During a surprising joint appearance following their breakup on Tuesday's episode of the "Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe" podcast, Clayton and Susie talked about how they'd love to be together but it's not healthy for them to be a couple right now.
"We need more time. I don't know if that's three, six months, a year, two years, whatever, but like, the damage is still too fresh," Clayton told Kaitlyn, who starred on The Bachelorette's eleventh season before co-hosting two seasons of the show with Tayshia Adams.
He added, "I don't have the answers today."
Susie said she and Clayton had overcome a lot together and she's been checking on him ever since their breakup.
"Is there a chance we can work things out down the road?" Clayton questioned.
"Yeah, we're not going to say there's not the possibility, but there's still a lot of pain that came from the entire situation itself that, I think, we can both say we are kind of far off from healing from right now."
Susie shared how she struggles with whether to be a presence in Clayton's life, especially considering they still love each other, or give him space in order to let her go and work on himself.
Susie has even been sending her ex funny social-media posts and TikTok videos.
"Can Susie and I find a way to still keep in contact but not hold onto this feeling of: Can this work? Because what happens if it doesn't?" Clayton wondered.
"I don't want to be crushed and hold onto hope and then all of a sudden, be like, 'No this isn't going to work,' six months later, and then it just destroys you a second time."
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Clayton therefore said he and Susie haven't worked out the level of communication they're going to have in the future, and he apparently changes his mind every day about what they should be doing and how they should be handling things.
"It's a day to day thing," Clayton said. "But every time she calls, I get excited and I pick up. I want to see how she's doing and if she's okay, but then when I get off the phone... I'm like, 'Maybe this could work.'"
"So we have to separate," he reasoned, "and I don't know where that balance is. I don't have the answer to that right now... I don't know if we should keep talking."
Clayton pointed out how there are so many unknowns as he and Susie navigate this post-split world.
"There is so much ahead that we're not sure. We're taking this day by day. There is healing, and it's sad, but I almost had a sense of peace almost since we ended things," Clayton confessed.
"I miss Susie and I miss our relationship, and there is obviously still so much love there, but I felt like I didn't have to answer to anybody any more. No longer would people message me saying, 'When are you guys going to get married?'"
Clayton said once his romance with Susie ended, there was no more pressure to please the public.
"There was no longer the pressure, like, 'When are you going to have kids?'... There was all this pressure to be something for all the masses," Clayton explained.
But breaking up wasn't an easy decision. Clayton and Susie explained how they had many conversations about whether they're compatible and would be better off together or separate.
The Bachelor fans suspected there was trouble in paradise in August, when Clayton revealed on an episode of Amanda Hirsch's "Not Skinny But Not Fat" podcast that he and Susie had decided to stop living together were going to move to different states to pursue their passions.
Clayton -- who had moved to Virginia Beach to be with Susie after The Bachelor -- chose Scottsdale, AZ, as his new home, and the wedding videographer 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.
"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."
Susie remembered feeling surprised by Clayton's cold demeanor and recalled on Kaitlyn's podcast, "He was very sassy, and I didn't like it. I was like, 'Oh, that's how we're gonna do it?'"
"That lasted like half a day," Clayton interjected, "and then I was like I can't do this."
"I was like, 'I can't ignore her for this next week. I can't do this. I don't want to do this. There's so much love here. I want us to end on happy terms,'" Clayton explained.
"So then I apologized, and I was like, 'Hey, I want us to be happy,' and then we were happy for a few days."
But the joy apparently didn't last long.
"We were crying non-stop. We were like, 'Wait, we're having so much fun now, should we not break up?' So then we talked about not breaking up," Clayton said.
However, the pair decided they should part ways and pursue their own passions and make themselves whole so that they'll be better equipped to be in a relationship later on.
Clayton and Susie elaborated on why they split on the "Off the Vine" podcast, and dealing with constant Bachelor-Nation backlash was part of the reason they had issues.
"I was trying to figure out what my next step was [and] I started questioning who I was because of all the negativity," said Clayton, who currently coaches children about positive mental health and body image.
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 the former medical sales representative's 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, and then Clayton moved to Virginia Beach to live with Susie.
"We want everyone to support both of us and not be on teams," Susie said, later adding, "I think I'm going to walk away with better communication and also knowing what I need... more clarity for myself."