The Bachelor in Paradise stars announced their separation on Friday

By Maria Pasquini
February 15, 2020 10:25 AM

Krystal Nielson and Chris Randone have decided to separate.

The Bachelor in Paradise stars —who met, got engaged and tied the knot on the beloved reality show — announced their split on Friday, almost 8 months after they exchanged vows.

“It hurts to announce that at this moment, we have mutually decided to separate. Never did we imagine this scenario, but we’ve come to a point where we both need to work on ourselves,” a statement shared exclusively with Bachelor Nation read.

“We are best friends that love and care for each other so deeply. 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.”

A rep for Nielson and Randone did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Krystal Nielson and Chris Randone
Denise Truscello/Getty Image

After finding love on season 5 of BiP, Randone, a sales trainer, got down on one knee and proposed to Nielson, a fitness coach, during the September 2018 finale.

“You’ve helped me become a better version of myself, a better man,” Randone told Nielson during the proposal. “But I have to be honest with myself and I have to be honest with you. And I’m so sorry, Krystal, but it would be unfair to the both of us if I left here today holding your hand, because I want to leave here holding your heart, and I want to give you my heart today, tomorrow and forever.”

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The pair said “I do” in on June 16 in an intimate ceremony officiated by Bachelor host Chris Harrison at the Vidanta Hotel in Puerto Vallarta.

“We are so excited to start this new chapter of our lives together,” Nielson told PEOPLE exclusively at the time. “We will have each other’s backs forever.”

Although he acknowledged that their relationship had moved quickly, Randone said spending that time together on BiP was the “equivalent to months of dating.”

Chris Randone and Krystal Nielson
Chris Randone/Instagram

Reflecting on the positive change their relationship had on their lives, Randone previously told PEOPLE that he was “very thick-skinned and hard-shelled when I got to Paradise.”

“She pulled me aside and said, ‘You need to be more self-aware or you’re going to lose friendships here and you’re going to lose me.’ I realized that this woman came out of nowhere to give me direction,” he said. “I felt it from her heart and I realized that if I don’t change now and be vulnerable, I’m going to lose this incredible woman.”

“I truly believe everything happens for a reason,” added Nielson. “Everything I went through on The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise led me to develop and grow into my own as a person and eventually, it led me to Chris.”

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