Michelle Young is single and ready to mingle — with a certain set of podcast listeners, at least.
The 29-year old was a guest this week on the Almost Famous podcast with co-hosts Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti, answering a number of questions about her split from Nayte Olukoya.
“It’s definitely not something that I planned to have to work through this summer,” the former Bachelorette said on air, implying that she didn’t see this break-up coming.
“But I definitely have the understanding that, like, sometimes we have to work through things that we did not plan for or that were not in our life plans.”
Young and Olukoya both announced the end of their engagement in late June.
“I’m struggling to say that Nayte and I will be going out separate ways,” Young wrote on Instagram at the time.
“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.”
Young had served last year as the first ever Black Bachelorette, selecting Nayte as her heart’s champion on the emotional season finale.
Where did things go wrong?
“Nayte and I are very independent people,” Young tried to explain on this podcast.
“We’re in two different places. He’s in Austin, I’m in Minnesota, and long-distance is difficult.
“Having this summer off, and being able to step away from teaching, that would have happened, regardless of a relationship, regardless of influencing — whatever you want to call it — just because I really needed to take a breath out of teaching.
“But would that have resulted in spending more time with Nayte? Yeah.”
Olukoya previously released a detailed statement on this split, emphasizing that he did NOT cheat on Young.
That may very well be true, but “I will say this is not something that I foresaw and I’ll leave it there,” Michelle said sort of ominously on the podcast.
During the season 18 finale, meanwhile, ABC gave the couple $200,000 to put toward buying their first house together.
It was considered both a strange and risky gesture at the time, and it’s been the subject of many questions over the past several days.
Or, really, just one question:
Do Michelle and Nayte get to keep all this money? Even after their break-up?!?
“That was gifted to both of us, and I think that’s something that is going to be decided how that’s going to be utilized, going forward,” Young said.
“For me, personally, [I] haven’t officially decided, but I kind of have started putting some different things in place to give back… to build an organization or just promote the change that I’ve been talking about and I think that’d be something that I’d feel really good about.”
Young added that she’s been “crying on the phone with one of the producers,” asking whether she can “give the money to somebody else.”
We somehow doubt that’s been happening.
But we get why she has to say it.
“Breakups suck. Breakups are awful,” Young concluded.
“They hurt, right? And I think what’s so difficult is that it sometimes feels like it’s not in your control.
“You wake up and you some days you just feel like, ‘OK, I just have to have time pass … give it time,’ but like, you can’t always speed up that time. You can’t always speed up healing, you can put in the work, but you can’t always speed it up.
“But it is this situation where I’m like, ‘This is not how the story ends for me.’
“Where I’m at right now emotionally, mentally, like, how my heart feels — this is not how the story ends and I deserve to really make it to that point where I get those things.”