There weren't enough margaritas in Mexico to get us through Taylor Rue and Jared "JP" Pearce's awkward vacation on Love Is Blind.
And, it turns out, the dynamic between the duo—who were the first couple to get engaged in the Netflix reality dating series' fifth season—was even "worse" IRL, according to Taylor, who ultimately chose to end their engagement in episode six before returning to the U.S.
"It was really hard," Taylor told E! News in an exclusive interview. "I mean just the reveal was a little bit awkward, but in my mind, I was like, 'He's probably nervous, I'm nervous,' and in a way, we were having to start over because we just had the emotional connection."
The kindergarten teacher hoped a romantic trip would restore the effortless chemistry they enjoyed in the pods, but "it didn't get any better," Taylor shared. So, she decided to address the issue head-on to "hopefully fix it," she explained, "but it only got worse because I brought it up. My hope was to fix it and our relationship. It was heartbreaking."
During their intense conversation, JP revealed that he was initially put off by how much makeup Taylor was wearing during the big reveal after their engagement. Reader, our jaw dented the floor with how fast it fell.
"When he initially said it, I was like, 'What in the world?'" Taylor explained. "Like, there is no way you are acting completely different because of the way I look. We are on here for an emotional connection and we had built such a strong connection between us."
But Taylor didn't take JP's comments at face-value (pun fully intended).
"I don't think there's a lot of truth behind that," she said, "but I was definitely hurt about it."
Still, the 26-year-old stressed that it wasn't just that one comment that ultimately led her to call off their engagement after spending a night apart in Mexico.
"I didn't leave J.P. due to the makeup comment, I left JP because I fell in love with this version of him and then that version was no longer there," she clarified. "The person I fell in love with was not there and that was scary."
So, Taylor said she followed her heart and ended their relationship early.
"I had one foot in the door, one foot out, and nobody deserves that," she reasoned. "Everybody deserves someone who is 100 percent about them and I also know he was not 100 percent about me. You just don't completely change the way you act based on the way somebody looks."
While Taylor and JP have yet to reunite in person, she confirmed that she has spoken to her ex, though she needed some time when he first reached out to her.
"I just wasn't ready. I was like, 'I don't want to talk to you, I don't want to see you,'" she admitted. "And then a couple of months back, I actually reached to him and we had good conversation, but we actually didn't talk about anything that really needs to be talked about, so still waiting for that."
So are we.
After the experiment and her engagement ended, Taylor admitted it was initially hard to readjust to normal life.
"It took me some time to get back to myself," she said. "I needed to heal from what I went through with JP. But after I got past all that, I feel stronger and I love myself more. I learned to date with more intent and so I learned a lot of things."
Taylor and JP are far from the first Love Is Blind couple to call it quits ahead of the altar. Check out the status of every LIB pairing:
Love Is Blind is streaming on Netflix.