On Friday, the former couple announced the end of their engagement in a statement to E!, saying, “We gave this relationship our all and we are saddened that we did not get the fairytale ending we hoped for.”
“We will continue to be there for each other no matter what,” the joint statement continued. “This hasn’t been an easy decision, however, as we part ways, we do so with lots of love and admiration for each other.”
In the five months since their proposal aired on ABC, Viall and Grimaldi have been plagued by rumors of discord – starting from their first debut as an official couple on live television.
During the March After the Final Rose special following the finale of Viall’s season, fans and alums alike took to social media to speculate over drama in the new romance.
Wrote former Bachelorette Trista Sutter at the time, “I am always hopeful for happy endings, especially when it comes to my #bachelornation family, but @VanessaGrimaldi doesn’t seem happy? ”
After the special, Viall told PEOPLE that watching the show air while keeping their relationship a secret “was very difficult for us as a couple at the end.”
Grimaldi added, “I don’t think any relationship is perfect.” She also noting of detractors: “You can never make people happy. At the end of the day, we are focusing on our relationship. It’s easy to focus on the negative, which sometimes I do, and Nick tries to get me out of it. But it’s the world that we’re living in.”
Speaking further on the topic, Grimaldi firmly denied any issues when Ellen DeGeneres suggested that she and Viall had seemed “awkward together.”
“I think we both went in it wanting to be honest and open about couples, you know, sometimes things can get tough. But we’re very committed to each other, we love each other, and that’s what we’re focusing on,” she said.
At an event later that month, Viall told reporters that he and Grimaldi were still in no rush to tie the knot, asserting, “I think it’s always important to take things slow.”
The pair have made few other public appearances together in recent months – save for attending the Mexico wedding of fellow franchise alums Carly Waddell and Evan Bass in June – and Grimaldi last posted a photo with her former fiancé on Aug. 15 (an ad for HelloFresh).
She was, however, still wearing an engagement ring in an image posted just four days ago – but had notably turned off the comments section on that photo and another recent Instagram post.