Breaking up is never easy, and no one knows that better than Bachelorette Becca Kufrin.
Not only has Kufrin said her goodbyes to 24 suitors so far this season (it will be 27 by the time the finale rolls around), she’s also lived through what might be the world’s most public breakup, on the last season of The Bachelor, when fiancé Arie Luyendyk Jr. unceremoniously dumped her on camera not long after getting down on one knee.
Instead of wallowing, though, Kufrin put on a sparkly dress and faced her ex again—this time on live TV—to rehash exactly what went wrong.
Bachelor Nation collectively cheered Becca on—but also wondered, “How on earth did she pull it together so quickly?”
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Kufrin admits it wasn’t as simple as it looked. “Everyone handles a breakup in their own way, and I really had to take some time for myself and get back to my normal life,” she told InStyle when we caught up with her earlier this season. “So I dove right back into work. And I tried really hard to fill my days doing the things that made me happy. It’s so easy to shut down and be in your own head after a breakup, you know? I made sure to surround myself with friends and family who would pick me up and get me back on track.”
Her best advice for someone going through the same thing? Don’t worry about saving face. “It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be confused, or to be down and angry. My mom always told me that time will heal everything and it’s true,” she said.
Still, time wasn’t exactly on her side after her breakup with Luyendyk Jr. “It was only about a month after Arie and I had broken up that [ABC] came to me about being The Bachelorette,” she said. “So, yes, it was fast, but I also didn’t want what happened to scare me away from finding love. I went on Arie’s season wanting to find a great relationship and at the end of the day, I still wanted that.”
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So she said yes. And her entire ordeal with Luyendyk Jr. made her think hard about how to make breakups less gruesome for the men in the mansion now that she’s the one handing out the roses.
“Saying goodbye was something I really struggled with,” she said. “There’s really no rule book for how you end a relationship, so I would often feel really bad afterwards. I never wanted to hurt anyone just because I know exactly what that feels like. And what was difficult was knowing that I had 28 guys and 27 of them were going to have to hurt at some point. I tried to do it respectfully—how I would’ve wanted it done to me.”
The Bachelorette is on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.