'The Bachelorette' 's Shawn Booth Speaks Out on 'Painful' Breakup with Kaitlyn Bristowe

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth announced their split earlier this month after three years together

Shawn Booth has a special message for Bachelor Nation after becoming a newly single man.

Ten days after PEOPLE exclusively confirmed his split from ex-fiancée Kaitlyn Bristowe, The Bachelorette alum shared a statement on Instagram Monday.

“I just want to thank everyone who has been so supportive of my relationship with Kaitlyn over the years. You’ve made me feel incredibly special, supported, and very loved,” Booth, 31, captioned a July 2015 photo of him and Bristowe in New York City, shortly after she gave him the final rose on season 19.

“So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. It truly means a lot. And thank you to everyone who has sent their love & support during this painful time. I love you guys,” Booth concluded his post.

Bristowe, 33, and Booth, who had moved in together in Nashville, announced their split earlier this month after three years together.

“This was the last thing Kaitlyn wanted. She was willing to fight for the relationship, but there was nowhere for it to go,” a source recently told PEOPLE.

“It’s only natural to think about the next steps when you’ve been together for three years,” the source said. “Kaitlyn wants to be married and have kids. But it didn’t seem like they were on the same page.”

Ultimately, “it wasn’t one of them who broke things off,” the source added, noting that despite the split, Booth and Bristowe are “on good terms.” Still, “she’s devastated,” the source explained. “There is a lot of hurt. Kaitlyn tried to make it work. She never thought this would end.”

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Though this was the first time Booth had opened up about his split, Bristowe had previously spoken about the cracks in their relationship during an episode of Bristowe’s podcast Off the Vine, which was recorded before they announced their breakup.

Bristowe told guest Wells Adams that she and Booth had long disagreed about their anniversary date. “We met and had our first date, but I was also dating multiple men,” she explained. “So does that count as our anniversary? Or does our anniversary count as the time we got engaged?”

But no matter what date the two decided on, Booth couldn’t seem to keep it straight. “He actually forgot our anniversary last year,” Bristowe recalled.

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