"We had some struggles and we tried to push through them as best we could, but it didn't really work out the way we thought it would," he said

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Jon Gosselin and Colleen Conrad
| Credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty

Jon Gosselin and his girlfriend, Collen Conrad, have gone their separate ways.

The Jon & Kate Plus 8 alum, 44, announced the pair's split in an interview with The Sun published on Thursday.

"It's hard, it was a big decision. We have been together for seven years which is a long time, so it's very upsetting," he said. "It's really hard to even talk about it. When you're with someone that long, especially in the public eye and she's someone private."

"We had some struggles and we tried to push through them as best we could, but it didn't really work out the way we thought it would. I still love and care for Colleen but we've both determined that it's the natural end," he added.

Gosselin told the news outlet that the duo began seeing issues arise in their relationship toward the end of 2020.

He was hospitalized for 11 days while battling COVID-19 and subsequently didn't work for 47 days — something that strained their relationship despite Conrad, 51, being "super supportive," he said.

More trouble surfaced when Conrad was diagnosed with breast cancer in April. Gosselin said he initially "wanted to see it through and support her through her treatment and work through it all," but they chose to "terminate" their relationship since they "were both ready."

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"It's always very difficult to end a relationship, but I think we've given it a pretty good go," he said, noting that they had a "mutual" breakup. "We tried to blend our family as best as we could but it just wasn't working out. It's hard because I love her and care for her and I want the best for her, but I also want the best for myself. Now Colleen's health is in a better place, I have to start looking out for me and my family and my kids. I'm thrilled to move on to the next chapter in my life."

Gosselin and Conrad met while growing up in Pennsylvania, but their relationship didn't begin until 2014.

The reality star and his ex-wife, Kate Gosselin, share eight children: 20-year-old twins Cara and Mady and 17-year-old sextuplets Aaden, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Joel and Leah. Conrad, for her part, has two children from a previous relationship.

Days before Jon revealed their split, Conrad opened up about her breast cancer diagnosis on Instagram.

"I have been putting this off and debated even posting…I went for a mammogram on 4/15. I had put it off for almost 2 1/2 yrs due to lack of time and Covid and later got a call that a mass was found in my right breast. Everything after that happened so fast. Then on 4/21, I got the call that is confirmed it was cancer. Stage 2, breast cancer. I was BRCA1 and 2 negative. Everything seemed so surreal," she wrote.

She continued: "I had a single mastectomy done on my right breast on 7/14/21 followed by a DIEP Flap procedure on 7/30/21 and I feel good. The DIEP flap was a personal choice for me. I am very happy with the outcome but I also had amazing surgeons at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia."

Gosselin told The Sun that the exes are "still living together" but are not "communicating very effectively or at all right now." He also recently told Conrad that he's found a new place.