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Connor Saeli Reveals What Went Wrong With Whitney Fransway, Reflects on ‘Heartbreaking’ ‘Bachelorette’ and ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Process (Exclusive)

Connor S. Admits BiP Process Heartbreaking After Whitney Split
Connor Saeli and Whitney Fransway. ABC/John Fleenor; Seth Browarnik/

A whirlwind year. Connor Saeli is still healing after filming The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise within months of each other.

Related: ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Couples Who Are Still Together

Connor, who first competed for Hannah Brown’s heart on season 15 of The Bachelorette, started dating Caelynn Miller-Keyes during season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise. Their relationship was short-lived, however, when the former pageant queen opted to leave the beach with former season 6 contestant Dean Unglert, whom she met at the beginning of the summer.

“To be honest, the whole Paradise and Bachelorette situation as a whole, to me, was a little heartbreaking,” Connor told Us Weekly exclusively while he prepped for a night out with the Lumenis GeneO 3-in-1 Super Facial in Toronto on Friday, September 27. “Because you go onto The Bachelorette and you’re hopeful that it might work out for you, but you realize that there’s 29 other guys, so the odds are slim. And then going into Paradise, you’re even more hopeful that this is actually going to happen.”

Following his romance with Caelynn, Connor started seeing Whitney Fransway, who originally appeared on Nick Viall’s season 21 of The Bachelor. The twosome, who spent time together at his hotel in Mexico after he left the show, called it quits two months after returning home.

Related: Celebrity Splits of 2019

“For it to not work out with Caelynn and not work out with Whitney — and then to see all your friends like Mike, Tyler, Dylan, Peter, who’s the Bachelor now, it’s all going to work out for them, it’s kind of a bummer, going through this whole situation and not having it work out,” Connor continued. “But I’m definitely hopeful I’ll find my person.”

(Connor is seemingly referring to Mike Johnson’s romance with Demi Lovato, Tyler Cameron’s fling with Gigi Hadid, Dylan Barbour‘s engagement to Hannah Godwin and Peter Weber’s new role as the Bachelor for season 14.)

The investment analyst added that his split from Whitney was “very mutual,” noting the pair are “definitely on good terms.”

“We left Paradise after spending three days together [and] basically we were immediately thrown into a long distance relationship,” he told Us. “Whereas the couples that were on the beach for the entire time, got to spend time with each other, get to know each other and actually figure out if they want to be dating or stay together. For us, we spent three days together and then a long-distance relationship … spending that time figuring out if we want to be together. The two months after the show was really our Paradise time of getting to know each other. I think ultimately, we had a lot of fun with each other, but just weren’t right for each other in a relationship.”

Us confirmed on September 19 that Connor and Whitney had called it quits. Despite the heartache, Connor is open to love — and told Us what he’s looking for in a girl.

Related: Stars Who Found Lasting Love After the Show

“Someone who’s driven, adventurous, outgoing, those are really important to me,” he explained. “Someone that’s independent too and really loves herself. I think it’s really important to love yourself before you can give love to someone else. … You can live your own lives and support each other through that, but at the same time, kind of be together. That’s really important to me.”

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