After appearing on season 25 of The Bachelor, Young got a second chance at finding love on the show when she was cast as the lead on The Bachelorette. 30 men competed to win her heart, but Olukoya caught her eye from the first night.
During the final episode of Young's season, Olukoya asked the Minnesota native to marry him, and she happily said yes.
Young and Olukoya also made history as the first-ever Black couple to get engaged on The Bachelorette. To show their support, the franchise gave the couple a $200,000 check for a down payment on their first home.
Two months after their engagement, Young told PEOPLE in an exclusive interview that she falls "more in love" with Olukoya every day. On June 17, 2022, however, the couple shocked fans when they announced the end of their engagement on Instagram Stories.
"Hearts are heavy, emotions are high, and we are dealing with this the best way we can… We genuinely fell in love, and we genuinely became each other's best friends," Olukoya wrote in part, adding that he and Young will always "cheer each other on."
From a first impression rose to their eventual split, here is a complete timeline of Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya's relationship.
October 19, 2021: Season 18 of The Bachelorette premieres
After being eliminated from Matt James' season of The Bachelor, Young, a fan-favorite amongst Bachelor Nation, was chosen as the next Bachelorette. Her season followed Katie Thurston's and aired in October 2021.
He caught her attention right away and received the first impression rose later on in the night after opening up to Young and showing his vulnerable side. The couple then shared their first kiss.
"I wanted to start by telling you how when we were talking earlier tonight you kind of expressed that it was difficult for you to be vulnerable, in that it might have to be something that you ease into, but I truly saw you push yourself," Young told Olukoya before giving him the rose. "And even as you opened up, you were completely Nayte. Nothing but Nayte. So that being said, Nayte, will you accept this rose?"
November 16, 2021: Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya go on a one-on-one date in her hometown
Bachelorette fans watched as Young took the 11 remaining men on a trip back to her hometown in Minnesota. Young chose Olukoya for the second one-on-one date of the episode, and the duo enjoyed a boat date on Lake Minnetonka. During the date, Young introduced her suitor to her two best friends before opening up to him about an unhealthy relationship she struggled with in the past.
"I'm very crazy about Nayte," Young said in an on-camera interview. "I do start to get this feeling like, this is my person. That's really exciting but it's also very terrifying. But I'm following my intuition, I'm following my heart. And I do feel that I'm starting to fall for Nayte."
November 22, 2021: Michelle Young says she made the "right decision" on the show
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While Young's final choice had not yet been revealed, she told PeopleTV's Jeremy Parsons and Janine Rubenstein at the American Music Awards on Nov. 21 that she was "very happy" with her experience on The Bachelorette.
"I feel like I make the right decision in the end — it takes me a minute," she said.
November 23, 2021: Michelle Young and Nayte Olukaya say they are "falling" for each other
Following the final group date of the season, Olukoya showed vulnerability when he talked to Young about his father, who had never wanted his son to talk about or introduce him to the women he dated.
"I've actually never once felt like I wanted to introduce somebody to my dad before and then you come along. You come along and I feel like it'd be so easy for me to introduce you to my dad," he said. "With all that being said, I think what I am trying to say is that I'm definitely falling for you. Definitely, seriously, strongly falling for you."
Young reciprocated his feelings and told Olukoya, "I feel very strongly about you and I'm really tumbling down a hill so fast, falling for you as well."
November 30, 2021: Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya go on a hometown date
Things for the couple got more serious after Olukoya took Young on a hometown date. After Olukoya introduced Young to his mother and stepfather, Young told them that her and Olukoya's relationship "was just easy."
However, Olukoya's stepfather and mother both expressed concerns about whether he was ready for marriage.
"I feel like I'm heading in the direction that I'm going to want to do that, but at the same time, am I there 100 percent right now? No," Olukoya told his mother.
December 21, 2021: Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya get engaged
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Young's parents echoed the concerns that Olukoya was not ready for an engagement during the final episode of the season. Despite this, Young followed her heart and sent Brandon Jones home in a tearful goodbye — making Olukoya the only man left.
During the final rose ceremony, Young acknowledged that their relationship had "not necessarily been a smooth ride," but told Olukoya, "I'm also not willing to face that fear of walking away from this without you because I have never felt a love like this before."
"I love you with my entire heart and don't ever want to think about waking up next to anyone beside you and doing life with anyone besides you and at the end, I wanted to be standing in front of my soulmate and he is definitely standing right in front of me," she said before Olukoya got down on one knee and popped the question with a pear-cut Neil Lane diamond ring.
Young and Olukoya then made their first public appearance as an engaged couple on the After the Final Rose special. The happy couple discussed their future plans, and Olukoya announced that he was moving to Minnesota "very soon," teasing that he and Young had already started looking for a house.
December 22, 2021: Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya discuss being the first Bachelorette couple of color
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Young and Olukoya made history as the first couple of color to get engaged on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette in the franchise's nearly two-decade run. The couple talked about the impact and weight of this on an episode of the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast.
"Nayte and I have always been goal setters. We talked about that, I have always been a goal setter," she explained. "When he came in, our conversations that we had, we definitely really aligned with that. And so it's been cool to be a part of this experience and to make history in this way … It's just kind of a trampoline for us with what we're gonna do."
"Black love, baby!" her fiancé chimed in.
December 24: Kaitlyn Bristowe praises Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya following their engagement
Young and Olukoya received plenty of messages of support from Bachelor Nation, including one from former Bachelorette and host Kailtyn Bristowe. In an Instagram post, the Dancing with the Stars winner said that Young "inspires" her in "every way" and applauded Olukoya for being a "loving vulnerable man" throughout his relationship with Young.
"Meeting both of your families and seeing the love they have for you two, and for each other is a testament to who you are as humans," Bristowe wrote. "I'm so happy for the two of you."
December 25, 2021: Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya celebrate their first Christmas as a couple
Days after the season 18 finale, Young and Olukoya hit another milestone as a couple: their first Christmas together. Young shared a photo of the couple sitting on Santa's lap on Instagram, revealing in the comments that it was her fiancé who requested the pose.
"Santa brought my Christmas present a little early this year," she wrote in the caption.
December 28, 2021: Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya reveal they want a short engagement
Unlike past Bachelor couples, Young and Olukoya said they did not want a long engagement. Just before the new year, Young told PEOPLE that the couple was excited to start their "life together" and that the wedding planning was speeding up.
"No shade to anybody who wants a long engagement, but that's not us. We're like, cool, you're my person, I'm your person. We're ready!" Young said.
Olukoya also shared that he was excited to move to Minnesota to be with Young.
"I'm looking forward to packing up and seeing what Minnesota is like," he said. "I'm all in. And I'm excited! We are both leaning towards a summertime wedding."
January 7, 2022: Michelle Young raves about her relationship with fiancé Nayte Olukoya
One week into 2022, Young posted a sweet Instagram tribute to Olukoya that featured various photos and videos from their romance.
Young captioned the post, "Strutting into 2022 after hitting the jackpot feels pretty good."
February 11, 2022: Michelle Young and Nate Olukoya make their red carpet debut
Young and Olukoya made their first red carpet appearance together at Rihanna's Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin event on Feb. 11, 2022. The couple then headed to Shaq's Fun House, a pre-Super Bowl Party hosted by Shaquille O'Neal. Young shared a series of photos of her and Olukoya posing on the red carpet on Instagram.
"First time walking the red carpet as a couple but not the first time whooping Nayte's butt in a game of basketball," she captioned the post.
March 2022: Michelle Young and Nate Olukoya appear on Celebrity Family Feud
Young and Olukoya made an appearance on Celebrity Family Feud in March 2022, along with Bachelor alums Joe Amabile and Serena Pitt, Mari Pepin and Kenny Braasch, Becca Kufrin and Thomas Jacobs, Mike Johnson and Young's ex, Rodney Matthews.
Both Young and Olukoya posted the same photo of the couple posing together on the Family Feud set. In the caption of her post, Young wrote, "Can you tell by our smiles how happy we are to be here?"
Olukoya poked fun at himself in his caption, writing, "'Celebrity' is kind of pushing it for myself 😅 but boy oh boy, what a day, and what an experience!"
March 2022: Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya enjoy a romantic vacation in Punta Cana
Young and Olukoya took a romantic trip back to the resort they got engaged at in Punta Cana. The couple shared multiple snaps on Instagram throughout the tropical vacation and visited all of their special spots from their time on the show.
"Coconuts about you," Olukoya wrote alongside a picture of him and Young kissing in a pool.
April 2022: Michelle Young and Nate Olukoya take a trip to New York City
The couple took another trip together in April 2022, this time to New York City. On her Instagram, Young shared a series of snaps of the pair, including a selfie of them hugging on the Brooklyn Bridge. Young fittingly captioned her post, "Naychelle takes on New York," a reference to their fan-dubbed couple name.
May 2022: Michelle Young shuts down breakup rumors
In May 2022, Young shot down rumors of a split from Olukoya after a video began circulating where she was seen without her engagement ring. The fifth grade teacher posted a series of videos addressing the breakup speculation on her Instagram Story, and reminded fans that she and Olukoya are "human beings — not a zoo exhibit."
"What I will have to say is to the person who is paying close enough attention to catch that moment, you also had to be paying close enough attention to see one of my friends briefly remove my engagement ring to try it on and then place it back on my finger," Young said.
She also added that "videoing somebody without them knowing is creepy" and "not cool."
June 17, 2022: Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya end their engagement
Six months after the couple got engaged, Young and Olukoya announced they were going their separate ways.
The pair shared the news of their breakup on Instagram, and both posted lengthy statements on their respective Stories.
"I'm struggling to say that Nayte and I will be going our separate ways, but I stand with him in knowing the heaviness that is present in both of our hearts as this relationship has been very real for us," Young wrote.
Olukoya addressed the split on his own Story, writing, "When we both started this journey, we were looking for our Soulmates. Our forever. Our best friends. However, as we grow and learn, we also realize that sometimes somebody that you hold dear to your heart isn't somebody that you're meant to spend the rest of your life with."
He concluded his statement by asking his followers for privacy so that he and Young could "mend our hearts in the privacy of our own lives."
June 2022: Nayte Olukoya says he did not cheat on Michelle Young
During a since-expired Instagram Q&A, Olukoya shared his side of the story on why he and Young went their separate ways.
"No, I didn't cheat," he wrote on one slide.
"Not every breakup needs to have someone to blame," he continued. "Yes, the pressures were insane for both of us. We tried. It didn't work. We're sad about it. We all grieve differently."
Olukoya also asked fans why they portrayed him as the villain after him and Young's split. "Yes, many of you seem to paint me as a red flag/ f--- boy. Maybe it's the piercings and tattoos? Who knows," he wrote. "But I'm actually a decent guy, and I only want to continue getting better. As we should all want for ourselves."
As for any speculation that he was cheating on Young because he was spotted out with friends, Olukoya said his nights out were innocent. "Yes, I like to hang out with my guys. As she likes to hang out with her girls," he wrote. "Nothing wrong with that. If anything, super healthy. We are social people. Not everyone who goes to bars are cheaters."
July 5, 2022: Michelle Young says she never "foresaw" breakup with Nayte Olukoya
She told hosts Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti that she had been leaning on family and friends since the breakup. "I will say that this is not something that I foresaw, and I'll leave it there," said Young.
Higgins and laconetti asked how the two planned on using the money ABC gifted them after calling off their engagement. Young cited that the "money was gifted to both of us" and said it's yet to be decided "how that's going to be utilized, going forward."
"I haven't officially decided, but I have started putting down some different things in place to give back, to build an organization, or just promote the change that I've been talking about," she continued. "I think that'd be something that I'd feel really good about."
Young said she'd been "crying on the phone with one of the producers," and asked if the money could be given to "somebody else."
"I know that's been the million-dollar question, no pun intended," she added. "Yeah, it's been a lot."