Shawn Booth on Kaitlyn Bristowe Breakup: I'm Heartbroken ...

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They were one of the couples that seemed to have beaten the odds, but Shawn Booth and Kaitlyn Bristowe are over.

Now, Shawn is opening up to fans with a heartfelt message.

He's thanking them for their support -- over the years and now, as he experiences real emotional pain.

Shawn, Kaitlyn

Shawn Booth took to Instagram to deliver a heartfelt message about his not-so-secret breakup with Kaitlyn Bristowe.

"I just want to thank everyone who has been so supportive of my relationship with Kaitlyn over the years," he writes.

After nearly three years together, the couple accrued a lot of fans.

"You’ve made me feel incredibly special," he shares.

Shawn continues, noting that fans have made him feel "supported, and very loved."

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth in Bed

"So from the bottom of my heart," Shawn continues. "Thank you."

Shawn writes: "It truly means a lot."

He's thanking fans for more than just their support during the relationship.

Shawn appreciates the outpouring of respect that has flowed from the Bachelor Nation following their split.

"And," Shawn says. "Thank you to everyone who has sent their love & support during this painful time."

He gushes: "I love you guys."

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth

According to a recent report by People, Shawn isn't the only one feeling heartbroken.

Kaitlyn's in the same boat.

"This was the last thing Kaitlyn wanted," and insider reveals.

According to the source: "she was willing to fight for the relationship."

Ultimately, however, she and Shawn realized that they had lost their forward momentum.

"But," the insider laments. "There was nowhere for it to go."

Shawn Booth and Kaitlyn Bristowe: Front Row at Desigual Fashion Show

"It’s only natural to think about the next steps when you’ve been together for three years,” the source explains.

“Kaitlyn," the insider says. "Wants to be married and have kids."

"But," the source notes. "It didn’t seem like they were on the same page."

Kaitlyn is two years older than Shawn. She is 33, he is 31.

Did that slight age difference make her the one who wanted to settle down first?

Fans cannot help but wonder.

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth Posing

Despite this key difference, the report says that neither of them simply quit on the other.

"It wasn’t one of them who broke things off," the source reports.

In other words, it sounds like this painful decision to break up after nearly three years together was mutual.

According to the insider, Kaitlyn and Shawn are still "on good terms."

That is great. But Kaitlyn is not doing so well internally, apparently.

"She’s devastated," the source reports.

Shawn and Kaitlyn Picture

"There is a lot of hurt," the insider says.

The source notes that "Kaitlyn tried to make it work."

"She never thought this would end," the insider concludes.

The hardest thing about relationships is that they inevitably end, one way or the other.

After three years of engagement, Shawn and Kaitlyn still have their memories of happiness, at least.

In time, those should be a source of comfort as the reasons for their conflict fade.

Who knows? Maybe they'll even get back together, though we don't want to get anyone's hopes up.

Only time will tell.

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