Keep calm, Bachelor Nation, but another Bachelor Winter Games couple has called it quits. A few weeks after Winter Games champions Ashley Iaconetti and Kevin Wendt split up, engaged couple Clare Crawley and Benoit Beauséjour-Savard have ended their relationship. As someone who has watched Clare struggle through Juan Pablo's "OK"'s, failed Paradise hookups, and Winter Games' JacuzziGate, I'm honestly heartbroken about this. The American-Canadian couple revealed their post-show relationship on February's "World Tells All" reunion special, and Benoit further shocked viewers when he got down on one knee in front of Clare. As my heart recovers from the shock of the breakup, I have to ask: why did Clare and Benoit break up?
On Thursday night, both Clare and Benoit shared identical photos of their feet on their Instagram accounts, including similar captions that announced their breakup:
We understand A lot of you have been asking about our relationship since the show, and we wanted to thank you all for the love and respect as we navigated it in real life off camera... It's with a heavy heart that we have mutually decided to end our relationship. We think the world of each other, and we were both hoping we could make this work. I'm sorry that this may not be what you want to hear, but it's our truth. Just know there are no negative feelings here, we are simply two people who believed in love, and were open enough to give it a chance. We still care for each other very deeply... Please respect our privacy as well, as with the end of any relationship, it is never easy. Thank you for your understanding and love while we have shared our vulnerability with the world.
Clearly emphasizing the extent to which Clare and Benoit still respect each other, both of them disabled the comment sections of their posts and wrote that they wouldn't tolerate fans speaking negatively about the other. If you have to break up in the public eye, take note from Clare and Benoit's classy strategy.
Winter Games viewers following Clare and Benoit's social media accounts know that, after their public engagement, the two rarely shared photos of each other. Devoted internet sleuths would have picked up on Benoit sharing some details of a past trip to Sacramento, where Clare lives, but the two seemed to purposely avoid posting about their relationship. At the time, this came across as a totally valid way to get to know each other in peace. While the breakup is upsetting, having kept the relationship to themselves does allow Clare and Benoit some privacy in this very publicized time.
Clare, 36, originally competed on Season 18 of The Bachelor, finishing in second place and using Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis's rejection of her as fodder to clap back at him for his behavior. She later appeared on the first two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise, often clashing with other contestants. On Bachelor Winter Games, she was initially torn between Benoit and German contestant Christian, and when she couldn't commit to Benoit, the French-Canadian chose to leave the show on his own terms.
However, in a move that made me consider going to Canada to hunt for a husband, Benoit checked in with Clare over text when Winter Games filming wrapped, kicking off their new relationship. The restaurant maître d' first appeared on The Bachelorette Canada alongside eventual winner Kevin, finishing in fourth place. Benoit's sweet personality and romantic tendencies made longtime Bachelor fans thrilled for Clare, which explains viewers' devastating reactions to the breakup news.
I might have had my fingers crossed for Clare and Benoit's autumnal Montreal wedding, but I'm glad that the two have dealt with their split in such a mature way.