THE Bachelor’s Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph's break-up may have shocked fans but their split was a long time coming.
The former couple each announced the shocking split on Instagram Friday in emotional posts that vowed they’ll continue to be friends.
Colton, 28, and Cassie, 25, sombrely reflected on their relationship explaining which ended 18 months after they first began dating on the ABC reality show.
According to a source, friends of the couple "knew this was coming".
The source told Us: “Cassie and Colton have a great friendship, but that’s what it was for most of their relationship.
“It was really very hot and heavy. They just made good partners and really great friends. Friends around Colton and Cassie knew this was coming for a while, they were pretty much just roommates toward the end.”
Then a second source revealed the now broken-up couple thought long and hard about ending their whirlwind romance.
The source said: “Breaking up was not an easy decision for Colton and Cassie, but they believe it was the right decision at the end of the day.
“It was not something they did lightly. They had a number of conversations about their future beforehand. Now that all is said and done, they are starting a new chapter as friends.”
Announcing the break-up Colton posted a somber black and white shot with Cassie as they looked out to a lake from the back of a boat.
He wrote: “Its been a crazy few months to say the least, Cass and I have been doing a lot of self-reflecting.
“Sometimes people are just meant to be friends – and that’s okay. 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,” the former NFL player wrote on his page.
The Huntington Beach native also confirmed the news with a series of snapshots throughout their relationship.
She wrote alongside the pictures: "First off, I want to say this is one of the hardest things I have had to share as neither one of us is quite ready to talk about it yet.
"However, because our relationship is such a public one, our silence on the matter has been speaking for us.
"Colton and I have broken up, but have decided to remain a part of each others lives.
"With all that we have gone through, we have a special bond that will always be there. I love Colton very much and have an enormous amount of respect for him."
She added: "We have both learned and grown so much these past couple years, and will always have each others back. Always."
The pair first met when she appeared on his season of The Bachelor that began airing in January 2019.
Colton chased after his frontrunner – and famously jumped a fence – on the season finale of the show after she left him when her feelings were not as far along as his.
After fighting hard to win her over, they reunited to talk things over in Portugal and ultimately left the show together as a couple.
Despite the split being an unexpected hit to Bachelor Nation, Colton announced earlier this year that they had broken up once before.
In his memoir The First Time, he revealed: “To put it very frank, after the show, we realized we weren’t communicating as well as we once did.
"Nobody was forcing us to talk about real things going on, so we let a lot of things build up.
"In a weird way, I kind of broke up with myself. I was like, I feel like we need to figure this out and in order to do that, we need space. She agreed. So it was a mutual thing,” he said in the book.
However, the time apart didn't last long as he confessed two days later, “it was like, ‘I miss you!’
“It was a very real and very emotional breakup, but it was also very good to be real and emotional because it forced us to have conversations and move on.
"Now, we know the flags to look for. When issues start to creep up, it’s like, let’s go have a conversation.
"We’re trying to be more transparent and honest and really trust each other,” the Denver, Colorado native added.
The ex couple have quarantined together the past few months at her family's home in Orange County, CA after Colton announced he tested positive for coronavirus in March.
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