On the Bachelor in Paradise Season 6 finale, Clay Harbor and Nicole Alvar-Lopez broke up. She was ready for a proposal and a move to the same city. In contrast, he just wanted to take things slow outside of the show. Clay and Nicole's BiP relationship wasn't ready to move forward since they both had very different objectives at the end of the season. Clay reflected on his Paradise relationship in a long tweet that he shared on Sept. 18.
In the post, Clay wrote, "The truth is I was starting to fall in love but I did not want to lie and say I was all the way there until I was. I wanted to leave the beach with Nicole and see what real everyday life had in store for us. I wanted to meet family and friends and grow if and when we were ready to get engaged we would." Clay wouldn't be the first person who preferred a gradual relationship post-filming Bachelor in Paradise and not getting engaged right away. Raven Gates and Adam Gottschalk got engaged in May 2019 after dating on BiP two summers before. Kevin Wendt proposed to Astrid Loch in August 2019, more than a year after they met on the show.
In that same tweet, Clay wrote, "I've always told myself I am asking one person one time to marry me I just didn't think we made it far enough YET ... I completely expected her to leave with me but she wanted something else." Clay concluded, "I won't sacrifice who I am for anyone and especially not a TV show. I completely stand behind my decisions that last night on the beach and like I said before, I'm happy Nicole has moved on she deserves happiness."
Clay also tweeted about his reunion "absence." Both Clay and Nicole were at the reunion and filmed segments talking to Chris Harrison, but this didn't make it into the episode. Aside from confirming his presence, Clay shared that he "wished her luck with her new relationship."
Nicole reflected on her reality TV experience in a Sept. 18 Instagram post. She told her followers,
"Ladies, we don’t have to put up with anything less than wonderful. We are worthy of someone’s complete and all-encompassing respect, time, love, honesty, and energy. When a man’s actions don’t line up with his words, when a man’s promises fall flat, and when a man dares to string you along (whether it’s for 16 days or for 8 months) knowing very well he does not see a future with you — we are better off on our own than loving a man who doesn’t know what he has when he has it."
The "eight months" that Nicole mentioned might be a reference to Clay's eight-month relationship with Angela Amezcua, another BiP cast member.
In that same post, Nicole said, "I know it’s scary, but sometimes, the bravest thing we can ever do is love ourselves first." She concluded, "I knew I could be setting myself up for heartache. But if there’s anything this past year on The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise has taught me, it’s that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. I don’t regret a single moment."
Ultimately, both Clay and Nicole made the decision that each of them was comfortable with. Their ideals did not line up, but at least they were both honest with their feelings.