Blake Moynes has responded to rumors he and his The Bachelorette ex-fiancee, Katie Thurston, are dating again after they reunited on Bachelor in Paradise’s ninth season.
Katie and Blake — who got engaged on The Bachelorette’s seventeenth season and announced their split in October 2021 — have been uploading photos together recently on social media, sparking speculation from fans they may have gotten back together after filming Bachelor in Paradise.
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But according to Blake, the former couple’s relationship is purely platonic.
“You saw in the episode, it was a very cordial, mutual, mature conversation that allowed us to essentially connect again in the outside world, but in a very friendly manner — to the point where now, it just feels truly just supportive,” Blake shared during the November 21 episode of the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast, which is co-hosted by Paradise spouses Joe Amabile and Serena Pitt.
Blake elaborated on where he currently stands with Katie, “She bounces ideas off me. Like she was going on that other show [F-Boy Island] and we were able to connect in the outside world in a way where we can have a healthy relationship with an ex. And so that’s where that is.”
Blake explained how he had invited Katie to an event in San Diego because other “Bachelor Nation folks” were coming as well.
“It was a lot of fun that night and I’m glad she came and it was a good support,” Blake said.
“Because I think prior to that, in our relationship, there was a lot that maybe rocked the boat a little bit. I think there was a little bit of spite there with me traveling a lot and not being able to spend as much time together as we maybe would’ve liked.”
The wildlife manager, who travels the world for his work in animal conservation, added, “So her coming around, in a sense, and really supporting that work now was really nice and I appreciated it a lot.”
During Blake’s podcast appearance, Joe asked the Canada native if it seemed like Katie wanted to try again when they spoke on Bachelor in Paradise two years after their split.
“[There was] not a tone [of wanting to reconcile] that I took in that moment,” Blake revealed.
“I felt like she was certainly happy to see me and happy to be there and happy to have that conversation — and maybe that could’ve sparked something — but I didn’t feel like she was necessarily there to pursue me or anything.”
Blake reiterated how he “didn’t feel anything like that” in that moment on the beach with Katie.
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And at that time, Blake was in a relationship with Jess Girod, although their dynamic had stalled and they didn’t appear to be progressing towards an engagement.
“Jess did know that Katie was not going to be an issue being on the beach… It wasn’t going to change how I thought about Jess, really,” Blake clarified.
“But it definitely did make me think about where I was at with Jess in comparison to how I felt with Katie — and there was a comparison there in terms of where we were at and what we were doing.”
Reflecting back on The Bachelorette’s seventeenth season, Blake explained, “Katie had less time to really grasp who I was, and she was so in. Jess and I had so much time — more time — and she just still wasn’t sure.”
Blake was also well aware that the season was heading into Fantasy Suites and then the Final Rose Ceremony, where many viewers would expect a marriage proposal.
“Knowing where we needed to get to and what was around the corner, [I was thinking] what it takes to make that kind of commitment, and with Jess, it was honestly, ‘We’re nowhere near where we need to be right now,'” Blake confirmed.
“It helped me with a realization of how you get to love — and we weren’t near that. Katie helped me realize that by coming down, the emotion of it.”
On Bachelor in Paradise’s November 16 episode, Katie entered the Paradise beach in Mexico and announced how she was single. She then immediately pulled Blake — who had already established a strong connection with Jess Girod — aside for a chat.
Katie appeared to confuse Blake by apologizing for how she had handled their October 2021 breakup and talking about how much she truly loved him and cared for him, and the conversation left Jess feeling anxious, abandoned and insecure.
During her conversation with Blake on the beach, Katie pointed out how Jess was a lot younger than him. And then at the roast, Katie quipped in front of the whole cast, “It’s no surprise Jess’ name is ‘Baby Jess.’ Blake used to make me call him ‘Daddy.'”
Katie also hinted to Bachelor in Paradise producers that she still had lingering feelings for Blake.
When asked in a confessional if she still loved Blake two years after their split, Katie acknowledged it was a hard question, and then instead of answering it, she just broke down into tears and seemed overwhelmed with emotion.
Katie, however, didn’t go on Bachelor in Paradise to date; she was on there to host a roast.
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Katie had accepted a marriage proposal from Blake during The Bachelorette’s Season 17 finale, which aired in early August 2021, but the couple called off their engagement less than two months later.
Katie then went Instagram official with one of her Week 2 The Bachelorette eliminees, John Hersey, in November 2021.
Katie faced criticism and hate online for having moved on from her former fiance too quickly with a “rebound,” and Blake believed Katie had emotionally cheated on him.
But both Katie and John denied any wrongdoing in the press, and Katie insisted her relationship with John didn’t begin until her relationship with Blake was over.
Katie and John — a San-Diego based bartender — then announced in late June 2022 that the couple had called it quits on their relationship. John was actually the one who had dumped Katie.
On Bachelor in Paradise’s ninth season, Katie and her ex-fiance discussed how they had broken up, over the phone, in late October 2021. Blake confessed that he was “tripping” over seeing Katie again, and their conversation started out with an awkward vibe.
“We haven’t talked, [but] I sent you a bunch of voice memos. I don’t know if you even listened to them,” Katie said.
“I did. There were six different voice notes and I remember them all pretty clearly,” Blake confirmed.
“I could feel the emotion in those voice notes, but I was also super bitter in that moment,” he elaborated, “and so I didn’t want to respond. After what happened, you were in a relationship and I wasn’t overly excited about that. It was a bit of a dagger, and so I said, ‘I don’t owe her that.'”
Katie said she totally agreed with Blake and that’s why she had never reached out again and chose to respect his boundaries, his peace and his space.
Katie proceeded to apologize to Blake for the way things had played out, and she added, “If I could go back and redo it all, I would. I wanted you to know that what we went through was real to me.”
Katie’s eyes were filling up with tears as she spoke, and Blake said that when he looked at her, there was a lot of “good” to remember from their short-lived romance.
Katie explained to Blake how she felt a natural energy, familiarity and comfort with him after everything they had been through. Katie said their reunion was “a lot to take in,” but Blake admitted he couldn’t think about them as a couple because it really threw him off.
Katie said she regretted how she had handled everything; however, their love, connection and memories were all very real to her.
“You’re definitely throwing me for a loop right now,” Blake responded.
Katie explained how everything was stacked against them after the show, including how they lived in different countries. (Blake currently resides in Canada and travels frequently to different countries for his work in animal conservation).
“I stayed true to my feelings in the moment, even after… our relationship, even after other relationships. It’s always been Blake; you’ve never been a default,” Katie told Blake.
Katie concluded that she was happy to see Blake, and then when a producer asked Katie if she still loved Blake, Katie said, “Don’t ask that question!”
As Katie fidgeted around and avoided contact with the camera, she suddenly looked up and had eyes full of tears.
“Oh f-ck!” she said.
Blake didn’t know how to react or deal with the situation. He felt totally overwhelmed and confused.
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About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.