"It's still incredibly fresh. I guess I'll just come out with it. We're not together anymore," Michael shared with the podcast's host, The Bachelorette alum Jason Tartick, on Monday.
"It's not what we planned. We both threw a lot into this relationship and it's really awful when it doesn't work out."
Michael said he and Danielle had made a plan and saw their future together, which makes their breakup more difficult.
"You start working towards it, and then when things don't work out -- and you realize that love is there but you're not necessarily compatible -- you mourn the loss, not of just that person and that friend in your life, but also the future that you had envisioned," Michael explained.
Michael therefore hinted that he and Danielle have different goals or lifestyles, and that they weren't exactly getting along.
"And it's to no fault of hers," Michael added.
"She poured everything into this. I just have so much admiration [for her]. Right now, we're still, you know, working through some things and trying to stay close. But yeah, [the] last couple months have been really tough."
Jason, whose engagement to Kaitlyn Bristowe recently ended, assured Michael that he could see and understand him.
"Starting over again, it's always frightening," Michael admitted.
"But it's a part of it. I know that time will heal, because I've felt that before, but it doesn't make it any less difficult... The uncertainty is so scary, but that's when the growth happens. It always happens... [when] you step outside of your comfort zone."
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Up until Michael's podcast appearance, fans had been speculating for nearly two months about whether Michael and Danielle were still together or had ended their relationship.
All signs appeared to point to a split when Danielle had wiped all photos and videos of Michael from her Instagram account in early September. Michael also fueled breakup rumors when he deleted images of Danielle on his Instagram account.
And then on Sunday, September 17, hours before Jason's new "Trading Secrets" episode dropped, Danielle posted a cryptic message on social media advising her followers to "keep looking up" and being positive.
"Rainbows have been my sign lately that everything will be OK. To keep looking up and finding the light around you," Danielle shared via Instagram Stories, along with a photo of country singer Brandi Carlile, who was singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" during her September 16 show in Cleveland.
"They've come in different forms," the neonatal nurse and model continued.
"A couple double rainbows in the sky, some being sent by friends after we're done talking about them... Dreams will come true."
Michael and Danielle ignored questions and comments about the status of their relationship for a while, but Michael was put on the spot about his relationship -- which began on Bachelor in Paradise's eighth season last summer -- during the August 2 episode of the "She's All Bach" podcast.
The father reluctantly shared, "I'll say this. Being in a public relationship, it isn't fun. Danielle and I, like, both agree that the only people that should be in our relationship are us two."
"So we think just the healthiest way to have a relationship is to keep it private," he added last month.
Michael insisted, however, that he and Danielle "both love each other, like, very much."
"But we just kind of want to keep things private," Michael reiterated.
"I think when you start having a relationship and bringing people into it, people have opinions, you know, and it's just not the right way to run a relationship, so that's just something we've decided."
In addition to Michael and Danielle's suspicious social-media activity this summer, the Instagram account @Deuxmoi also posted a blind in late July claiming two Paradise fan-favorites were in trouble.
"Fan favorite moved to be closer to her final pick... might have to move back?" an anonymous person wrote, seemingly referring to Danielle's move from Tennessee to Ohio to be closer to Michael and his son James.
"Did her final pick struggle to be truthful about his journey for love? Seems that both have split as they have not been spotted together in over a month, have not interacted online with each other even though they live in the same city! She clearly deserves better."
Prior to the breakup rumors, Danielle and Michael had been posting about each other all the time. In fact, they were very lovey-dovey on social media, and Danielle even shared how she was freezing her eggs.
Danielle -- who lost her late fiance Nick Haag to a drug overdose in 2011 -- moved to Cleveland for Michael in February. Prior to the move, the nurse had lived in Nashville for 12 years.
Michael, originally from Akron, OH, welcomed James during his marriage to his late wife Laura Ritter-Allio, who passed away from breast cancer in 2019.
On Paradise, Michael was romantically interested in Sierra Jackson, but he ultimately determined something was "missing" between them and he was unable to let his walls down due to grief.
But when Danielle stepped foot on the Paradise beach in Mexico, Michael seemed ecstatic and affectionately called her "Dani."
The pair had spoken via DMs on Instagram and become friends prior to filming the show, but Paradise marked the first time they were meeting in-person.
Michael and Danielle were able to connect quickly over their similar losses and traumas. The pair slowly got to know each other and never expressed interest in dating anyone else on the show.
Michael and Danielle chose to leave Bachelor in Paradise together as a couple before overnight Fantasy Suites. They both determined they weren't ready to get engaged, especially because Danielle had yet to meet James.
However, Michael revealed on the reunion show in November that James quickly came to adore Danielle and never wanted her to leave when she was visiting.
Danielle also confirmed that she felt the same way about James and couldn't wait to be a bigger part of his life.
Michael also announced on the reunion show that he was "in love" with Danielle and she had changed his life for the better. Danielle is only the second woman whom Michael ever said, "I love you," to.
While Danielle had no reservations about moving to Ohio in order to progress her relationship with Michael naturally, she explained how they didn't want to live under the same roof -- at least not yet -- as to not rush things or disrupt James' comfortable routine.
"I'm just so excited," Michael said on social media in December of Danielle's decision to uproot her life for him.
"Long distance is difficult, but we've made the best of it and this next chapter and upcoming year is one I am so looking forward to. She's the best!"