Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick

Here's Why Kaitlyn Bristowe & Jason Tartick Broke Up, According to Her

“We’re grieving a loss.”

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Kaitlyn Bristowe is opening up about her breakup with Jason Tartick. ICYMI, after weeks of speculation, the former Bachelorette confirmed her and Tartick’s split in a heartfelt Instagram post on Aug. 6. At the time, neither Bristowe nor Tartick gave a reason for calling things off, but she got a little bit more candid in an Aug. 15 episode of her Off The Vine podcast.

“I think people assume that if people break up something bad happened, and I think that’s the hardest part of this whole breakup is nothing bad happened. It’s just been over time we have both not made each other a priority, and this is what happens,” Bristowe explained. “The right person is gonna choose... and prioritize each other, and we just haven’t been.”

She recognized that might be hard for fans to understand. “We’re grieving a loss,” she said. “It’s probably so confusing for people because it’s like, why aren’t you just together then? ...Maybe in six months from now, we go, ‘Yeah, this was the right move.’ Or we go, ‘You know what? I want to choose you.’”

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It definitely sounds like the door could be open for them to rekindle in the future. “We both don’t know what the future holds, but this is a necessary move for us right now,” Bristowe clarified during the episode. “But I never loved and respected somebody more through a breakup.” In the meantime, she encouraged critics and trolls to take a break: “People do not have to pick sides. Root for us both to be happy and grow and learn.”

Bristowe also had some choice words about her experience being confronted by paparazzi on Aug. 8. “I felt violated... because I wasn’t expecting it, and because they started talking about my sexuality, like, ‘Are you gonna date a woman now? You came out as bi,’” she recalled. “I was like, whoa, whoa, it’s literally been 24 hours and you’re gonna ask me if I’m gonna start dating someone?”

For the time being, Bristowe has made it clear that any further speculation is unwelcome while she’s taking space to heal.