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Bachelor in Paradise’s Brandon Jones and Serene Russell Call Off Their Engagement After Less Than 1 Year Together: It’s ‘Been Immensely Hard’

It’s over. Bachelor Nation’s Brandon Jones and Serene Russell have split after less than one year together. 

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After many months, today we have ultimately decided to end our engagement,” the twosome wrote via a joint Instagram post on Monday, May 8. “We have tried to work privately on our relationship which has been incredibly challenging in the public eye. This has been immensely hard to accept and painful, as there is a lot of love between the two of us. We are deeply hurting and can only ask that there be no hate. The best path for us at this time is to try and move forward and heal from this as individuals.” 

Along with the announcement, the pair shared a highlight reel from their relationship including photos from their time on Bachelor in Paradise together, clips of singing karaoke in the car and a sweet snap of them sharing a passionate kiss on the beach. 

Brandon Jones and Serene Russell's Relationship Timeline
ABC/Stewart Cook

The reality stars met during season 8 of the ABC dating series and quickly fell for each other. During their first official one-on-one date, both Russell, 27, and Jones, 26, confessed that they were falling in love with one another. The duo later got engaged on the show in June 2022, and the episode aired that November. 

“Brandon, I have always yearned for a life-changing love, but I had never seen it or experienced it firsthand. But then I met you,” Russell said during the November 2022 finale. “I feel like we have two hearts cut from the same cloth and I have never felt more seen or understood in my entire life. In you, I have found my best friend, my missing puzzle piece and my soulmate. I love you so much and I’m never going to take that for granted.”

While the Bachelorette season 17 alum told Us Weekly exclusively later that month that she had butterflies about the Texas native’s proposal, she noted that there were “no doubts” Brandon was The One. 

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“I mean, there’s always that nervous feeling,” she shared. “Where it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ because when you start to care so much and love someone so much, you obviously have that pit feeling where you’re like, ‘I hope that this works out’ — you want it to because it means so much. But I didn’t have any doubts.”

However, while their romance seemed like a fairy tale on screen, the couple admitted that they went through “little growing pains here and there” after leaving Mexico.

“We went straight from seeing each other 20 hours a day to staying inside and couldn’t be with each other,” Jones told Us in November 2022, adding that the duo would “bicker sometimes” and “fight” like “normal couple[s]” do. “Like [when she buys] random things on Amazon, she’s like, ‘Hey can you put this together for me?’”

Despite any bumps in their relationship, the twosome revealed that they planned to tie the knot in 2024 after enjoying their new status. 

“We’re very in-the-moment people. So, it’s like, we want to enjoy our engagement, make memories,” Jones explained to Us. “Then [we’ll move on to] marriage, make memories, then kids, [and] make memories.” 

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Russell, for her part, agreed with her fiancé — but couldn’t help gushing over plans for her dream wedding. 

“We’re thinking about, like, time of year and all of that. But we’re still in the stages of being super excited for where we’re at,” she shared. “We haven’t gotten to walk out in public as an engaged couple yet, so we’re really enjoying this time. But I would be lying if I wasn’t, like, on wedding TikTok just saving stuff. … I have a collection for wedding ideas already!”

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