06/17/2004 AT 3:00 PM ET
Blaming the burden of maintaining a long-distance relationship, The Bachelor beau Jesse Palmer and his chosen soulmate, Jessica Bowlin, have called it quits, just one month after the ABC show’s finale.
The two decided to “mutually end their relationship,” TV’s Extra reported Thursday.
In a statement, Palmer, claiming he will continue to focus on his football career with the New York Giants, said: “Jessica and I shared an incredible romantic journey on the show that began with a friendship that remains strong today. We simply realized that, individually, our next steps take us in different directions.”
Bowlin, who intends to pursue her law education in California, said: “With too much distance and too little time these were not ideal circumstances in which to start a relationship. Jesse is a great guy and has a wonderful family. Who knows what the future holds?”
On May 19 (though the episode was shot two months before), a rapt nation watched as Palmer, 25, left bachelorette hopeful Tara Huckeby in tears when he picked Bowlin, 22, to be his girlfriend (and, despite the promise of the show, not his wife).
“This whole thing to me is like a dream,” Palmer told Bowlin during the show’s moment of truth, “and tomorrow morning I’m gonna wake up from that dream into the real world. But I don’t want to wake up tomorrow morning if I can’t wake up with you.”
So much for that.