'Bachelor in Paradise' 's Maurissa Gunn and Riley Christian Split After Historic Engagement

Maurissa Gunn and Riley Christian were the first Black couple in Bachelor in Paradise franchise history to get engaged

Maurissa Gunn and Riley Christian
Photo: ED/Getty

It's over for Bachelor in Paradise couple Maurissa Gunn and Riley Christian.

Gunn, 25, and Christian, 32, have called it quits and ended their engagement, PEOPLE confirms. The pair split a couple of weeks ago.

"We have decided to go our separate ways. Never did we imagine this, but we've come to a point where we both need to work on ourselves," Gunn and Christian say in a statement to PEOPLE.

"We've appreciated everyone's love and support so far throughout our journey and we just ask that you please respect our privacy as we navigate through this," Gunn and Christian add.

For more on Maurissa Gunn and Riley Christian's split, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day.

Gunn and Christian met as contestants on Bachelor in Paradise's seventh season. At the end of the summer, they got engaged alongside fellow contenders Joe Amabile and Serena Pitt as well as Kenny Braasch and Mari Pepin.

Gunn and Christian's August 2021 engagement was historic as they became the first Black couple in Bachelor in Paradise history to do so. Gunn and Christian previously told PEOPLE they weren't aware their relationship milestone was a significant moment for the popular ABC series.

"Going into this, I guess the social media and the media is kind of what let us know that we are the first Black couple to come out of this," Gunn said in October 2021. "Because we just went into it [with an] open mind. Our hearts were open and we just happened to meet each other and we look alike, which is even better!"

Bachelor in Paradise - Riley Christian and Maurissa Gunn
Craig Sjodin/ABC

At the time, Christian said they were "just focused on finding love and building a connection."

"The person that we found love with also happens to look like us, which is great," he added. "It's great for the culture. So, I mean, love is love."

After their engagement was publicized on national TV, Gunn and Christian told PEOPLE they were looking forward to doing regular everyday activities together. They also said they hadn't gotten "that far" into wedding planning.

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However, breakup rumors first circulated after the holidays and when Gunn removed all her Instagram posts featuring Christian, including one of the pair celebrating Christmas together. (She has kept photos from their time on Bachelor in Paradise together.)

Later on Gunn's Instagram Story, she showed off the Edible Arrangement she received from her sister and its corresponding card, saying she's an "amazing person." Gunn also uploaded a photo that said "all that glitters is not gold" and a video of her without her engagement ring.

Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty

On Christian's own Instagram page, he shared a cryptic workout video post and he addressed the importance of getting back up "no matter how many times we get knocked down." He also spoke about maintaining "positive vibes" in 2022.

"No matter what you are going through, no matter what the situation is in your life, just make sure you keep pushing forward," he said on his Instagram Story at the time. "Keep working hard and things will work out for the better. That really all I want to say, just a positive message for 2022."

Both Gunn and Christian previously posted cryptic tweets as well.

"Try not be stagnant when facing obstacles that are beyond your control," Christian tweeted on Jan. 6. "Just do what you can. That way, when things finally do fall into place, you'll be able to hit the ground running."

Gunn wrote in her own tweet in late December, "Sometimes you just have to see people for who they are, and not the potential they have."

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