Bachelor Nation

There's A Pattern To 'Bachelor' Breakup Posts And It Makes So Much Sense

Once you see it, you can't unsee it.


When I first saw Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes’ breakup announcement, I thought it was a prank, partly because they seemed super happy together and partly because it sounded so similar to other Bachelor breakups. But Thurston and Moynes aren’t alone in resorting to this generic language. In almost every statement in recent years, the Bachelor-famous words and phrases like “journey,” “follow your heart,” and “trust the process,” are replaced by their broken-hearted counterparts: “difficult decision,” “separate ways,” and “healing hearts.” Although the franchise might not have a great track record when it comes to long-term love, they’ve nailed the art of a cordial breakup. There are legitimate reasons for why Bachelor breakup announcements follow a certain strategy — and it’s not just a lack of creativity.

“There's basically a public breakup algorithm. People ask for privacy, vow they remain on good terms, and say the split was mutual. At this point, every breakup announcement does tend to sound the same,” podcast host Alyssa Amoroso of Barstool Sports' Tea with Publyssity explains. But Amoroso, who used to work in PR, doesn’t blame these couples for following the tried and true formula. “You can't really fault them for that because what's the alternative? Them airing out dirty laundry and/or pointing fingers?”

It turns out there are plenty of incentives for stars to follow the Bachelor Breakup Formula™ — and when couples go rogue, things tend to get dramatic fast. Let’s break it down.

The Bachelor Breakup Formula, Explained

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Take a look at a few Bachelor Nation success stories that recently came to an end: Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes; Becca Kufrin and Garrett Yrigoyen; Peter Weber and Kelley Flanagan. Despite these couples’ very different relationships, their post-split statements look nearly identical. From the medium to the language to the timing, Bachelor Nation has gotten these breakup statements down to a science. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

The Medium: Instagram

Typically, couples share their breakups on Instagram rather than sending a public statement to media outlets via their reps. According to Emma Gray, co-host of Love to See It with Emma and Claire, a weekly Bachelor recap podcast, and one of the minds behind Rich Text, a pop culture newsletter, their use of Instagram is no accident. Turning to their social media channels is a strategic way to connect to their followers — who are, usually, their main source of income. It’s simply good business.

Many successful contestants make the jump to becoming influencers, which means there’s a real financial incentive to keep their followers’ interest. “For Bachelor people, whose entire fame is wrapped up in your romantic status, [being in a relationship] is extremely lucrative and fundamentally tied to the reason why people care to follow them in the first place,” Gray tells Elite Daily. “We see the fact that couples make more money [than single contestants] on Instagram and TikTok. They get more followers.” In other words, engagement (the proposal kind) equals engagement (the social media kind).

Likewise, when Bachelor couples get famous together, splitting up can have repercussions beyond their emotional state. Gray points out that after announcing her split with Moynes, Thurston has already lost her status as an influencer with 1 million followers. (She’s down to a still-impressive 996k.) An IG breakup announcement is a great opportunity to offset this loss. Thurston’s breakup post, for example, gained over 200k likes and over 9,000 comments. Meanwhile, her most recent post (from Nov. 2) has 53k likes and 94 comments.

These posts can also build trust with their followers, who have, in Gray’s words, “constant desire for information and authenticity” from the Bachelor couples they follow. Gray adds, “There is probably a greater responsibility for couples that come off dating shows to communicate directly to their audiences about their breakups. It would be very odd if Katie and Blake didn’t say something. That’s why they’re famous.”

But you have to wonder — how authentic do these breakup announcements really feel if you’ve seen (almost) the exact same statements from several other Bachelor Nation couples?

The Language: Vague


Thurston and Moynes are the latest Bachelor Nation couple to announce their split, but we’ve seen iterations of their breakup announcement several times before. ICYMI, Thurston and Moynes posted matching breakup statements on Oct. 25. They read:

It is with mutual love and respect that we have decided to go our separate ways. We are so grateful for the moments we shared together and the entire journey that has unfolded this year, but we ultimately have concluded that we are not compatible as life partners, and it is the most caring choice for both of us to move forward independently. We ask for kindness and privacy as we both navigate this transition. Both of us will forever want the best for one another and ask you to please support us in our decision.

According to Amoroso, “It's likely a publicist had a hand in helping craft a statement for Katie and Blake because of the nature of the situation and knowing how many media outlets would cover the news.” She adds, “When you release a statement that you know will get a lot of press, it makes sense you'd want to seek counsel to make sure you're going about things the right way.”

And it looks like most Bachelor Nation exes are receiving similar PR advice. For example, here’s Becca Kufrin’s (very similar) breakup announcement with Garrett Yrigoyen on Sept. 1, 2020:

With a heavy heart, Garrett and I have come to the loving conclusion to end our engagement. All that we will share is that we still have nothing but love and respect for one another even though we’ve decided to go down our own separate paths. While we’ve arrived at this point, it doesn’t diminish the countless, amazing memories made together. We hope that everyone can allow us grace, respect and the time to heal our hearts as we navigate this next chapter in our lives.

Need more proof of this trend? On Dec. 31, 2020, when Peter Weber announced his split with Kelley Flanagan (in a post that has since been deleted), he wrote:

Love is a funny thing. It can make you you feel on top of the world and it can make you feel a pain you wish didn’t exist. I’m here to share that Kelley and I have decided to go our separate ways. While our relationship was filled with countless beautiful memories, our relationship simply didn’t work out in the end. Kelley is someone I will always have a special love for. Someone I have learned more from than she will ever understand. Someone I am so thankful came into my life and someone who I will always wish all of life’s greatest blessings on. These moments in life always hurt, but in my opinion that shows you it was worth the time you spent together. Thank you Kelley.

The one thing all of these statements have in common? They give away nothing. These breakup announcements are full of well wishes, mutual love and respect, and zero details.

The most commonly used words in Bachelor Nation breakup announcements.

The goal is to give fans as little to gossip about as possible. “They know there is inevitably going to be chatter. There’s going to be headlines,” Gray explains. “You don’t want to create a messy negative news cycle for yourself or your former partner.”

No matter who you are, breakups are painful. If these vague announcements make it even the tiniest bit easier to maintain some control and get through the process unscathed, why wouldn’t these former couples turn to them?

The Timing: Purposeful


For the most part, you don’t hear about a Bachelor franchise breakup until the next season has started, and that’s intentional. Gray explains, “I think couples tend to wait until a new season starts so that there’s other news happening at the same time.” For example, Thurston and Moynes announced their split on Oct. 25, just six days after Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette premiered on Oct. 19.

And apparently, these timing cues might be coming directly from ABC producers. “We talked to ABC, you have to do all that stuff,” Flanagan explained ABC’s role in her breakup with Weber. “And ABC was like, ‘Guys, try to drown it out with the premiere [of Matt James’ season on Jan. 4]. Do it the day before, drown it out people will be excited about other things,” she told Chicks In The Office in May 2021, per Us Weekly. (Elite Daily reached out to ABC for comment on their role in Bachelor breakup announcements and did not hear back in time for publication.)

The time of day also matters. Many Bachelor Nation exes wait until nighttime to share their splits in what appears to be an attempt to evade the full force of the news cycle. “It’s like the social media celebrity equivalent of the Friday afternoon news dump that we traditionally saw from tabloids,” Gray says.

Other Bachelor Couples Have Noticed The Formula And Poked Fun


The breakup formula has become so obvious that other Bachelor Nation couples have started picking up on it. Paradise favorites like Hannah Godwin and Dylan Barbour and (more recently) Serena Pitt and Joe Amabile, have made it clear where they stand on these breakup announcements — they find them kinda ridiculous.

On April Fools’ Day 2020, Barbour trolled these breakup announcements by sharing a photo from his BIP proposal to Godwin with a heart-stopping caption. “These things are never easy to write and there’s really never a good time. Hannah and I have always appreciated the love and support we’ve received throughout our journey, so it felt right to share what’s next for the both of us,” Barbour wrote. That’s when he let his followers know the tea: the couple ~mutually~ decided to give up gluten, not each other.

BIP’s latest golden couple, Amabile and Pitt, have also joked about the standard Bachelor breakup format. During an appearance at Chicks In The Office‘s Chicago live show on Oct. 28, Amabile told the crowd, “I just want a couple in Bachelor Nation to break up and, and just be like, ‘We mutually hate each other... Thank you for all the love and support, but the last six months have been terrible.’” (Notably, when Amabile and Kendall Long broke up, they did not take that route. “We have decided mutually to go our separate ways,” they said in a statement to Bachelor Nation on Jan. 29, 2020.)

Pitt added, “We’re engaged. We’re in love. We plan to spend the rest of our lives together. It’s not gonna be like a small hiccup. Like, it’s gonna be ugly or something huge that breaks us up. And, like, hopefully that never happens. But should it happen, I’d be like, ‘Screw you, Joe. We’re done!’” Here’s hoping Pitt never has to follow through on that.

The Bachelor Breakup Outliers


You know what they say about the best-laid plans... Although most couples tend to stick to the breakup mold, there are exceptions. For example, although Thurston and Moynes’ original Instagram statements fit the formula to a T, Thurston later opened up more than most former Bachelorettes do.

In an Oct. 31 IG video, she teared up as she said, “We are still processing a lot of, like, waves of emotion. It’s a lot.” But her explanation — and its lack of details — are still pretty much par for the course. Plus, this video plays to Thurston’s strengths as a TikTok star. Gray explains, “It fits quite perfectly with Katie’s brand and frankly with the influencer move towards video and towards TikTok and towards this demand for authenticity.”

But there are also plenty of Bachelor alumni who buck the trend of staying private and civil. “It usually comes from an emotional response, rather than a rational one,” Amoroso explains.

Clare Crawley & Dale Moss


Clare Crawley and Dale Moss are the perfect example of this. In January 2021, Moss announced his breakup with Crawley on his IG Stories. “I wanted share [sic] with you all that Clare and I have decided to go our separate ways. We appreciate the love and support we've received from so many people, but this is the healthiest decision for both of us at this time," he explained.

Though Moss followed the prescribed announcement formula, he forgot a key component of mutual breakup statements... they actually have to be mutual. A few days later, Crawley claimed, “I was made aware of a 'mutual' statement at the same time you all were, so I've needed some time to really digest this. Speaking for myself, my intentions with this relationship have always been very clear, so the truth is I am crushed. This was not what I expected or hoped for and I am still trying to process this.”

They reunited in April, but by September, they were off again. Alluding to their split, Crawley wrote, “I’m choosing not to speak right now on the details of my relationship, because at the end of the day anyone can put on an ACT or throw words together to form any narrative they want.” Mic drop.

Moss then claimed that Crawley blocked his phone number when he tried to get in touch. His statement read, “On [Sept. 29], Dale flew to Los Angeles for a work obligation and had every intention to travel back to Sacramento to be with [Crawley as she cared for her mother] but his number was blocked, which made it impossible to communicate with Clare. It is unfortunate that the next time Dale heard anything from Clare it was on social media." (Crawley has yet to respond to Moss’ claim.)

Peter Weber & Kelley Flanagan


Weber and Flanagan also got into a similarly dramatic back-and-forth following their split in December 2020. Despite their PG breakup statement, podcast interviews in the spring of 2021 revealed a messier side to their split — also related to a not-quite-so mutual statement. Flanagan told Chicks In The Office, “I asked him not to do it on New Year’s and I was like, ‘Can you just give me a couple days to tell people?’” But Weber didn’t listen.

Notably, Flanagan only started opening up about the more dramatic aspects of their breakup months after the news first broke. “As couples [like Peter and Kelley] get further away from a breakup and start to heal, you might have them speaking more candidly about it,” Gray explains. “Often things aren’t so simple and rosy as a PR statement would suggest, of course, relationships are messy. But in that initial round of press, you don’t want anything out there except the news that you broke up.”

But once the initial drama settled, the former couple traded plenty of barbs in interviews. At one point, Flanagan even claimed that she told Weber, “Get the hell out of my life,” and “Lose my number.”

Weber then retaliated, claiming the move from Flanagan was a “very calculated” one and a way to make headlines. Ahem, see what happens when you break from the PR-approved breakup script?

In the Bachelor franchise, drama is built into every episode — and, if it doesn’t arise naturally, production can ensure it happens in other ways, whether that involves manipulating the contestants or shaping the narrative in post-production or both. As viewers, we grow accustomed to the producer’s version of augmented reality, which makes these drama-free breakup announcements stand out even more. There’s no voiceover flagging these IG posts as “one of the most dramatic breakups in Bachelor history.” There’s no suspension-building preview to up the stakes. And there’s no audience clapping or booing on cue.

Although these breakup announcements are, in their own way, a production, there’s a huge difference in who is holding the power behind the screen. For ABC producers, the main objective is high ratings. For these former couples, the goal is different: damage control. They want to come out of a painful situation with as few casualties as possible while keeping their followers happy and their incomes secured.

Giving these couples “kindness and privacy as [they] navigate this transition” is really the least we can do, both for them and their PR teams.