Clayton Echard Says He's Focusing on Himself After Susie Evans Split: 'I'm Not Mentally Healed'

The former Bachelor star says he is "not looking to date" following his breakup with Susie Evans last month

Photo: Craig Sjodin/abc

Clayton Echard isn't quite ready to find love again.

The former Bachelor star, 29, opened up about focusing on himself following his split with Susie Evans last month.

"I'm not looking to date right now. I'm not mentally healed," he told E! News. "I can't even fathom seeing anybody in that light right now. And so, I think I'm really just taking this time to focus on myself."

"And I yeah, if I'm not healed, then I can't allow anybody else to be a part of my life," he continued.

Clayton Echard and Susie Evans
Clayton Echard Instagram

The former NFL football player shared that he has remained on "good terms" with Evans, 29.

"We obviously will always respect and have a love for each other," he explained. "And I think that's a really great place to be where it's not a hostile ex situation."

He added, "It's more of like we're very loving and caring, but we just want what's best for each other and who knows what that looks like?"

Echard revealed that the former couple will always have a bond after meeting on The Bachelor.

"At the end of the day, we know what we've went through is different than what anyone else has experienced," he said. "So, we'll probably be one of the only few people to really understand each other in that sense."

Clayton Echard and Susie Evans
Susie Evans Instagram

Earlier this week, Echard admitted he was initially upset by their breakup in a joint interview with Evans on PodcastOne's Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe podcast.

"It's really hard because when we first broke up…my first initial feeling was, like, I felt abandoned; that was my first feeling," he told host host Kaitlyn Bristowe. "I was upset. I didn't even want to look in her direction because I was like: If I look at you, the hurt is gonna tear me apart."

Evans responded, "He was very sassy, and I didn't like it. I was like, 'Oh, that's how we're gonna do it?'"

Clayton Echard and Susie Evans
Susie Evans Instagram

However, the resentment towards Evans didn't last long.

"That lasted like half a day, and then I was like I can't do this," Echard admitted. "I can't ignore her for this next week. I can't do this. I don't want to do this. There's so much love here. I want us to end on happy terms. So then I apologized, and I was like, 'Hey, I want us to be happy' and then we were happy for a few days."

However, Echard wonders what will be best for the couple in the long-term, explaining, "Can Susie and I find a way to still keep in contact but not hold onto this feeling of: Can this work? Because what happens if it doesn't?"

"I don't want to be crushed and hold onto hope," he added. "And then all of a sudden, no this isn't going to work…then it just destroys you a second time."

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Echard and Evans announced their breakup in a joint Instagram post last month. "With incredibly heavy hearts, we wanted to share that we have decided to go our separate ways. For anyone who has ever loved, knows this was a painful decision to make and not one taken lightly," they wrote.

"We understand that there will likely be a lot of questions about this decision — social media is definitely a highlight reel and much of our experiences together we have kept private as I'm sure most can understand," they continued. "But we will share this — although this last year together has brought us so much joy and so many laughs, there has also been a significant amount of pain."

The two reality stars met on The Bachelor, though Evans self-eliminated from the series. In August, Echard and Evans revealed they were trying to maintain a long-distance relationship.

"We're like, 'We don't know if it's going to be a month-long [relationship] from here or if it's gonna be lifetime but, like, there's no pressure," Echard said at the time. "Let's just love each other and be thankful."

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