‘The Bachelorette’ alum Michelle Young says she’s “happier” after her breakup with Nayte Olukoya

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The Bachelorette alum Michelle Young has declared how she is “happier” now after her split from her Season 18 winner Nayte Olukoya.

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Michelle took to Instagram on Thursday and posted three sexy modeling photos in which she was rocking high-waisted cargo pants with a white crop top and white stiletto heels.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ FRANCHISE COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER?? (PHOTOS)

“Happier,” Michelle simply captioned the post.

Comments of praise and flattery rolled in from Bachelor Nation, including Becca Kufrin, Pieper James and Mari Pepin-Solis.

The Bachelor alum Susie Evans wrote, “Stop these are stunning,” and Rachael Kirkconnell commented, “Stunning.”

The current The Bachelorette star Rachel Recchia wrote, “Gorgeous,” and even The Bachelorette host Jesse Palmer gushed, “Happy looks good on you!”

Michelle also reposted the images on Instagram Stories and set the post to the song “Good Vibes” by Ayah the Light.

Michelle also looked happy and radiant when she attended Miami Swim Week in Florida last month.

Michelle reportedly seemed to be in the best of spirits at the event and was sporting her megawatt smile, according to Us Weekly.

Nayte proposed marriage to Michelle on The Bachelorette’s Season 18 finale, which aired in December 2021, and the couple appeared blissfully happy. The couple was even gifted a $200,000 check for a down payment on their first house.

However, Michelle seemingly wanted to stay in her hometown of Minnesota, where her family currently lives and where she also held down a job as a fifth-grade teacher.

Nayte therefore said after the show wrapped that he intended to move to Minneapolis for Michelle in the next two or three months — which would’ve been in early 2022 — and the couple claimed they had already begun house-hunting.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELORETTE’ COUPLES NOW

But Nayte clearly never made the move, and he and Michelle continued dating long-distance until they announced their breakup on June 17 via separate statements on their Instagram accounts.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELORETTE’ COUPLES NOW: WHOM DID ‘THE BACHELORETTE’ STARS AND THEIR BACHELOR PICKS ULTIMATELY END UP WITH?! (PHOTOS)  

Nayte claimed in June via social media that he and Michelle had decided not to move to the same city in order not to rush anything.

“Plans changed as we decided there was no need to rush anything and get to know each other on a deeper level before taking the leap of living together,” Nayte wrote via Instagram.

“There’s no rush in life. There’s no rule book or timeline on how to go about your relationship. We believed that since the love was there, everything would fall into place naturally and in its own time.”

“We tried,” he added. “It didn’t work. We’re sad about it. We all grieve different.”

Neither Michelle or Nayte have explained why exactly they broke up, but Nayte denied ever cheating on Michelle in a June 25 Instagram Stories posting.

“No, I didn’t cheat,” Nayte reportedly wrote.

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“Not every breakup needs to have someone to blame. Yes, many of you seem to paint me as a red flag [or] f-ck boy… But I’m actually a decent guy, and I only want to continue getting better. As we should all want for ourselves.”

But Michelle hinted on the July 5 episode of the “Almost Famous Podcast” that Nayte was the one who decided to end their engagement.

“I will say this is not something that I foresaw, and I’ll leave it there,” Michelle admitted.

The Bachelorette alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, who hosted Michelle’s season alongside Tayshia Adams, confirmed on a recent episode of her “Off the Vine” podcast that she has spoken to Michelle and Michelle was “definitely blindsided” by the “abrupt” breakup.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ COUPLES NOW: WHO DID ‘THE BACHELOR’ STARS AND THEIR BACHELORETTE PICKS ACTUALLY END UP MARRYING? (PHOTOS)

“She was confused because I think it was, like, after her birthday, and she was like, ‘Wait, what?'” Kaitlyn explained. “I don’t know what happened.”

A couple of weeks after their split, Nayte reportedly moved from Houston, TX, to Los Angeles, CA, to pursue a career as a model.

“It’s something that’s been in the back of his mind for some time,” a source told Us last month, adding that he also planned to continue working in tech sales for steady income.

Nayte is currently sharing a place with fellow The Bachelorette 18 suitor Rodney Mathews, and the insider said he’s “enjoying his summer” with plans to travel more.

Rumors recently swirled that Nayte had quickly moved on from Season 18 The Bachelorette star Michelle Young and begun dating Deandra, who competed on Peter Weber’s The Bachelor season in 2020.

Deandra and Nayte raised eyebrows when she attended his birthday party with other Bachelor Nation members in early July and appeared to be wearing his necklace in photos uploaded on social media.

Michelle reportedly unfollowed — or blocked, according to speculation — Nayte on Instagram the same weekend as his party.

But according to the Us source, “there’s absolutely nothing going on between Nayte and Deandra.”

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“Him giving her his necklace to wear was just a friendly gesture,” the source insisted.

“Nayte is single and happy that way — he’s not looking to jump into another relationship right away. He’s not dating and he’s not on the prowl. He’s happy being single.”

While photos of Michelle remain on Nayte’s Instagram page from their time on The Bachelorette together, Michelle wiped her account clean of Nayte, erasing any trace or memory of him.

When Nayte first announced his split from Michelle in June, he wrote on Instagram Stories, “When we both started this journey, we were looking for our Soulmates. Our forever. Our best friends. However, as we grow and learn, we also realize that sometimes somebody that you hold dear to your heart isn’t somebody that you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with.”

“Michelle and I are going to move forward separately. Hearts are heavy, emotions are high, and we are dealing with this the best way we can,” he continued.

Nayte said his “heartbreak is real” and the couple agreed to keep the details of their split private. He also defended the genuineness of their relationship, which ended only six months after the finale of their The Bachelorette season aired last year.

In Michelle’s statement, she thanked Bachelor Nation for their support and noted how having a relationship in the public eye was not easy.

“I’m struggling to say that Nayte and I will be going our separate ways but I stand with him in knowing the heaviness that is present in both our hearts as this relationship has been very real for us,” she wrote in June.

“To you, Nayte,” she added, “you quickly became my best friend and the love I have for you is incredibly strong. I will never stop wanting to see you succeed.”

“I will always acknowledge and appreciate the adventures, support, and growth both Nayte and this experience have brought me. At the same time, I’m deeply hurting and will need time and space to work through this heartbreak.”

Michelle and Nayte’s split announcement came only a few weeks after Michelle took to Instagram on May 30 to deny rumors that The Bachelorette couple had split up and ended their engagement.

Michelle was spotted without her engagement ring on, but Michelle said her friend had tried on her ring momentarily and she’s not a “zoo exhibit” for people to watch and record on their phones.

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Michelle announced in late May that she planned to step out of the classroom in 2023 in order to take a breather from teaching and exit “survival mode.”

Michelle subsequently insisted to Ashley Iaconetti on the “Ben & Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast” that her decision would’ve been the same regardless of the status of her relationship with Nayte and new career goals to be an influencer.

Michelle, however, noted how a break from teaching would have “naturally” resulted in spending more time with Nayte, suggesting the career change may have been a last-ditch effort to save her romance before he pulled the plug in June.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ FRANCHISE COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER?? (PHOTOS)

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About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski

Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.

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