Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelorette alum Riley Christian has broken his silence after he and Maurissa Gunn confirmed their split in late January.

Following weeks of breakup speculation, Riley, 32, and Maurissa, 25, confirmed they called it quits on their relationship in a joint statement on January 24, three months after their engagement aired during Bachelor in Paradise's Season 7 finale.


The former couple revealed at the time how they had split because they wanted to work on themselves, but neither Maurissa or Riley provided specifics or conducted any interviews with the press.

Riley finally took to Instagram on Thursday to express his post-breakup feelings now that he's single again.

"It takes a while for me to heal, but I thank you all for your patience. This has not at all been an easy time," Riley captioned a photo of himself smiling in a blue suit.

"This has been one of the most difficult times of my life, but as with everything I always do my best to move forward with hopeful and positive spirits. But you see, I was always taught by my pops that 'we bend but don't break.' But some very good people showed me otherwise."

Riley proceeded to thank a good friend for his support when the New York attorney needed it most.

"To @dijahpickle, who stayed up into the early hours of the morning listening to me wail then calling me a few hours later to make sure I was awake pursuing the dreams we talked about since 1L year, thank you. It meant more than you know," Riley wrote, before also giving a shout-out to his mother.

"To my mama, who I've spent more time with in the past month than I have in the past 5 years combined; the person who taught me that it's ok to break because the good people in my life would carefully and gently help me put my broken pieces back together."

Riley said his mother "did just that" for him, adding, "You are the toughest and most amazing woman I know. I don't have the words to properly thank you for what you've done for me, but just know that I love you with everything that I have and I promise I'll come home more often."


Riley shared how he'll "never forget" what his mother has instilled in him over the years.

"The family is inside the fort, and we protect the fort at all times," Riley noted.

Riley then sent a message to his father whom he hasn't seen in 11 years.

"To my pops... if you could see me today I think you'd be proud. I'll never forget the time we spent together and the breakfast you made for the family every Sunday morning after baseball practice," Riley continued in his post.

"The thought of Sunday morning breakfast with family has kept me going all these years. And also I'll never forget that we were made right in the inner city of Detroit."

And lastly, Riley told Bachelor Nation, "To my very passionate bachelor nation fans, who reached out to offer support, just know that I saw and appreciated every word. Love you all."

"Now let's have some fun...and be great all 2022," he concluded.

Back on February 9, Maurissa also spoke about her adjustment to single life for the first time in an Instagram post.

"I'm back baby, and feeling better than ever. I know we're already in the month of February, but this year I have decided to focus on ME and put ME first," Maurissa wrote.

"These last few months haven't been easy, but let me tell you today I feel amazing. Taking time to heal at my own pace was the best thing I could do. I would not be where I am without the amazing support system I have."


She added, "Thank you to everyone who has helped me through, and a huge [shout-out] to @black.on_ for reminding me who the heck I was and believing in me to become the BEST version of myself. Let's see what this year has to offer!"

Before Maurissa and Riley's split was publicly announced, Maurissa sparked breakup rumors when she began slowly removing photos of Riley from her Instagram account, seemingly taking jabs at her ex-fiance.

Maurissa also shared a video without her engagement ring and a cryptic quote that read, "All that glitters is not gold," which suggested Riley may not have been all that he was cracked up to be.

The Bachelor alum Natasha Parker offered some insight on the breakup in late January given she's very close friends with Maurissa and the girls had appeared on Bachelor in Paradise 7 together last summer.

"[Maurissa] was just saying how there was so much that happened between them that they kind of just wanted to keep it between each other, which I totally get," Natasha, 33, said during the January 27 episode of her "Click Bait With Bachelor Nation" podcast.

Natasha, however, suggested Maurissa had sacrificed a lot in order to be with Riley and so Maurissa was struggling in the relationship.

"I think that they just have very different lives, at least from my understanding of what she was saying," Natasha shared.

"She completely integrated into his life and I think that she kind of missed her family, she missed her friends."

Maurissa, originally from a small town in Montana -- where her family still lives -- moved from Atlanta to New York to be with Riley after the show aired last year.

Natasha noted how moving to New York "is not easy," adding, "It's a hard city, and if you're not used to it, [it's tough]."


When comparing Riley and Maurissa to other couples from Bachelor in Paradise's seventh season, Natasha pointed out how the engaged couple "jumped right in" to real life "as far as living together right away."

Natasha's podcast co-host Joe Amabile and his fiancee, Serena Pitt, for example, are still trying to decide where they'd like to settle down together.

"But [Maurissa] went full throttle. She put her all in and it didn't work out. She told me she has no regrets, and I think that's a beautiful thing," Natasha noted.

She added, "[Maurissa] did clarify they broke up a little while ago. The reason why they took so long to say something officially is because they wanted to both be sure that they wanted to go their separate ways."

But The Bachelor alum Demi Burnett insisted in early February people don't know the real reasons why Maurissa and Riley broke up and appeared to suggest Riley may have been at fault for the split.

"Y'all got the Maurissa and Riley break up SO WRONG," Demi tweeted on February 3.

Demi claimed she was not after attention and was just trying to relay the truth about why Maurissa and Riley decided to end their engagement.

"I'm mad at the BS being portrayed!" Demi wrote on Twitter.

"I don't want to talk about it bc it's stressful and not my business to tell! BUT LOOK DEEPER LISTEN TO UR INTUITION."

Neither Maurissa or Riley responded to Demi's tweets, but Maurissa noticeably "liked" both of them!

When Maurissa and Riley confirmed their breakup to People earlier this year, they said, "We have decided to go our separate ways. Never did we imagine this, but we've come to a point where we both need to work on ourselves."

"We've appreciated everyone's love and support so far throughout our journey," they continued, "and we just ask that you please respect our privacy as we navigate through this."

But rumors about their relationship status had been swirling for weeks prior.

Riley and Maurissa, who fell in love and got engaged on Bachelor in Paradise 7 in Summer 2021, were anything but shy when it came to posting adorable photos of each other and gushing about their feelings on Instagram once they moved their romance into the real world.

The couple celebrated Christmas together in December and subsequently uploaded images of them posing in front of the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

Maurissa sweetly wrote late last year, "All I want for Christmas is you," before deleting the photo with Riley on her Instagram.

Additional signs pointing to a breakup fans noticed prior to Riley and Maurissa's split announcement was when Maurissa posted photos of herself making funny faces on January 7 and captioned the slideshow, "Don't worry, be happy."

Maurissa also received chocolate-covered fruit from her friend Martha, whom she considers a sister, amid the breakup rumors, Us Weekly previously reported.

Martha reportedly wrote on the card, "If you haven't heard this today, I'm proud [of you]. You're an amazing person."

Maurissa replied on January 7, "Don't know what I would do without you sister."

For Riley's part, he uploaded a video of himself working out in early January with a cryptic caption about getting "knocked down," which may have been a reference to a rocky romance with Maurissa.

"We ain't come this far just to come this far. Work hard, stay humble, but still let 'em know that you got it. No matter how many times we get knocked down we get back up. Giving it everything we got all 2022," Riley wrote at the time.

Riley also tweeted, "Try not be stagnant when facing obstacles that are beyond your control. Just do what you can. That way, when things finally do fall into place, you'll be able to hit the ground running."

While Maurissa wiped most of her Riley photos from Instagram well over a month ago, Riley chose to keep most of his pictures with Maurissa on his account -- until People confirmed their split in late January.

There is currently no sign of Maurissa on Riley's Instagram page, and so it appears the former couple doesn't want to be reminded of memories they had shared together.

Back in October 2021, Maurissa told People that she was planning to move to New York City to be with Riley and then have a "wedding and then some babies."

When Maurissa accepted a pear-shaped diamond engagement ring from Riley on the beach in Mexico in Summer 2021, the pair became the franchise's first-ever Black couple to get engaged.

Riley and Maurissa fell head over heels in love with each other in Paradise, but Riley was still a little unsure as to whether he was going to pop the question after the pair's overnight Fantasy Suite date.

Riley assured People last year that it "was never a thought" to leave the resort alone but he had to take a moment or two to reflect on the idea of potentially making Maurissa his fiancee.

"[I thought to myself], 'This is everything that you've ever wanted -- having a fiancee and being able to start a family.' I knew where I was already leaning towards," Riley explained at the time.

"It's just like, 'This is a big decision, take some time to think about it. Okay, you thought about it.' It didn't take that long. 'And now, go propose and get your lady.'"

Riley proceeded to call himself the "luckiest" man in the world to have Maurissa by his side.

Prior to appearing on Bachelor in Paradise, Maurissa competed on Season 24 of The Bachelor starring Peter Weber and Riley competed on Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams' edition of The Bachelorette in 2020.


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.