Susie recently told Us Weekly that Clayton sent her "a really nice message" last month -- a truly "meaningful" and "heartfelt" letter -- that brought her to tears and made her feel grateful for the time they had spent together.
According to Clayton, he decided to contact Susie and express himself because life was suddenly really good and he just felt content in his career and daily life.
"I sent her a message and said, 'Thank you so much for all that you've done for me. You've truly impacted my life for the better.' I also wanted her to know, too, that again I'm sorry for the turmoil that I put her through whether it was directly or indirectly," Clayton told Becca Kufrin and Michelle Young on the December 14 episode of the "Bachelor Happy Hour" podcast.
Clayton admitted that he had caused Susie a lot of pain before they announced their breakup in late September.
"I hurt her in so many ways and I didn't mean to," Clayton confessed.
"Sometimes it was through my actions directly and sometimes indirectly. And I just wanted to let her know, 'Hey, when it's all said and done, you are an incredible human being and I wouldn't be who I am today without you.' And so I just wanted her to know that."
Clayton noted how it's important for people to acknowledge their mistakes and take accountability.
"I think people need to have those conversations and reach out and let people know how much you mean to them, because when you spread positivity, it comes back. It comes back and finds you," Clayton shared.
"I'm thankful that her and I have the relationship where we can still talk. We do text and check in from time to time and laugh... at the end of the day, we are cordial and we are friends and I wouldn't want it any other way."
Clayton gushed about how his new friendship with Susie has "been really great."
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"I'm writing a book right now and I sent her message her and said, 'You know me more than most people do. Would you be willing to look at this?' And she was like, 'Absolutely I'd be so honored to. I'll get back to you [with my comments],'" Clayton said.
Clayton said he needed Susie during that editing process and she was there for him, no questions asked.
"I wish things worked out, and it's really tough when somebody didn't do something destructive, something you can't see past. It's hard when you're not compatible. You wish you were but you're just not," Clayton explained.
Clayton said he almost wishes Susie had cheated on him so there would be "a hard break" between them.
"It hurts because it's like, 'What if we keep trying?'" Clayton admitted.
But Clayton said he and Susie simply are not compatible and the wedding videographer is not meant to be his "forever person."
Clayton also pointed out how he can't control everything in life, nor can he control how the public views him or judges him. Clayton said Michelle had advised him at the start of his The Bachelor season to be vulnerable and just let go of control. Clayton said that was excellent advice that really resonated with him.
"I think I'll attract that right person when the time is right," Clayton concluded.
On The Bachelor's Season 26 finale that aired earlier this year, Susie was shown rejecting Clayton's final rose.
Susie and Clayton reconciled in the real world and fell in love, but they announced their decision to part ways and end their relationship in late September, with Clayton assuring fans that he and the wedding videographer still talked on occasion and were "on good terms."
Susie recently created a blog titled "Susie Was Like," and in a blog post earlier this month, Susie agreed with Clayton's latest claim that they had broken up, in part, because they're not compatible.
"I see comments still, like, 'Well, what happened?' And I'm like, 'Well, nothing happened! He didn't do anything; I didn't do anything. We just weren't really compatible,'" Susie reasoned.
"I think it was ultimately, like, expectations of what do you want in a partner? What do you want from yourself? And all of those kinds of things. And we just weren't really aligned on those things."
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 chose Scottsdale as his new home, and Susie considered relocating to Los Angeles.
Although Susie never officially made the move, she will be settling down in L.A. in January 2023.
"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 backlash from Bachelor Nation -- including death threats sent to Clayton -- 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 said he felt the need to rehab his image and please others, all the while trying to get over death threats and 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 teased after the breakup there's a possibility he and Susie may get back together down the road, but it seems both individuals are better off dating other people.