The Springfield News-Leader reports that 'Bachelor' Aaron Buerge has confirmed to them what Bachelor fans have speculated for weeks: That the bloom is off the rosy relationship he developed with Helene Eksterowicz in front of millions of ABC viewers. Eksterowicz broke the silence first in an interview with "In Touch" entertainment magazine, on stands now.

Buerge and Eksterowicz plan to discuss details of their relationship and its demise with TV’s “Extra” entertainment news program. Although Buerge hoped to withhold news of their breakup until the show aired, he agreed on Friday to talk to the News-Leader after he saw the "In Touch" article. According to Buerge, Eksterowicz requested they go public with their breakup, because she’s tired of being hounded about it. “I’ll be relieved to the have the status of the relationship out there, sure,” Aaron says. “I have nothing bad to say about her and I don’t want different accounts of my story turning into rumors. Do it one time on national TV, and everybody will know it’s cut and dry, and what was said and what wasn’t said.”

He expects the interview to air sometime in the next week or so, and he hopes it will kill further speculation. He also says ABC is set to air an update on the couple sometime in the spring.

According to the News-Leader, intense media attention, rampant rumors and long-distance dates may have taken their toll and that Buerge has also focused a lot of attention on his bank, local fund-raising appearances and trying to get his new restaurant open later this month. Buerge will only say they have a difficult time seeing eye to eye on some issues.

Though the engagement is over, Eksterowicz still has the Harry Winston Jewelers ring the banker purchased. “I haven’t asked for the ring back,” he says. “And I have no plans of getting the ring back because that was an unconditional gift to her. I said: ‘The ring is yours as long as you keep it yourself. It’s yours for the rest of your life.’” “She has indicated that holding the ring in her possession is painful for her and that she would like to get rid of it. But I don’t want anybody else to have it. So if she wants to dispose of it in any manner ... I would prefer to have it back in my possession because it still represents a great time in my life.” For those of you having trouble following that, it certainly sounds like Aaron wants the ring back but wants to try and be able to claim that he doesn't want the ring back.

And for whatever it's worth, the twice engaged but never married Buerge also claims that he does "take an engagement very seriously." Sure you do Aaron... that's why you didn't have a problem going on a program where they request to propose to a woman only weeks after meeting her. Sure, you take engagement very seriously...

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