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Lauren Alaina had been dating Alex Hopkins since they were both 17.

Alaina explained the split on Nashville’s All My Favorite People Podcast saying, “We started dating at 17, and we’re now 24 years old,” she states. “We’re very different people, and we have different goals, and we want to go different places in life. When we got engaged, it got really real. Not that it wasn’t real before, but it was just like, ‘Oh.’ When you start planning your entire future and you’re not agreeing on things, it’s very hard. But he was all I knew, and I was all he knew.”

The couple had dated for six years when she announced their engagement last summer in a post to social media.

As Lauren was dealing with the couple’s differences, she was also dealing with a family medical crisis as her stepfather, Sam Ramker, was battling stage 4 melanoma. Her parents moved from their home in Wisconsin into Alaina’s home in Nashville so her stepfather could undergo treatment at Vanderbilt Medical Center, and after his death on October 21, Alaina says all of her problems came to a head.

Lauren herself sought treatment via a residential therapy program just outside of Music City, where she underwent a week of intensive sessions that she found life-changing.

Sadly, just six months after she and Alex were engaged, the couple called it quits. “While we still have love for each other, we’ve grown into very different people over the last six years,” the couple said in a joint statement. “We are now in a place where we are each looking forward to start our own fresh, new chapters of our lives.”

-Nancy Brooks