Entertainment TV Tinsley Mortimer and Scott Kluth End Engagement: 'An Incredibly Difficult Decision,' He Says The former couple got engaged in 2019 By Jodi Guglielmi Jodi Guglielmi Instagram Twitter Writer-Reporter, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 18, 2021 02:38 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Tinsley Mortimer and Scott Kluth have split, PEOPLE can exclusively confirm. Kluth says he and the former Real Housewives of New York City star ended their engagement several months ago, more than a year after the CouponCabin CEO proposed. "After fourteen months of engagement, Tinsley and I have ended our relationship, and we have been living independently for the last few months," Kluth, 40, tells PEOPLE in a statement. "This was an incredibly difficult decision, but it is one that I believe is best for both of us. I will always care about Tinsley and I sincerely wish her happiness and success in all that she does in the future." "While I understand this news will be of interest to many, I ask for privacy and understanding during this time as I continue to work on recovering emotionally from the end of our relationship," the statement concludes. A source close to the couple tells PEOPLE Mortimer was "blindsided" by the breakup. "This was not mutual, she was blindsided. She's on the floor heartbroken and devastated. She left everything for him because she didn't think he'd ever call off the engagement," says the source. "She trusted him that this time was going to be different." Mortimer's rep did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. Tinsley Mortimer/ Instagram. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. The two met in February 2017, when Mortimer's RHONY castmate Carole Radziwill set them up on a blind date. They were on and off for the next few years before getting engaged in November 2019 on the steps of the Chicago Water Tower in front of a group of Christmas carolers. In 2020, Mortimer, 45, officially left RHONY to move to Chicago and live with Kluth. "With Scott, so much has happened so fast," she said on the show of her decision to leave New York City at the time. "I know that if I don't take this moment right now, I will regret it for the rest of my life. I have to listen to myself and what I want and nobody else." "It's been a great ride and I'm just so happy for where I am right now and for my future," she added. Tinsley Mortimer Shows Off Her Massive Engagement Ring and Spills Wedding Dress Details Last May, Mortimer said that self-isolating with Kluth during the COVID-19 pandemic had strengthened their relationship, saying "it's exactly what we needed." "Our relationship is actually so much better," she said during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. "I just wanted to be at home with him and just have normal [life]. And it's been obviously beyond normal, the fact that I'm cooking and cleaning, but I've really impressed him which is so fun. It's been really good."