But Michelle, who resides in Minnesota, and Nayte, who lives in Houston, TX, never fully joined their lives together, and so the long-distance couple announced their split on June 17 in different Instagram postings.
Kaitlyn, who co-hosted Michelle'sThe Bachelorette season last year with Tayshia Adams, said during a recent episode of her "Off the Vine" podcast that she's spoken to the former elementary school teacher and has some ideas about what may have happened with Nayte.
"I don't want to speak for Michelle because it's her story and it's his story and whatever, but I've obviously talked to her and I'm there for her, of course," Kaitlyn, 37, said, according to Us Weekly.
"I was there for her through her whole experience."
Michelle said on the July 5 episode of "The Ben & Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast" that she's had good days and bad days since parting with Nayte, and she recalled of the split, "I will say this is not something that I foresaw, and I'll leave it there."
Kaitlyn confirmed on her podcast that Michelle was "definitely blindsided" by the breakup.
"She was confused because I think it was, like, after her birthday, and she was like, 'Wait, what?'" Kaitlyn explained. "I don't know what happened."
While Kaitlyn doesn't know for sure what went wrong and why Nayte ultimately pulled the plug on his engagement to Michelle, Kaitlyn pondered, "I don't know this for a fact -- it's just in my opinion. I'm like, 'Did he just like the attention, or did he find someone else?"
Rumors have also been swirling that Nayte has already moved on with The Bachelor alum Deandra Kanu.
Deandra, who competed on Peter Weber's The Bachelor season in 2020, attended Nayte's birthday party with other Bachelor Nation members earlier this month and appeared to be wearing his necklace in photos uploaded on social media.
Michelle reportedly unfollowed -- or blocked, according to speculation -- Nayte on Instagram the same weekend as his party as well as other The Bachelor fan accounts.
Photos of Michelle remain on Nayte's Instagram page from their time on The Bachelorette together, but Michelle wiped her account clean of Nayte, erasing any trace or memory of him.
The Bachelorette alum Ivan Hall fueled dating rumors when Deandra, 26, appeared on a July 13 Instagram Live session with him, Us reported.
When Deandra asked Ivan, a 30-year-old engineer, to describe her "type," Ivan reportedly replied, "Probably, like, Nayte or something."
Deandra looked shocked and asked in reply, "Who?"
Ivan reportedly laughed things off and said, "I'm kidding!... You like -- how do I say this? -- guys [who are] a little bit more swaggy, I feel like than me... Like a pro athlete... You like guys with a little more swag, [who are] into fashion."
While Michelle has given the impression she's pretty brokenhearted over the last month, a source told Us that she looked happy and radiant while attending Miami Swim Week in Florida.
Ashley wondered if Michelle thought her career change would allow her to spend more time with Nayte or maybe even move to be closer to him.
"I think having the summer off and being able to step away from teaching, that would have happened, regardless of a relationship, regardless of influencing [or] whatever you want to call it," Michelle insisted.
Michelle said she "really needed to take a [breather] out of teaching," but she added, "Would that have resulted in spending more time with Nayte? Yeah, naturally."
"No, I didn't cheat," Nayte wrote via Instagram Stories on June 25, according to Us.
"Not every breakup needs to have someone to blame. Yes, many of you seem to paint me as a red flag [or] f-ck boy... But I'm actually a decent guy, and I only want to continue getting better. As we should all want for ourselves."
When Nayte first announced his split from Michelle, he wrote on Instagram Stories, "When we both started this journey, we were looking for our Soulmates. Our forever. Our best friends. However, as we grow and learn, we also realize that sometimes somebody that you hold dear to your heart isn't somebody that you're meant to spend the rest of your life with."
"Michelle and I are going to move forward separately. Hearts are heavy, emotions are high, and we are dealing with this the best way we can," he continued.
Nayte said his "heartbreak is real" and the couple would be keeping the details of their split private. He also defended the genuineness of their relationship, which ended only six months after the finale of their The Bachelorette season aired last year.
In Michelle's statement, she thanked Bachelor Nation for their support and noted how having a relationship in the public eye was not easy.
"I'm struggling to say that Nayte and I will be going our separate ways but I stand with him in knowing the heaviness that is present in both our hearts as this relationship has been very real for us," she wrote in June.
"To you, Nayte," she added, "you quickly became my best friend and the love I have for you is incredibly strong. I will never stop wanting to see you succeed."
"I will always acknowledge and appreciate the adventures, support, and growth both Nayte and this experience have brought me. At the same time, I'm deeply hurting and will need time and space to work through this heartbreak."
Nayte explained in June via social media how he and Michelle had decided not to move to the same city in order not to rush anything.
"Plans changed as we decided there was no need to rush anything and get to know each other on a deeper level before taking the leap of living together," Nayte wrote via Instagram.
"There's no rush in life. There's no rule book or timeline on how to go about your relationship. We believed that since the love was there, everything would fall into place naturally and in its own time."
"We tried," he added. "It didn't work. We're sad about it. We all grieve different."
Michelle and Nayte's split announcement came only a few weeks after Michelle took to Instagram on May 30 to deny rumors that The Bachelorette couple had split up and ended their engagement.
Michelle was spotted without her engagement ring on, but Michelle said her friend had tried on her ring momentarily and she's not a "zoo exhibit" for people to watch and record on their phones.
In April, Michelle had said she and Nayte were in the beginning stages of wedding planning.
"Nayte and I, we know so many different people and we have such big families and that's a huge part of [our planning process]," Michelle explained at the time.
"And so coming out of a pandemic... one thing that we both can't imagine is having a small wedding," the Minnesota native added, "and so we want to make sure that we're completely clear of that so that's not even a stressor for us, and then, [we want to have] warm weather [on our big day]."