Despite a happy ending on The Bachelorette finale in July and the hope of building a life and a family together, Emily Maynard and her fiancé Jef Holm have ended their engagement. The pair open up about the split in exclusive statements to PEOPLE:
‘The love between us was so real’
“I am sorry to tell you that Jef and I have, indeed, parted ways,” Maynard says. “It was a very difficult and heartbreaking decision. As you know, at first I wasn’t sure that I should even be The Bachelorette, but I am a hopeless romantic and I do believe in the show. I have no regrets because I did find love and shared an incredible journey with a really special person – and you know what, we tried our best because the love between us was so real.
And Holm tells PEOPLE:
“Meeting Emily on The Bachelorette was an incredible experience, we’ve had quite the journey. I’ve never loved someone so much in my whole life, Emily is the best person and mom I have ever met. She opened up her world to me and I fell in love with her, [her daughter] Ricki, her family and the Hendricks.
‘Tried our hardest’
“Emily and I are great friends and I hope we can continue to be friends forever. Everyone wants a salacious story to break, but the truth is we are just two people who fell in love and tried our hardest to make it work. I will always love her.”
Holm, who relocated to Charlotte last month, has been spending more time in Los Angeles promoting his company, People Water. Maynard, meanwhile, has been going about her life quietly with daughter Ricki, 7, in Charlotte.
Did you see this breakup coming? What will it take for people to realize that reality TV engagements really don’t work?