Stu Laundy and Sophie Monk never appeared to have the same opinion regarding the reason for their less-than-shocking split.
Now, with a few months to mull it over outside of the intense media scrutiny, the publican has come to terms with the fact their relationship was never going to work.
Stu told Daily Mail Australia on Saturday there was never anything more than friendship between him and Sophie, but his true feelings for the blonde had been clouded while inside The Bachelorette house.
‘The thing is, what I saw was humour and friendship,’ Stu said. ‘And the way the show plays out, in the bubble you’re in, it’s easy to confuse your feelings.’
The publican, who is heir to a $400 million family hospitality empire, decided to enter The Bachelorette after sensing a spark with Sophie a year earlier.
After the blonde cancelled on their planned 2016 date, Stu decided to try his luck with Sophie one more time.
‘I went on the show because I thought I saw something in Sophie 12 months prior, and the show validated my decision,’ Stu said.
Once on the show and facing the ‘bubble’ of expectation, Stu never stopped to analyse his true feelings towards Sophie.
Looking for love, the businessman said he didn’t realise that the person he went there to be with was only ever going to be compatible as a friend.
‘I’m sure Soph and I will be mates forever,’ Stu said.
‘She’s a career girl who admirably supports her family and she has the world at her feet now. Couldn’t be prouder.’
Despite other contestants openly courting fame after appearing on The Bachelorette, Stu maintains his only reason for going on the show was finding true love.
‘I didn’t go on the show for an Insta career or to get invited to the opening of an envelope,’ he said.
After months of media speculation that the pair were ‘faking’ their relationship, Sophie and Stu confirmed their split in January.
Sophie announced the breakup on Instagram, writing: ‘I went into this experience looking to settle down and start a family.’
‘I gave it the best shot I could and my intentions were everything I said I was looking for, but unfortunately it just didn’t work out.’