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Clayton Echard and Susie Evans have taken a major step in their relationship.

But is it a step in a positive direction?

The former Bachelor, who got together with Evans on the ridiculous finale of his polarizing season, made a surprising announcement this week:

The couple is separating — literally!

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Clayton and Susie Evans are doing their best to make their relationship work… even if that means they must date from a long distance.

Following their run as stars of the aforementioned franchise, Echard and Evans moved in together in Virginia Beach.

Now, however?

“We’re like, ‘We don’t know if it’s going to be a month-long [relationship] from here or if it’s gonna be lifetime but, like, there’s no pressure.

“Let’s just love each other and be thankful,’” the 29-year-old said on Wednesday on Dear Media’s “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast.

Will Susie Evans and Clayton Echard make it down the aisle? Let’s just say this: The odds are STRONGLY against them.

Added Clayton:

“We’re very, very happy right now and in a really great spot, but yeah, we went through it — together, though.

“Thankfully, she’s been on my side and that’s the only reason why I can sit here with so much positivity is because of her.”

With that, Echard explained that he’s moving back to Scottsdale, Arizona… while Evans spends time in Los Angeles.

“Currently, we are in Virginia Beach, but our next step actually is, I’m moving to Scottsdale, and she’s going to move in the interim to L.A.,” Echard continued on this podcast.

“Only a 50-minute flight apart, but we’re both chasing our dreams, and I think location-wise, we both feel that those are the spots that we want to be.

“I mean, I’m working on my computer 10, 12 hours a day. So she was like, ‘Clayton, I’ll move to L.A. and then we can travel on the weekends to see each other.’

“And we’ll see. We don’t know if we’re going to like that long-distance.”

Susie Evans and Clayton Echard Together

Echard and Evans agreed only to date (as opposed to getting engaged) on the aforementioned finale.

The decision came after Susie allegedly left the show, prompting Clayton to sleep with both Rachel and Gabby in the Fantasy Suite… only for Echard to make a last-second ditch to be with Susie after learning she was still in town.

He dumped Gabby and Rachel simultaneously as a result, leading to scorn from many viewers — and leading to ABC casting both women as The Bachelorette.

Susie and Clayton have since tried to ask fans for some support.

Susie Evans and Clayton Echard in Bed
Susie Evans and Clayton Echard have clearly gone all the way. Just look at the two of them here in bed.

On the podcast this week, Clayton insisted that he and Evans are staying together as a couple. They’re just trying a new arrangement.

“A little distance never hurts,” he said, making what we’re pretty sure is a troubling statement for any twosome hoping to build a life together.

Echard added that Evans, a wedding photographer and videographer, recently traveled for work and when she returned, they “haven’t been able to keep our hands off each other,” noting:

“Distance makes the heart grow fonder.

“She has her own dreams and aspirations. And we’re gonna give it a shot…

” If it doesn’t work, and we’re like, ‘We don’t like this distance, it’s hurting us,’ then one of us will move to the other person.'”

Clayton Echard on The Bachelor Season 26

In this same interview, Clayton touched on a season of The Bachelorette which has often featured some shade hurled in his direction.

“I don’t hold a grudge. I’m not mad at anybody for saying something night one,” he said of The Bachelorette Season 19 suitors poking fun at him.

“It’s just business, you know, the show is meant to be entertaining and to stir up drama and get people talking. So they’re going to do that.

“But doesn’t mean that these people that are doing this hate me, it just means it’s a business. It doesn’t bother me. I’m happy with my life. But I mean, I guess a silver lining, [was] a lot of people came to my defense online.

“It was kind of nice just to see people say like, ‘You know, just leave him alone.'”

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