The Bachelor alum Susie Evans has revealed that "so much" good actually came from her breakup with Clayton Echard.

Susie reflected on her romance with Clayton, who starred on The Bachelor's 26th season earlier this year, in a blog posting titled "Break Up Reflection."


"There is so much more good that has come from this breakup, for both myself and Clayton," Susie wrote.

"I think ultimately we are both on our way to finding happiness within ourselves and our passions. I know for a fact that we both are rooting each other on from afar. Just because something wasn't forever, it doesn't mean it wasn't wonderful."

Susie said all of her past relationships left her "better than they found" her.

"Even the biggest heart breaks and lapses in loyalty from previous partners have taught me lessons on self worth," Susie wrote.

"My first boyfriend taught me to trust my instinct and respect myself. The second highlighted where I fell short as a partner and showed me how to be thoughtful, kind and selfless. The third showed me what unconditional love from a partner truly looks like. But this most recent break up left me wondering what my takeaway would be, because it wasn't blatantly obvious off the bat."

Susie and Clayton announced their decision to part ways and end their relationship in late September, but Clayton assured fans in October that he and the wedding videographer still talked and were "on good terms."

"As time passes, I'm starting to realize that my biggest lessons from this breakup may actually have been about understanding myself better and learning how to communicate my expectations," Susie continued.

"During this breakup more than any before, I have really 'done the work' and I am still in the process of working through a lot of it."

Susie admitted that towards the end of her relationship with the former medical sales representative and football player, she was "in a pretty low place."

"The people around me could see that my sparkle had dulled and I was far from thriving. Sure, I had joyous moments often, but deep down I was struggling and felt misaligned with the best version of me," Susie shared.
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"I believe this was because I was trying to make something work that just wasn't a natural fit. It's emotionally taxing and not good for the soul. Not to mention, my Google search history was filled with questions like, 'Can you love someone and not be compatible?' I'm really outing myself with that.. But, hey! We are getting vulnerable here."


Susie went on to explain how she learned that "falling in love is easy, but staying in love is a choice."

"When I was on the show, I was asked daily, 'Are you falling in love?' Even then, I really felt like that question was almost entirely irrelevant because I knew falling in love would be the easy part," Susie explained.

Susie said her mother taught her that love is a choice and butterflies "settle down" over time.

"Sometimes even the most romantic relationships start to feel a little mundane... When you get to the nitty gritty of a relationship and the excitement of your new partner starts to become the norm, that's when you realize that love is not just a giddy, wonderful and joyous feeling within you when you spend time with your partner," Susie wrote.

"Love is deciding to work through conflict, communicate kindly, trust in your partner, and work on intimacy, emotional security and being there for your person when they are at the lowest of lows."

Susie also said she's discovered that "love complicates everything."

"What I found in my last relationship is that a partnership rooted in love alone doesn't always have the building blocks to grow tall and strong," Susie admitted of her relationship wit Clayton.

"So before you go and fall in love with just anybody, keep in mind that finding a partner that aligns with you on those crucial foundation pieces will more likely set your relationship up for long-term success."

Susie said if a person doesn't fundamentally align with someone, it's better to know that upfront and decide if it's worth pursuing the romance before feelings grow deeper.

"This goes in line with the advice we all know and love to ignore: 'Don't date potential,'" Susie advised her readers.

She added, "I don't believe it should ever become our responsibility to grow someone up or into a person they aren't quite ready to become yet. So yes, patience is a beautiful thing in relationships, but keep in mind people can only meet you as deeply as they've met."

And finally, Susie insisted that "the heaviness" of a breakup "will dissipate."

"We all know that feeling after a breakup when you have those sudden overwhelming moments that feel like a combination of anger, pain, anxiety, and sadness all at once. It is unlike any other kind of feeling and can be debilitating," Susie acknowledged.

"When I was living out those dark moments, it felt like the pain would never subside. Suddenly I was experiencing this overwhelming emotional pain and the person I would normally have beside me through the tough stuff is no longer there."

Susie recalled feeling "physically sick at times" and "wondering if it would ever get easier."


But one day, according to Susie, it did get easier.

"The biggest game changer for me was realizing that I had to interrupt those thoughts in their path. When I started to feel overwhelmed or got the desire to check up on my ex, I would intentionally not engage with those thoughts," Susie wrote.

"Our brain learns what is important to us based on which thoughts we engage with. Understanding this helped me more than any other piece of advice I've ever been given during a breakup. As I practiced being intentional with my thoughts/actions, it proved true. Even when those heavy emotions hit, they would go away more quickly than the time before."

The Bachelor fans began to suspect there was trouble in paradise between Clayton and Susie in August, when Clayton revealed on an episode of Amanda Hirsch's "Not Skinny But Not Fat" podcast that the couple had decided to stop living together and planned to move to different states.

Clayton -- who had moved to Virginia Beach to be with Susie after The Bachelor -- chose Scottsdale, AZ, as his new home, and Susie relocated to Los Angeles, CA.

"It's really hard because when we first broke up... my first initial feeling was, like, I felt abandoned -- that was my first feeling," Clayton admitted in a joint appearance with Susie on the "Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe" podcast in early October.

"I was like, 'We're just going to end this.' I was upset. I didn't even want to look in her direction because I was like: If I look at you, the hurt is gonna tear me apart."

Clayton and Susie explained how they broke up because neither person felt stable or fully emotionally supported in the relationship due to their insecurities and outside pressure from Bachelor Nation to be a perfect couple.

Clayton shared how it felt nearly impossible to pour into his relationship with Susie when he didn't even know what he wanted out of life and where his future was headed.

The couple also confirmed how dealing with Bachelor-Nation backlash was a big factor in why they had issues and ultimately parted ways.

"I was trying to figure out what my next step was [and] I started questioning who I was because of all the negativity," Clayton said.

He added, "I started to believe some of what was being said about me. And I now look back at it and realize, like, I couldn't be that stable, secure man that I needed to be to really be able to give my all in a relationship."

Clayton claimed he had received death threats and felt the need to rehab his image and please others, all the while trying to handle problems in his relationship, such as wrongly being accused of cheating on Susie.

When Susie and Clayton announced their breakup in a September 23 statement, they wrote, "We stand in support of each other and hope to see the other go on to find happiness and healing. Although Claysie is no more, we hope that our communities can support us individually as we move forward with love and respect for each other."

And out of respect for each other, Susie and Clayton chose to keep some of their problems to themselves.

"There are things private to us that we will probably never talk about... and I think that's healthy and protects our mental health and what we have struggled with... We want to respect each other's boundaries," Susie said on "Off the Vine."

Clayton also said he thought there was a possibility he and Susie may get back together down the road.

On The Bachelor's 26th season, Susie quit before her overnight Fantasy Suite date with Clayton, only to return to the show at the Final Rose Ceremony to reject his final rose.

Susie was upset Clayton had expressed his love to -- and slept with -- two other women, Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, and Susie was convinced during the show that Clayton wasn't her person and they weren't meant to be.

However, Susie reached out to Clayton post-filming seeking some answers, and the pair reconciled. They later put on a united front during the live March taping of After the Final Rose.

"We want everyone to support both of us and not be on teams," Susie previously told Kaitlyn Bristowe on her podcast, later adding, "I think I'm going to walk away with better communication and also knowing what I need... more clarity for myself."


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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.