Demi Burnett and Kristian Haggertyto ever appear in the Bachelor franchise. The two were engaged during the show's finale, but announced their breakup in a joint statement on Thursday afternoon.
"What has always been at the forefront of our relationship is love and care for one another," they wrote in an emotional post on Instagram. "Our priority is doing what is best for us. With a heavy heart full of love for one another we have decided it is best for us to take a step back from our relationship."
"We ultimately want what is best for us in the long run and for us right now, that means being apart and growing individually," they continued.
"We have felt so much love and support from you all as you've followed our journey together and for that we are grateful. We will forever be proud of the impact our love story has made and we hope it has helped others feel more accepted and confident within themselves. We hope it reminded others they aren't alone and don't need to be ashamed of who they are. And we hope it shows that two people can love one another in different ways and for us right now that is apart. But we remain committed to encouraging each other, supporting each other and continuing forward in a way best for us," they concluded.
There has been speculation of the breakup for several weeks since the duo hasn't posted any photos together on social media since mid-September. According to screenshots, Haggerty's sister Caitlin recently left a seemingly mean-spirited comment on one of Burnett's photos. "Not desperate at all," she apparently wrote on a picture of Burnett on the beach.
Burnett rose to stardom after coming out as bisexual on season six of Bachelor in Paradise — and starting the first same-sex relationship in the franchise's history. Both women proposed to each other during the season finale, which aired in September, marking the show's first LGBTQ engagement.
As the first same-sex romance featured in the long-running franchise's history, the duo were trailblazers throughout this season of "Paradise," which is a spinoff of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." The show prominently featured their relationship, along with Burnett's struggles with understanding her sexuality, marking a turning point for the franchise, which has historically lacked diversity.