The Bachelorette star Gabby Windey has revealed she's trying to move forward after her broken engagement to Erich Schwer.

"It was hard," Gabby, 31, told Us Weekly after she addressed her breakup from Erich for the first time on Monday night's episode of Dancing with the Stars.

"Ultimately, I'm just grateful that I was able to do it on my own terms and when I was ready. It was just a new experience overall -- being so public and being thrown into this. I think now it's just kind of trying to move forward."


Earlier this month, E! News reported multiple sources claiming Gabby had dumped Erich and the pair's relationship was over less, and then People confirmed the report.

Neither Gabby or Erich released a statement at the time, but Gabby stated on this week's semifinals episode of Dancing with the Stars that she and Erich "weren't each other's best match," nor were they "in sync" in terms of their common goals and approaches to life.

Erich subsequently broke his own silence on the couple's split, saying he can't put his finger on one thing that went wrong with his relationship. In an Instagram Stories on Tuesday, Erich said he and the ICU nurse simply aren't each other's person.

Luckily, Gabby told Us that dance has been therapeutic for her during these difficult times.

"[My pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy] speaks to this a lot. He says it a form of therapy just because you get to let your emotions really move through your body," Gabby shared after she and Val performed two routines on Monday night that earned perfect scores from the Dancing with the Stars judges.

"I think first, dance is a creative expression. And then second, it's athletic and it's a sport. It takes a lot of muscle, which is the part I hate, but I think there is a lot of therapeutic resolve in it."

Gabby, however, said "distraction" is not the right word to describe her stint on Dancing with the Stars, although she's competing on the show while simultaneously dealing with a breakup and its aftermath in the press.

"Because you have to process [the breakup] anyways," Gabby said, "but I'm grateful for a friendship with Val and just a way to really express myself through dance."

"And for that, not as a distraction, but a way to help me process," she added.


Gabby and Val are one of four celebrity and professional pairings who will take the stage next week in Dancing with the Stars' Season 31 finale on Monday, November 21 on Disney+.

Gabby will face off against Charli D'Amelio, Wayne Brady and Shangela Wadley.

"It means so many things, but mostly that my wildest dreams are coming true," Gabby gushed of her chance to vie for the mirrorball trophy. "It's just another opportunity to dance with Val and on this platform. So it means everything."

Gabby said she's especially looking forward to showing off her creative freestyle with Val.

The Bachelorette host Jesse Palmer had claimed last week that Gabby and Erich were "still trying" to work through things.

"She felt they weren't aligned and weren't on the same page," a source told E! News on November 4 of Gabby and Erich. "Gabby was hoping they could give each other space and work it out but ultimately decided they didn't have a future."

On October 31, Fox News asked Gabby about her relationship status after she performed with Val on "Halloween Night."

Gabby explained of her then-relationship with her The Bachelorette winner, "Yeah, life is just really busy for the both of us right now."

"So I understand [fans'] concern," Gabby noted, "but we're just kind of, you know, going forward with each of our individual interests and supporting each other from afar."

That same night, Erich urged fans to vote for Gabby to advance on Dancing with the Stars via Instagram Stories, writing, "She keeps on crushin it."

Gabby has made it known her stint on Dancing with the Stars is very important to her, but Erich only sat in the ballroom for a couple of Season 31 performance shows after their engagement was made public in late September.

Gabby also hasn't posted a photo with Erich on Instagram since October 12, and eagle-eyed fans spotted Gabby without her engagement ring during two earlier weeks of Dancing with the Stars rehearsal packages and performances.

But following Gabby's sexy rumba on Dancing with the Stars' October 24 episode, Gabby insisted to Us that Erich was being "so supportive," adding, "He understands this is a performance and we have a goal."

Erich popped the question to Gabby at the end of The Bachelorette 19 although voicing days earlier how he'd rather just date the former NFL cheerleader in the real world for a while before getting engaged.


Once Gabby and Erich's relationship was made public, they were plagued with controversy and had to overcome a lot of adversity.

On The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose, Erich was asked about his ex Amanda Kaylor's claims he had continued dating her right up until he left to film the show -- which he allegedly only did for "clout" and new career opportunities -- and had hoped to resume dating her once he returned home.

Erich also sent Amanda an apology text message right after he got engaged to Gabby and filming ending in July.

Erich acknowledged on After the Final Rose that he had taken "the cowardly way" out of that relationship because instead of a brutal dumping, he went on The Bachelorette, knowing Amanda wasn't The One and he "couldn't see a future" with her.

But Amanda called Erich out on "bullsh-t" in an interview with Us after the finale.

Gabby, for her part, admitted on After the Final Rose that Erich had acted like "an assh-le" to Amanda and led her on.

"When he told me, I'm like, 'Honestly, I'd be pissed too if I was her. I'd probably run to spoiler accounts trying to ruin your life too,'" Gabby admitted.

"But yeah, I was like, 'It's not [about] text messages and this or that, it's your character and how you treated her.' But, you know, it was all before the show and you move on."

Gabby said Erich had been good to her as well as honest about his past, and so she attempted to excuse Erich's mistakes by saying, "Boys are dumb."

As for why Erich reached out to Amanda again months after she had dumped him for going on The Bachelorette, Gabby explained, "I think it was his 'Hail Mary' to try and get her to not release the texts and to just end the relationship amicably."

She added, "I think his intentions were just to save his own ass."

In addition, a high school yearbook photo of Erich in blackface surfaced and offended fans while The Bachelorette was airing. Erich released a statement September 8 on his Instagram account, apologizing for his "ignorant" and "insensitive" actions as a teenager.

Erich admitted his behavior was "damaging" and he felt "deeply ashamed." He said he'll always regret the offense and believes accountability is only the first step of making a change.

Erich's blackface photo was not addressed on The Bachelorette 19 finale, which angered many people, including The Bachelorette alums Becca Kufrin and Rachel Lindsay.

But Gabby, who was engaged to Erich when the photo resurfaced, ultimately addressed the scandal in an interview with People.

"With his yearbook photo, I found out with the rest of the world, and I was incredibly shocked," Gabby told the magazine in late September.

"[I] just really had to process my thoughts and feelings," Gabby said, "and it made me really think about those scenarios independently and then think about how we can grow as a couple and learn from this."

Gabby admitted she was "pretty much devastated and shocked after seeing that."

Still, the bubbly brunette and Erich had planned to move in together once his apartment lease in Los Angeles was up.


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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.