t want to do anything that’s gonna be harmful for you — whether that’s staying in touch or not staying in touch.’ Because I felt like, ultimately, we both knew that we were not compatible and I think, for him, he was able to express to me that he didn’t think it was gonna be good to stay in touch. So we don’t really keep in touch. But he did send me a really nice message, like, I don’t know, a month ago — and it brought me to tears.”
Evans and Echard, 29, announced their split in September after reconnecting following season 26 of The Bachelor, which aired earlier this year.
“It was just really nice for him to say like, ‘I’m so grateful for everything that you did for me in our relationship, and I’ve been able to reflect and I’m just truly grateful for the friendship that we had at the end of the day.’ And that meant a lot to me,” Evans continued. “It was really, really nice to hear from him, but we didn’t, like, catch up on the phone and we don’t text or anything like that. But that was really meaningful and definitely heartfelt, and I could tell that he had, like, thought about it and so that meant a lot.”
After releasing their shared statement, the exes came together to speak about their breakup on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s “Off the Vine” podcast in October. “We truly did feel love for each other at, like, a human level before even a relationship. … I see comments still, like, ‘Well, what happened?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, nothing happened! He didn’t do anything; I didn’t do anything. We just weren’t really compatible,” she explained to Us.
More recently, the former Miss Virginia got candid about the end of relationships on her new blog, Susie Was Like, admitting that she Googled “Can you love someone and not be compatible?” before they pulled the plug.
“That’s one of the big conclusions that I’ve come to. And I even think that was one of the things I struggled with in our relationship — I kept wondering, not wondering, [but] I just kept having this feeling like, ‘I don’t think at the root of who we are and our expectations and relationships, I don’t know that we are compatible,’” Evans told Us. “I struggled with feeling, like, it came natural — and certainly not every relationship’s going to be natural or easy — but I think it was ultimately, like, expectations of what do you want in a partner? What do you want from yourself? And all of those kinds of things. And we just weren’t really aligned on those things.”
She continued: “I wrote also in that article on the blog — you really gotta vet people before you fall in love with them because, like, when you fall in love with somebody, it doesn’t matter if you’re compatible, you have love for them and you care about them and then making the decision to break up becomes even more complicated. Because you’re like, ‘I love you and I don’t wanna let go of you, but this is not good for us anymore.’”
Evans’ split from the former Bachelor isn’t the only topic she’ll cover on her blog, which she describes as a form of “self-expression” that is also helping her build an online community.
“I actually love social media, like, I love consuming it. It’s been fun being able to create it and engage with people,” she said. “Finding a way to transform that into a blog seems like a really great way to just build on that community and get to know people better. We started a Facebook group where people are already connecting and supporting each other and sharing stories about who they are and what they’ve been through. I’ve seen people say like, ‘Hey, can I send you a private DM? I would love to discuss this further.’ So that’s been really cool as well, just to see people get the idea that it’s gonna be a place where women — and really whoever — can get together and support each other and cheer each other on, share tips. Even if it’s silly things like sharing the Black Friday sales — I was like, ‘Everyone comment below, I wanna see where you’re shopping!’ It’s just a fun place to kind of swap information and support each other.”
For more from Evans, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast and watch the video above.