Katie eliminated Andrew, a 26-year-old pro football player who splits his time between Vienna, Austria and Chicago, IL, at the Rose Ceremony preceding hometown dates, but she admitted to a producer after his exit that she didn't feel confident in her decision.
The next morning, Andrew stopped by Katie's hotel room hoping to gain some closure and, on his way out the door, dropped off a note that resembled a Date Card and read, "If you change your mind... I'll be waiting."
The note brought Katie to tears and did in fact change her mind, but then Andrew rejected the Bachelorette's invitation to stay on the show, which confused and disappointed many The Bachelorette viewers.
"You got to realize that he just got his heart broken," Clay, who previously competed for Becca Kufrin's heart on The Bachelorette's fourteenth season and appeared on Bachelor in Paradise, toldUs Weekly on its "Here for the Right Reasons" podcast.
"And in that setting, you know, you want someone to pick you and there's still four guys left, and that would be putting a lot on yourself."
Clay, 34, explained, "If you go back, there's a good chance it'll happen again, like, setting yourself [up] for heartbreak all over again."
Clay -- who was previously romantically linked to Angela Amezcua and Nicole Lopez-Alvar -- therefore suggested he's proud of how Andrew had handled the situation.
"I think he did the right thing in leaving and saying, you know, 'If this doesn't work out for you, like, let's talk and see if this can be something that could happen,'" Clay shared.
After Katie and Andrew's goodbye aired on The Bachelorette's July 19 episode, Katie made a joke on Twitter that she'd probably need to hide for a few days because fans were going to be angry at her.
However, Bachelor Nation had mixed feelings on Andrew's exit since he sweetly expressed possibly wanting to give his relationship with Katie another chance only to essentially quit the show when that opportunity presented itself.
"Seeing some of the people on social media be like, 'You had a chance to go back. He didn't care.' Like, no, he [gotta] let go. And he doesn't want to put himself back in that situation again, where you can break his heart again," Clay elaborated.
"[If she said], 'No, I want to be with you and only you,' then I think that's when he would have obviously left with her and been with her. But I think he handled it perfectly in my opinion."
Andrew himself explained to Entertainment Tonight earlier in the week that he just didn't want to date within The Bachelor process anymore and would've been willing to reconnect with Katie in the real world.
Andrew insisted that leaving the show for good was not an easy decision to make, especially after Katie had frantically chased him down a stairwell and jumped into his arms crying.
"For a good couple weeks, I debated whether I made the right decision or not," Andrew admitted to ET.
"But ultimately, it came down to [the fact that] she already told me she had stronger connections with the other guys."
"For me to jump back in knowing I'm already behind," he added, "it was just something I didn't want to put my heart through again."
Andrew also took to Instagram on Tuesday and posted a message to Katie, thanking her for "reassuring" his "belief in love."
"Your strength as a woman set the tone for 30 men to be open and vulnerable something not easily done for men. And for that it brought the guys in the house closer and some to being really good friends of mine," Andrew wrote.
"You and I shared many real conversations coupled with real romance that sparked discussions in living rooms and left some smitten over our connection. So lastly (British voice) Hello love, I am truly thankful for you allowing me to experience your type of love."
During Andrew and Katie's last conversation on The Bachelorette, Andrew told her, "I believe there's something there. And whenever, if ever, you have me."
Katie then gathered up the courage to ask, "If there's a way for you to stay a little longer, would you want to? You can say 'no,' or you could say 'yes.' I don't know."
Andrew confessed, "It's tough because [the breakup] did happen, and I feel hurt in this place."
The pair then seemed to mutually agree they should part ways, and Andrew said in a confessional he would have loved to say "yes" and be with Katie but he wants his future wife to choose him.
Andrew said on Monday night's episode, "I don't want to have to go through this with her again. I don't want to be standing at a Rose Ceremony waiting for her to not choose me again."
While Andrew confessed at The Men Tell All taping that his breakup with Katie is "still a little raw," he suggested he's still open to the idea of getting back together down the road if Katie's relationship with her winner doesn't work out.
"The way we kind of left, it was just kind of a bunch of questions in the air. There was a lot of love there," Andrew shared with ET.
"I've seen the show and it's kind of tough [to watch]. At this day, at this time, I just think we need to talk. If anything, I would love to just sit down and talk with her one day, just kind of hang out and just see where her head's at."