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Many Bachelorette fans were devastated when Michelle Young and Brandon Jones split in the season 18 finale. The two shared a special connection throughout the season. But it wasn’t meant to be in the end. So why did Brandon and Michelle break up in The Bachelorette 2021? Here’s what happened to the Bachelor Nation couple and why Brandon wouldn’t get back together with the lead if he was given the chance.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers about The Bachelorette Season 18 finale.]

What happened to Brandon Jones and Michelle Young in ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 18 finale?

Moments before Michelle and Brandon’s breakup in The Bachelorette Season 18 finale, the contestant truly believed that he was going to marry the lead. Earlier that week, Brandon got the stamp of approval from Michelle’s family. The 28-year-old teacher also told her suitor that she was in love with him.

Nevertheless, Michelle knew that she couldn’t lose her final pick, Nayte Olukoya. So after Brandon’s sweet proposal, Michelle had to end the relationship. And by the end of the breakup, both parties were in tears. The reality series also seemed to show Brandon throwing the Neil Lane engagement ring into the trees to highlight his heartbreak.

That said, Brandon made it clear that he would always be there for Michelle. He also said he wanted to fight for his ex. However, he knew that nothing could be done because she simply followed her heart. 

Brandon Jones shares whether he is still in love with Michelle Young after filming ‘The Bachelorette’ 2021

Brandon Jones and Michelle Young on their last date together on the beach in ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 18 finale
Brandon Jones and Michelle Young in ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 18 finale | ABC/Craig Sjodin

Following his split with Michelle in The Bachelorette Season 18 finale, Brandon shared a bittersweet photo on Instagram. The contestant shared a picture of the beach in Mexico where the final episode was filmed. 

“There’s beauty in the struggle,” Brandon captioned the pic, adding a wilted rose.

That said, Brandon indicated that he’s ready to move on. During the “After the Final Rose” special, the two exes seemed friendly with one another while they had one last piece of closure. Host Kaitlyn Bristowe also directly asked Brandon whether he was still in love with Michelle.

“I will always, always, always love Michelle. Unfortunately, I don’t think that it would be respectful to love her in that manner anymore,” he said. “I want her and Nayte to truly be happy.”

Why Brandon Jones doesn’t think he’d get back together with Michelle Young


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While it appears that Brandon isn’t in love with Michelle after The Bachelorette Season 18, some Bachelor Nation fans are still stuck on all the “what-ifs.” So in the Dec. 22 episode of The Viall Files podcast, Nick Viall asked whether Brandon would ever consider getting back together with Michelle if she were single. 

“The door is open as a friend in a respectful way,” Brandon said. “If she did slide into my DMs and wanted to talk and everything, then I would talk to her in a respectful manner. I wouldn’t talk to her how I talked to her on the show.”

He added, “My person has to choose me first. And in that setting, at that point, she chose Nayte. I truly wish them the best. But I can’t be a second option. … And I hope that doesn’t happen. I hope they don’t break up. I want her to have happiness with him.”