Breaking up is hard to do – especially from 2,100 miles away.
Still, The Bachelor‘s Jake Pavelka, says he had no choice but to end things long-distance with fiancée Vienna Girardi. The reason? He was struggling to get into character for his role on Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva,, which he was filming in Atlanta while Vienna remained in Los Angeles.
“One of the keys to acting is you have to get out of your head,” Pavelka, 32, tells PEOPLE. “This [show] didn’t hire me to be Jake, they hired me to play Toby Davlin. I can’t be Jake and sell this character.”
“I’ve been trying to put all that aside so that I can give this character justice,” he says. “It’s been a struggle thinking about my relationship and going in front of the camera and shooting.”
He also acknowledges, “It was a difficult conversation on the phone. But the relationship was headed in that direction.”
For much more from Jake, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday