Love Is Blind‘s Deepti Vempati is looking ahead to her future — but could ex Kyle Abrams be part of her plans?
The Love Is Blind: After the Altar star, 31, exclusively opened up to PEOPLE about her romance with Kyle — and why things ultimately ended between them.
“I think it’s important that I let people know that Kyle and I had a special bond in the pods. He was my number two person [after Abhishek “Shake” Chatterjee]. And so we really built this friendship foundation over the last year,” she explained at Netflix’s Date Night press junket. “But when we did After the Altar, it really forced us to address our feelings for each other because we were tip-toeing around them because we didn’t want to cross that line, because we didn’t want to lose each other as best friends.”
“And so it was a tough thing, but we knew that there’s feelings there, so if we didn’t try, it would be hard,” she continued. “So yeah, back in April, we officially started dating.”
As fans know, that moment was captured in the final episode of the three-part After the Altar special, showing Kyle, 30, asking Deepti to be his girlfriend — and her saying yes. But earlier this month, the pair announced they were no longer dating in respective statements on Instagram.
“Toward early summer, we just saw that the energy was shifting,” Deepti told PEOPLE. “There was so much pressure on us, we weren’t talking about our wants and needs. And I think we just realized that being friends is really a much better path for us to be better people, and to grow, we needed to grow our separate ways and figure out what life has to offer.”
Deepti also acknowledged how the pressure of the public spotlight may have contributed to the demise of their relationship.
“On the one hand, we weren’t able to share a lot of our memories with everyone because After the Altar hadn’t aired yet. So it was hard when you are getting a lot of pressure, and there’s so many opinions, and people are like, ‘Oh my God, we want to make this work,’ all of that,” she explained. “It was definitely tough.”
“But ultimately, there was other issues than just the pressure of the public,” she added. “And so I write about that in my book [I Choose Myself]. But yeah, I think it’s normal to leave unhealthy relationships.”
In her book, Deepti detailed how she and Kyle’s relationship progressed until they were “spending all of our time together, which wasn’t healthy.” She also noted that she felt “insecure” about “Kyle’s flirtatious nature” with other women. “We were on completely different pages. It was easier to end things and remain friends than try to mend this mess,” she wrote.
As for whether or not she sees their relationship getting back on track one day, Deepti told PEOPLE it may be in the cards — but not certainly not in the immediate future.
“I think it’s really hard to go back to the exact type of friendship that we used to have once you cross that line,” she shared. “Maybe down the road we can. But as of right now, we’re just doing our own thing.”
On Sept. 19, Kyle confirmed their split on Instagram, saying that the pair “decided to go our separate ways in early summer.”
“Thank you to every who has followed our journey through arduous vulnerability,” he continued, “and has supported us along the way.”
He also revealed that he is not single. “I have since embarked on a new relationship which I intend to keep private for a bit,” he wrote. “As for what the future holds, I have not a clue. Going forward I plan to live each day in the present without any regret.”
Deepti’s post came one day later when she shared highlights from their relationship via an Instagram video clip set to Dermot Kennedy’s “Better Days.” She reflected on their journey, citing the popular quote: “People come into your life for a chapter, a season or a lifetime.”
“Kyle and I couldn’t share these memories over the past year but they were part of my life that I want to share with you all,” she wrote. “We are now walking different paths. Thank you to everyone for your continued love and support 🤍”
The former duo appeared on the Netflix hit’s second season, where they wound up establishing stronger connections in the pods stage with other people. Deepti accepted a proposal from Shake, while Kyle proposed to Shaina Hurley. Neither relationship lasted.
During the season 2 reunion special, Kyle admitted that his “biggest regret” was not seriously pursuing Deepti in the pods. The pair continued to draw closer from there, even sparking dating rumors this past spring. In March, Deepti told Elite Daily that the pair were still “figuring it out.”
Kyle recently told PEOPLE after filming concluded that the possibility of losing Deepti as a best friend was “holding me back,” though he acknowledged that not much changed upon becoming boyfriend and girlfriend.
“After that, it was like nothing really changed because I felt like we were dating already,” he said. “We saw each other almost every day. We spent hours together. We did everything together. She had even met my family, so it wasn’t weird or anything.”
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Love Is Blind can be streamed in full now on Netflix.