Season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise has brought unexpected reunions to the beach, and while it started off bumpy, Blake Horstmann and Kristina Schulman's relationship became redemptive. Sadly, Kristina couldn't see her feelings progressing like Blake's apparently had, and she had to end things in the Sept. 9 episode. Kristina and Blake's breakup on Bachelor in Paradise was tough for Bachelor Nation to watch, so how did it go down?
After dating in real life for several months, Kristina arrived in Paradise seemingly determined to ruin Blake's mood. In case you missed it, she hooked up with Blake at the Stagecoach music festival only for him to do the same with Caelynn Miller-Keyes within 24 hours. She called him out early on in Season 6 for disrespecting her by doing that, but as Blake recovered from the fallout of his pre-filming dalliances being brought up on the beach, Kristina began to warm up to the idea of supporting him again.
The two exes initially agreed to exchange "friendship" roses with each other during the rose ceremonies, but Kristina's closeness with Blake ended up interfering with his budding relationships. After Blake chose Kristina over his newer love interest Caitlin Clemmens, he started to realize his feelings for his former flame might not have died down. Despite Kristina's reluctance, Blake began pursuing her, claiming he was totally on board for a relationship with her.
Kristina didn't exactly agree with Blake's take on their bond, but she didn't shut him down either. However, as the season progressed and potential proposals approached, it became clear her feelings were far behind Blake's burgeoning ones. Saying they couldn't deny how they felt about each other anymore, Blake created a makeshift date card for Kristina, writing, "I know we can't go back in time, but tonight we can make up for it."
Taking her to a private, romantic spot, Blake was optimistic about his future with Kristina, telling cameras, "A couple weeks ago, I was so down... but it feels good to think all that was the trials and tribulations that led me here."
Meanwhile, Kristina realized she couldn't keep him on her hook much longer. "I feel guilty," she told him. "I don't think I'll be able to get where I need to get with you ... It would have been very misleading of me to continue with these dates ... I literally came to Paradise wanting you to find love. I didn't think you'd be coming my way."
Knowing she couldn't progress with Blake, Kristina left the beach, while a blindsided Blake wallowed about always leaving a Bachelor-related show heartbroken. The former Bachelorette runner-up tearfully said, "How could I be this wrong every time? ... She just didn't want me. I wasn't enough."
Left without any other romantic options, Blake also left Paradise. As his exit aired, he took to Instagram with his thoughts, writing, "To say paradise was rough for me is an understatement. I have no one to blame but myself for that. It’s not easy putting yourself and all of your mistakes out there for the world to see ... I hope that this is not the end of my story and I can look back at this summer and be grateful for the lessons learned and the friends made."
Anyone ought to feel a little shaken after seeing their own emotional departure play out on TV, but here's hoping Blake and Kristina are both in a good place when fans see them on Sept. 17's Paradise reunion special. Season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise continues at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 10, on ABC.