“The first time I realized it was at the reveal, but I tried not to think too much about that just because it’s the first time actually seeing each other,” Taylor, 26, exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the season 5 premiere. “I was nervous. I know he was nervous, so I didn’t really dig too deep into that until Mexico.”
Taylor and the firefighter, 32, found love on the Netflix experiment when it came to Houston, and they got engaged sight unseen. Following “reveal day,” Taylor thought their constant PDA was a bit out of sorts.
“I just remember we kept kissing, kept kissing, kept kissing, and I was like, ‘We need to sit down and talk,’” she recalled to Us. “And it was almost like we didn’t know what to talk about and … I had never been in a situation that was awkward, like that meeting, on a regular date and so I was super thrown off. I didn’t know how to go about it, but that’s what made me feel a little bit weird.”
Taylor tried to push past her nerves as the pair embarked on their post-engagement vacation to Mexico. There, the twosome’s communication broke down when she accused him of not wanting to share his feelings. JP, for his part, lamented that he would have preferred if Taylor showed up to the reveal without all her “fake” makeup and eyelashes. His revelation led Taylor to seek an alternate hotel room for the night.
“I was really hurt and I was also confused,” she told Us of hearing his criticism about her physical appearance. “I was like, ‘There’s just no way that our relationship is basically ending because of the way I look.’ Because we had built such a strong connection between us and I was like, ‘This is my husband. We’re engaged.’”
She continued: “I was just confused, honestly, a little bit hurt, but more confused than anything.”
When Taylor woke up the next morning, she informed JP that she was no longer interested in living with him or staying engaged.
“It wasn’t that night that I was like, ‘Yep, I’m done [and] calling it off.’ I did give it some time and I didn’t call it off [just] because of the makeup comment. Yes, it’s hurtful, but I would never end a relationship because of an opinion,” Taylor explained to Us. “I left because the version of JP that I fell in love with was no longer there and that was scary to me. I was supposed to go home and live with this person and I felt like I didn’t even know him in Mexico. So, I thought long and hard because part of me wanted to stay and part of me was like, ‘I’m done. I’m going home.’”
Looking back, Taylor “absolutely” does not regret her decision to break off her reality TV engagement.
“I’ve never lived with a guy before and so that’s a big thing for me and a big step in a relationship and we weren’t 100 percent and I didn’t want to do that,” she added. “I think I made the right choice because I think if I would’ve done that, we would probably not be on good terms. There would have been a lot of hate between us after that.”
JP reached out to Taylor “right after” the breakup, but she told Us that she was not ready to speak with him. “[I] needed some time to heal and then a couple months back, I reached out to him,” Taylor said. “Our conversation was good, but we didn’t get deep and I still feel like we needed to have that deeper conversation.”
Love Is Blind season 5 is currently streaming on Netflix. New episodes drop on Fridays.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi