Bachelorette Clare Crawley didn't see this coming.
Earlier this week, fiancé Dale Moss announced on Instagram that he and Clare had decided to end their engagement. And now, Clare is explaining why she initially remained silent about the news. "I was made aware of a 'mutual' statement at the same time you all were," Clare wrote to her followers Jan. 21, "so I've needed some time to really digest this."
The California native went on to note that her intentions with her and Dale's relationship have always been "very clear" and that she's "crushed" by the split.
"This was not what I expected or hoped for and am still trying to process this," she continued. "2020 was one hell of a year, with covid, battling severe anxiety post-show, balancing a public new relationship, all while slowly losing my mother. It hasn't been ideal circumstances, but that is life right. I have been looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel."
The 39-year-old hairstylist acknowledged that her relationship with Dale was not perfect but she was "genuinely invested" with all of her heart. "I may not have all the answers," she wrote, "but I do know this- I will continue to show up, stand by my word, and be committed to love."
This message from Clare comes as multiple sources familiar with the situation tell E! News Clare believes Dale had been cheating on her throughout their five-month engagement. Though Dale often told Clare his relationship with the woman in question was strictly platonic, "Clare has always been skeptical," one source with knowledge of the circumstance said. "She never trusted the friendship and thought it was shady." (A source close to Dale denies these claims: "Dale was faithful to Clare throughout their entire relationship. He is committed to staying on good terms with Clare and has nothing but love and respect for her.")
The insider also noted that the woman "has been talking to her friends about sneaking around with Dale." The source adds that Clare "has seen proof" that whenever Dale was in New York City without her, he was with this woman.
After split rumors emerged, Dale confirmed the breakup in a Jan. 19 Instagram post, saying, "This is the healthiest decision for both of us at this time. We strongly believe in leading with love and always remaining true to oneself—something our families have taught and instilled in us throughout our lives. We only hope the best things for one another."
The post caught Clare off guard, however. "She believed they were working on their relationship," a second source familiar with the circumstance tells E! News. "And then Dale abruptly posted to his Instagram page that they had parted ways. Clare was in shock by this and felt completely blindsided."
However, a source close to Moss denies this. "He wanted to release his statement a week earlier than he did," the insider insists. "She asked him for some time to process it all. Dale respected that, and waited."
While the alleged other woman causes issues for the pair, it was not their only pain point. According to the first source, Dale "doesn't want to give up the party life." Meanwhile, Clare prefers a quieter lifestyle in Sacramento where she's close to her mom, who is battling Alzheimer's disease.
Clare and Dale's whirlwind romance was documented on The Bachelorette season 16, where Clare took an immediate liking to the former Party City model.
"I am so far in love with Dale," she told producers before Dale proposed during their final episode. "We have this connection where it feels like I've known him forever. It's that intangible chemistry that you just can't make up and you can't replace. It's something that is so rare to feel so connected to someone when you've only known them for such a short period of time."