The Bachelor

Bachelor Andy and Tessa Break Off Engagement

08/15/2007 at 04:00 PM EDT

Bachelor Andy and Tessa Break Off Engagement
Baldwin and Horst
CRAIG SJODIN/ABC
Last season's The Bachelor stars, Lt. Andy Baldwin and his chosen lady, social worker Tessa Horst, confirm to PEOPLE that they have broken their engagement but not their bond with each other.

"We are very much in love and committed to our relationship," the couple say in a statement. "With the possibility of reassignment to a new location, we decided it was not the ideal time for Tessa to uproot herself and move out [to Hawaii] right now. Our relationship continues to deepen, and we're very hopeful about our future together."

At the ABC party during the Television Critics Association press tour in late July, Baldwin, 30, told PEOPLE that the San Francisco-based Horst, 26, was due to move to Hawaii, where Baldwin is currently posted, at the end of that month.

Baldwin had selected Horst on the May 21 finale of their season on the matchmaking program. At the time, Horst told PEOPLE, "Andy brings light into any room and just lights up the room. His smile and his warmth just make him so great to be around."

About his station in Hawaii, Baldwin said, "I know that I have a year left and I may have the option of a three-year tour. There is also the option of a position in California. There is also a chance of me going back to finish my residency training. I am a firm believer that everything happened for a reason, and I am a firm believer that this happened in my life for a reason. Tessa came onto the show for a reason, and it is like a dream come true."

The next season of The Bachelor will begin on ABC Sept. 24.

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