Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson Split

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Proving that every rose really does have its thorn, “Bachelor” star Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson are going their separate ways.

The couple, whose courtship was chronicled on the 16th season of the reality dating show, have called off their nine-month engagement.

“After meeting over a year ago, we have decided to end our romantic relationship,” the couple told In Touch Weekly in a joint statement.

“The ups and downs weighed heavily on us both and ultimately we started to grow apart because of the distance, time apart, and our need to focus on our respective careers.”

They added, “We continue to remain friends and will support each other in future endeavors.”

It’s been a rough ride for the couple, who took time apart shortly after Flajnik’s romantic, mountaintop proposal in last November’s finale episode. It didn’t help that the winemaker was captured on the pages of US Weekly of him kissing three different women during the same weekend in February.

But by the time the “After the Final Rose” special aired, they were back together and the Bachelor swore that he was just catching up with “long-time friends.”

Since then, the pair had agreed to take things slow.

“We’re still in the early stages so we’re learning a lot about each other, spending as much time with each other,” Flajnik told PEOPLE at the end of April. “We’re slowing acclimating our lives together and our friends together. It’s going really well.”

Sigh. The Bachelor curse continues. Maybe someday the match-making show will actually result in a successful marriage.

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