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The Vanderpump Rules Season 9 reunion was an emotional one for James Kennedy and Raquel Leviss, who first shared the news of their breakup with the group during the sit-down hosted by Andy Cohen. It was during the reunion that the former couple revealed the details as to why they decided to end their engagement, which they confirmed back in December around the time of the reunion filming.
James and Raquel shared the news of their breakup within the first few minutes of the reunion, which aired on January 25. "We've decided to break off the engagement," Raquel said. "And it's been something that I've been thinking about for a while and that James has noticed that my heart hasn't been fully in it."
Raquel noted that she "didn't want to give up on" James given how much they've been through and how much she has seen him grow over time, but she noted that she feels "like it's something deep within" in terms of why she believed it was the right time to end the relationship.
The news was surprising to the Vanderpump Rules cast, who all showed their support as the pair revealed more details about their decision to end the relationship. "We both came to the conclusion," Raquel said when asked who broke off the engagement. "It's been a gradual realization. I haven't been able to really take a step back and reflect on myself until very recently."
When Lisa Vanderpump tried to really understand what went wrong, James responded, "We've got to stop prodding at it. We've worked on it. We've worked on our relationship, and I feel like after I quit drinking, I just thought that would fix it. It didn't quite fix it all. And we had a conversation a couple months ago, and I asked her if I'm your soul mate... and she said 'Do you think I'm your soulmate?'"
That answer was "the first time I felt like we weren't destined in the galaxy," James said.
He further noted, "We'd rather just end it and pull the Band-Aid off before we get married and have a baby and f--king get a divorce because that's literally the last thing I want."
The couple cited that dealing with quarantine amid the pandemic contributed to their split, and they also confirmed that the frequency of the intimacy in their relationship had shifted and diminished since the rage texts back in Season 8.
"We're just growing up, and you can't f--king fight that," James noted at one point during the conversation about their breakup. "There's nothing wrong, but we both know that it isn't right."
Raquel, who gave James the engagement ring back during the reunion, also shared an update on what's next for her, revealing that she still wants to pursue her longtime goal of occupational therapy. "It's hard," she said. "I envisioned a life with James, and it was something that I fantasized about a lot, so it's kind of like closing that book and redirecting my energy somewhere else."
Tune in as Part 2 of the Vanderpump Rules Season 9 reunion airs on Wednesday, January 26 at 9/8c.
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