Bachelor Nation couples don’t have great track records when it comes to lasting relationships. Women’s Health reports that of 26 “Bachelor” and 18 “Bachelorette” pairings as of this writing, only 15 are still together. (Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici, see you!) In June, Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya became the latest ‘Bachelorette’ couple to fall to adversity when they announced their split.
Viewers may recall that Olukoya (along with Brandon Jones and Joe Coleman) was an early frontrunner on season 18 of “The Bachelorette,” and that his chemistry with Young was off the charts. But despite announcing they would be moving together to Young’s native Minnesota after the show, the pair battled breakup rumors in the run-up to their split. Per Page Six, Young only defended her relationship with Olukaya in May, making their breakup statements seem all the more abrupt just weeks later.
“To those who have supported Nayte and I, including Bachelor Nation, I know I speak for both of us when I say that being in a public relationship hasn’t been easy,” Young wrote on her Instagram Stories (about Us Weekly). The former Bachelorette expressed her support for Olukoya, adding, “I will never stop wanting to see you succeed.” Likewise, Olukoya alluded to the fact that while he and Young remained friends, they weren’t meant to be. Naturally, when the news made headlines, all of Bachelor Nation wanted to know: What went wrong?
Fame played a role in Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya’s split
Fans speculated about Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya’s relationship when the two didn’t immediately move to Minnesota as planned. “We try to be as smart as possible. We are examining various options. We’re definitely feeling through everything,” Olukoya said in February, per Us Weekly. Young then chimed in: “We want to make sure we always make very calculated decisions, we always look at all our options. Yes, it’s going to happen.” But when it didn’t — and they broke up instead — Bachelor Nation wondered if there was anything sketchy going on behind the scenes, per E! News.
In June, Olukoya took to his Instagram Stories (via Entertainment Tonight) to debunk allegations that he cheated on Young. “1. No, I didn’t cheat. 2. Not every breakup needs someone to blame,” Olukoya wrote. His Instagram stories answered more questions about the relationship. For example, the external pressure of fame on romance and the reason he and Young gave up on their plans to move. The “Bachelorette” star called the media scrutiny and pressure “crazy of both of us,” and addressed the fact that they hadn’t moved to Minnesota like they expected. “Yes, the plan was to move to MN earlier this year. Plans changed when we decided not to rush things and get to know each other on a deeper level before taking the plunge into living together,” he wrote. According to Olukoya, the split was amicable, albeit painful.
Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya’s split came abruptly
Although Nayte Olukoya denied cheating on Michelle Young, their relationship did end abruptly. Young himself addressed this on a July 5 episode of Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti’s Almost Famous podcast, telling the hosts, “I’m going to say I didn’t anticipate that and I’ll leave it at that.” Colleague “Bachelor Alum Kaitlyn Bristowe — who co-hosted Young’s season of The Bachelorette with Tayshia Adams — was on hand to support Young. Calling her friend “stunned” by Olukoya’s decision to split, Bristowe told Us Weekly[Michelle] was confused because I think it was after her birthday and she said, ‘Wait what?’ “Like Young, Bristowe went on to say that she was confused about what went wrong. “I don’t know that as a fact – it’s just my opinion. I’m like, ‘I have [Nayte] as well as the attention, or did he find someone else?’ Because it felt abrupt,” she added.
As of this writing, Young continues to accept the breakup. In August, she moved to Los Angeles to personally film the podcast Bachelor Happy Hour (with Becca Kufrin). And unlike Olukaya, who’s since linked life & style with “Bachelor” alum Deandra Kanu, Young is single. Though she has both good days and bad days, the reality star is focused on healing and moving on. Still, “Where I’m at right now emotionally and mentally, how my heart is feeling — that’s not how my story ends,” Young said.