Clayton Echard and Susie Evans shocked everyone when they revealed that they had gotten back together after their emotional breakup in Iceland on the season finale of The Bachelor. The two shared the news on the March 15 After the Final Rose special, which aired alongside The Bachelor finale. Clayton also confirmed he would be packing up and moving to Virginia to be with Susie. Now, they’re dishing on what’s next. “It’s important for us to live our lives alongside each other, and what’s most important is that we take things at our own pace,” Clayton told People. “We haven’t set a timeline for ourselves. We haven’t talked about an engagement, but we’re having fun getting to know each other and enjoying this time.”
Susie was the one to end things with Clayton at the final rose ceremony on The Bachelor. He professed his love to her, and she said that, while she had love for him, it wasn’t the unconditional kind that he had for her. However, when they got home, Susie took some time to reflect. She eventually slid into Clayton’s DMs on Instagram to restart the relationship. “The first time we talked on the phone, we FaceTimed for probably five hours until we couldn’t keep our eyes open anymore,” Susie revealed on Good Morning America. “I felt totally comfortable reopening that relationship back up again after getting the answers to all the questions I had.”
The two have been secretly seeing each other for the past four months. However, The Bachelor finale also meant they had to re-live everything that went down on the show. The two-part episode featured Clayton also expressing his love for Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia after Susie left him on their fantasy suite date. Clayton begged Gabby and Rachel to stay and give him another chance, even though he was admittedly in love with both of them, as well as Susie. The women reluctantly agreed.
However, after introducing Gabby and Rachel to his parents and making them feel comfortable again, Clayton realized his heart was still with Susie. He dumped Gabby and Rachel at the same time, which they both slammed him for afterward. Needless to say, Gabby and Rachel were both angry and heartbroken, and Clayton had to confront them for the first time during After the Final Rose. After the breakups, Clayton tried to win Susie back, and although she heard him out at the final rose ceremony, they both left Iceland single.
Despite how tough the experience was for Clayton, and all the backlash he received for how he handled things, he said he’s still happy about how it all went down — because it led him back to Susie in the end. “There’s so much that I have learned and am thankful to have experienced,” Clayton wrote on Instagram. “I made plenty of mistakes, but I have taken the time to self-reflect and grow from each and every one. There’s still much ahead that will challenge me to be a better man, but as it stands today, I’m happy.”
He continued, “Happy because I’ve been tested beyond my limits and am better for it. Happy because I’ve seen and experienced things I never would have, had I not taken this opportunity. But most importantly, happy because I met the most incredible woman that each and every day makes me realize how truly lucky I am to stand by her side.”