Bachelor Colton Underwood Calls Aly Raisman His 'First Love,' Admits 2017 Split 'Was Really Tough'

Before Colton Underwood was wooing ladies as the Bachelor, the athlete was one half of another high-profile romance

Before Colton Underwood was wooing ladies as the Bachelor, the athlete was one half of another high-profile romance.

In late 2016, Underwood dated gymnast and Olympic medalist Aly Raisman, before eventually splitting in June of the next year.

During Tuesday’s episode of the LadyGang podcast, the 26-year-old reality TV star opened up about his past relationship with Raisman, 24, to hosts Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek and Becca Tobin, referring to her as his “first love.”

“I wouldn’t say it was on the show,” Underwood said about his first heartbreak. “I would say it was my first love.”

“While it was confusing and hard in the beginning, it also taught me a lot about myself — what I need, what I want, what I can do better in a relationship,” Underwood reflected. “It was a big step for me. It was really tough.”

74th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals
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Underwood also opened up about the worst part about filming his season of The Bachelor.

“The hardest part is all the virginity talk when I know my grandma’s watching,” he told the podcast hosts.

Raisman and Underwood’s relationship began when she agreed to go on a double date with the former Raiders tight end in August 2016 after his former teammate Andrew East, who is married to fellow Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, introduced them.

After five months, Underwood and the gold medal-winning athlete made their relationship public in December 2016 when they made their red carpet debut as a couple at the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony in New York.

“He’s just a very thoughtful person,” Raisman previously told PEOPLE of Underwood.

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In June 2017, Underwood told The Lincoln Journal Star that he and Raisman had split.

“We’re taking a break right now. We’re still good friends and talk, but all that travel had been a nightmare,” he said of their busy work schedules.

“It ended fine. We’re in a good place,” Underwood explained to the outlet, adding that the attention they garnered from the Internet “put a lot of pressure on us” but that they “had fun with it.”

The Bachelor airs on ABC, Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET.

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