Colton Underwood Says He's 'Gained So Much Clarity' Since Split from Cassie Randolph
The Bachelor couple announced their breakup on May 29
On Thursday, the Bachelor alumnus, 28, addressed the breakup nearly six weeks after the pair announced that they'd be going their separate ways.
"These last few weeks have been challenging because, by now, you all know I’m an open book and I enjoy sharing my life with y’all," he began the post. "When our relationship ended we agreed to handle things as privately as possible as we attempted to navigate our new relationship as friends. I chose to do that since we were living in this interim period, but obviously a lot changed this week."
Monday's episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons Ever! included an interview with Randolph, 25, speaking about the breakup for the first time.
"It's kind of a sensitive subject because I feel we're still kind of going through it and I'm still pretty emotional — and we really haven't talked about it publicly yet ... and I don't know if either of us is ready," she said in the episode, later explaining on Instagram that she was "irritated" by how the discussion was edited for the broadcast.
"Every experience provides us with an opportunity for growth," Underwood wrote on Thursday. "If you’ve been kind enough to have followed our story you’ve been with us through all of the ups and downs which have taught me so many lessons."
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"I’ve come to realize when you’re in the thick of it you just need to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective," he continued. "In doing so I have gained so much clarity about what I want and more importantly what I need in a relationship."
Underwood added that he's "so excited" for the "next chapter of my life with new stories and new people."
"I can’t thank y’all enough for your understanding and your support during this time," he concluded. "Your messages mean a lot!"
A source tells PEOPLE that Underwood is eager to move forward.
“Colton was truly in love with Cassie. And he had hopes that they would one day get back together. But now, he’s done," the source says. "He’s disappointed that she chose to speak out about the relationship and he’s saddened by the way things played out. They will not be getting back together. Colton wants to move on. And he’s definitely open and eager to date again."
The pair began their on-off coupling after meeting on Underwood's season of The Bachelor, which premiered last year. In confirming their breakup to her followers, Randolph wrote in May that it was "one of the hardest things."
"Colton and I have broken up, but have decided to remain a part of each others lives," she wrote at the time. "With all that we have gone through, we have a special bond that will always be there. I love Colton very much and have an enormous amount of respect for him. We have both learned and grown so much these past couple years, and will always have each others back. Always."
In his announcement, Underwood explained that "Cass and I have been doing a lot of self-reflecting. Sometimes people are just meant to be friends — and that's okay."
"We both have grown immensely and been through so much together — so this isn't the end of our story, it's the start of a whole new chapter for us," he said at the time.