Josh Richards and Nessa Barrett were first linked in late 2019 and made their relationship Instagram official in January

By Jodi Guglielmi
June 19, 2020 08:54 AM
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It's over for TikTok stars Josh Richards and Nessa Barrett.

Richards and Barrett have broken up after several months of dating. The two confirmed their split in exclusive statements to PEOPLE.

"Nessa is a person that will always have a place in my heart. We have learned so much from each other," Richards, 18,  tells PEOPLE. "I wish her nothing but the best and we are so proud of our time together. Out relationship has ended, but my respect for her will never change."

Barrett, 17, shares a similar sentiment, saying they will "always be there to support each other."

"Josh and I are both very saddened by the breakup, but we’ll always be there to support each other in our personal endeavors and wish nothing but love and joy for one another."

Josh Richards/ Instagram

They also opened up about their decision to split in an emotional YouTube video titled "We Broke Up" that they posted late Thursday night.

"We didn't want lies or rumors being spread," said Richards. "There comes a point in relationships where you realize maybe it isn't best to be together. We realized that we needed to mature and we needed to grow as people. We were in a very serious relationship but we weren't ready for as serious as it was."

The two said the breakup was mutual and that they intend to stay friends.

"We are still friends, we are still there for each other," said Richards.

"There's a point when you care so much about someone that you have to let them go," said Barrett.

Richards and Barrett were first linked in late 2019 and made their relationship Instagram official in January, posting a PDA-packed Instagram.

"Mine," Richards captioned a series of photos, including one of Barrett sitting in his lap.

Richards and Barrett are among TikTok's top stars, with nearly 28 million followers between the two.