Waddell, who fell in love with DeWindt on Bachelor in Paradise's second season but got brutally dumped before their final overnight date, told former The Bachelorette star Ali Fedotowsky in an interview that she and DeWindt hashed things out after Monday's night's live post-finale broadcast of Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise.
"We have talked a few times after Paradise. Kirk actually had an ex at home that he couldn't get out of his head... so he went back to pursue what he had left at home. He said the more the weeks went on... the more he felt like he was stepping backwards to her... instead of forwards with me," Waddell explained in an interview published on Fedotowsky's blog.
"It hurt hearing that, but gave me a giant sense of closure. And I knew that he was at least listening to his heart... and that's what we should all strive to do."
DeWindt told the cameras multiple times during Bachelor in Paradise he was fresh out of a long-term, serious relationship. He often questioned himself about whether he was ready to jump into a new romance with Waddell so quickly -- even though things between them were consistently great.
Waddell insisted there was a reason why she didn't discuss DeWindt's ex-girlfriend on After Paradise Monday night.
"I didn't bring this up on After Paradise because I didn't want to make it about a third party member, and I wanted him to bring it up first and foremost... which he didn't. I'm not sure about the status of that relationship," she said.
While many fans might assume Waddell is still bitter and angry at DeWindt for crushing her unexpectedly on Bachelor in Paradise -- especially since she had released a song this week on Twitter with the word "Blindsided" in the title -- she's suddenly standing up for him against cyber bullies.
"It breaks my heart to see all the hate he is getting. He doesn't deserve ANY of that," Waddell said. "I do [forgive him]. I loved him. That's what you do when you love someone. He will forever be in my heart."
Waddell's life following her Paradise adventure hasn't been so bad. She's apparently been dipping her toes in the dating pool.
"I have gone on a few dates in Nashville (where I'm living now) but I haven't felt that spark yet. But I KNOW he is out there and I will NEVER give up on love. EVER," she explained.
Before Bachelor in Paradise, Waddell competed on Chris Soules' edition of The Bachelor. Ironically, DeWindt fought for Fedotowsky's affection on The Bachelorette's sixth season.