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Kristin Cavallari Loved Jay Cutler 'Just As Much' While Broken Up

Updated

Charlie Luciano/Startraks

After calling off her engagement earlier this year, Kristin Cavallari is finally ready for her happily ever after with Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.

“Sometimes, in order for things to get better, they have to end – even if it’s momentarily,” she tells PEOPLE at the opening of Rebecca Taylor Boutique in Los Angeles. “And that was the case with us.”

As far as Cavallari, 24, is concerned, the love between her and Cutler was always there, and the reason for the split is something that she and Cutler, 28, who’s been sidelined this football season with a thumb injury, have worked through.

RELATED: Kristin Cavallari Celebrates Her Engagement

“No one really knows what happened between the two of us, and we want to keep it that way,” she says. “We broke up, and we were still talking during that whole time.”

Even while separated, the passion never left the relationship.

“We didn’t break up because of love lost,” Cavallari tells PEOPLE. “We loved each other just as much as we always did when we weren’t together.”