The Bachelorette alum and Booth called off their engagement last fall, issuing an exclusive statement to PEOPLE in November explaining that the amicable decision came “after thoughtful, respectful consideration.”
But according to Bristowe, 33, it was Booth, 31, who pulled the plug. During an appearance on E!’s LadyGang on Sunday, Bristowe recalled host Keltie Knight’s ill-fated advice to stick out the relationship.
“I was like, ‘Look, I remember your advice from before — I’m gonna leave him,’ ” Bristowe told Knight with a laugh.
“Just kidding, he left me,” she added.
When pressed for more details by the podcast’s hosts, Bristowe confirmed that Booth was the one who dumped her.
“He didn’t know why he couldn’t love me. I just think the show was too hard for someone to get over,” she said. “I don’t know, that’s what I’m going off of.”
The couple’s split came more than three years after they got engaged on the season 11 finale of The Bachelorette in 2015.
“After three incredible years, we have decided to go our separate ways,” they said in the statement announcing their split. “This difficult decision comes after thoughtful, respectful consideration. Even though we are parting as a couple, we’re very much committed to remaining friends and we will continue to support each other. Due to the nature of how we met, our relationship has always been very public, and we have enjoyed sharing it with all of you, but we ask that you respect our decision and our privacy at this time.”
A source told PEOPLE at the time that a split was “the last thing Kaitlyn wanted” and that she was “devastated” by the breakup.
“She was willing to fight for the relationship, but there was nowhere for it to go,” the insider said. “Kaitlyn wants to be married and have kids. But it didn’t seem like they were on the same page.”
Bristowe broke her silence days later on her podcast, Off the Vine with Katilyn Bristowe, and admitted that she believed she and Booth would “get through it.”
“To be honest, I thought we would choose the road where we would end up together,” she said as she became emotional. “I just never took our commitment or being engaged, lightly at all. I had the mindset of doing whatever it took to make it work.”
She said the couple hit a “crossroads” in the relationship during a trip to her native Canada.
“With all the hard moments in life come life lessons and that’s what I need to take from all of this,” she explained. “Sometimes you need to take a moment and take a step back to think about what you are fighting for and if it makes sense for your longterm happiness.”
The star has since moved on with Jason Tartick, 30, who competed for Becca Kufrin‘s heart on season 22 of The Bachelorette last year. They met on her podcast and went public with their relationship in January, though Bristowe has said they were together for some time before they let the world know.
For his part, Booth said in January that he was struggling over his breakup with Bristowe — and that it was difficult to see her flaunting her relationship with Tartick on social media.
“Not only were we engaged, but it was like, man, I lost my best friend too,” he said on the Almost Famous podcast. “It just feels like everything is completely gone, like that. Like Kaitlyn and Shawn, gone. We were this team and we got through a lot of stuff together but then just in an instant it’s all gone.”
He later added, “That’s the hard part — and with her moving on so quickly, I just have a tough time understanding why she would put this out everywhere, or blasting it all over the place, knowing that it could hurt.”