A little over one year after taking their relationship public, Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph have split. The couple, who have been together ever since they finished filming Colton's Bachelor season in 2019, announced the news on Instagram, Friday, May 29. "Sometimes people are just meant to be friends — and that's OK," Colton wrote, in part.
Colton's announcement assured fans that the two remain close. "We both have grown immensely and been through so much together — so this isn't the end of our story, it's the start of a whole new chapter for us," he wrote. Cassie's separate Instagram announcing the split echoed Colton's sentiments. "Colton and I have broken up, but have decided to remain a part of each others lives," she wrote, adding, "I love Colton very much and have an enormous amount of respect for him."
The news will no doubt come as a shock for fans. Just two months ago, Colton tested positive for COVID-19, and both he and Cassie regularly updated their social media to show what the illness was really like. At the time, Colton was quarantined with Cassie and her family in Southern California. He announced that he was COVID-free in April, but still appeared to be in California with Cassie at the time. Based on her April 13 Instagram of their "Quarantine Chronicles," the two appeared to still be together last month.
In her statement on the split, Cassie said that this was "one of the hardest things I have had to share," but she felt she had to speak on the issue. "Because our relationship is such a public one, our silence on the matter has been speaking for us," she explained.
Colton and Cassie have seemed to be one of the stronger Bachelor couples of recent years. The two met on the show last year, and, after a rocky breakup that involved Cassie leaving the show because she wasn't ready to get married (the catalyst for the infamous "Jump the Fence" moment), they got back together in time for After the Final Rose.
It's unclear what caused the breakup, but this actually isn't the first time the two have split post-Bachelor. In March, Colton revealed that he and Cassie actually broke up for a brief time in August of 2019. "After the show, we realized we weren't communicating as well as we once did," Colton told People. "Nobody was forcing us to talk about real things going on, so we let a lot of things build up." Speaking about where their relationship was at the time, Colton told People that he had been hoping to be engaged by the end of the year. "No matter what, I don't want my life without her," he said. "Our relationship hasn't always been easy, but it's been worth it."