Labor of Love's Kristy Katzmann and Kyle Klinger Split: 'It Became Clear We Weren't Compatible'
"At the end of the day I feel really, really proud of the decisions that I made," Kristy Katzmann tells PEOPLE of her journey on Fox's Labor of Love
Kristy Katzmann is single and ready to start a family!
After seemingly finding love with Kyle Klinger on Fox's Labor of Love, Katzmann and Klinger have since gone their separate ways since the emotional finale was filmed. Ahead of Thursday's finale episode, Katzmann opened up to PEOPLE about her journey on the reality show, why she and Klinger didn't work out, what's she learned about herself, and her decision to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) on her own.
"At the end of the day I feel really, really proud of the decisions that I made," Katzmann, 41, told PEOPLE. "I think I really stayed true to myself, and I made the best decision that I could at the time with the information that I had."
The series, which premiered May 21, followed Katzmann, a former Bachelor contestant, looking for love — and a family. Katzmann — joined by Sex and the City star Kristin Davis as host — was matched with 15 men ready to show off their paternal sides.
In the end, she chose Klinger — a 38-year-old sales and marketing director from Austin, Texas — but they split up a few months after the show wrapped.
"I found myself in those last couple of weeks kind of trying to figure out what I had and what I didn't," Katzmann said. "I thought going in, should I pick someone in the end, I would have more clarity about who that would be. So I think at the end of the day I made a decision based on the relationships that felt the most real to me, and I did have a lot of questions about Kyle still. We didn't actually have that much time to spend together on the show, and I think as we got on the other side of the show, unfortunately it just kind of became clear that we just weren't compatible."
She added: "There was a lot riding on this relationship for me because it really was the last relationship I would have to start a family with someone or to pursue motherhood on my own, but the good news about that is I think that when you kind of set those parameters for yourself, as soon as I realized it wasn't right, I do think our lifestyles were very different. I think our timelines were very different. I really just had to pick up and keep moving forward, which is the motto of my life. Just keep moving forward."
Now, Katzmann, who moved to Austin to be with Klinger, is in the process of moving back to Chicago and has already started the IVF process.
"I was going through some egg retrievals over the summer when Kyle and I were still together," Katzmann said. "Then once I realized that was not going to be the right relationship, I did continue to pursue motherhood on my own. One kind of side note message I really want women to know, I think I spent a lot of time really making sure that I was ready, that I was prepared in all ways to embrace motherhood. And I do think it is a longer journey than you anticipate, especially at this age. So I kind of picked that up right away in the fall, and it took me until January, February to go through my IVF cycle, and unfortunately, that first cycle was not successful. But I started right into another cycle, and unfortunately with COVID-19, I got halted. We're kind of just in the stages of being able to revisit that."
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For Katzmann, the process has been an "empowering" one.
"The good news is I've been in the process. I continued on exactly as I said I would, and I feel like that feels really good and really empowering," she continued.
Throughout the journey, Katzmann learned a lot about herself — and has words of encouragement for those in a similar season as hers.
"Don't let anyone write the story for you," she said. "Don't let anyone tell you your story's over or that it has to be a certain way. I have just been open to a different story. I know the things that I want, and I've gotten to the point in life where I can be open to the way that they're being presented to me, and I've learned to roll with the punches."