In his new book, The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV, the former Bachelor reveals that he and Randolph briefly broke up after the show. Their split in August of last year only lasted a couple of days, but as Underwood told ET's Lauren Zima, it was enough to teach him that there's "no certainty" in their relationship.
"There is no certainty right now. I mean we're not engaged, we're not married. I love her to bits and pieces and I think that for us, we just need to keep communicating and having those open conversations with one another," he said. "I mean, we're just taking it day by day right now."
Underwood says in The First Time that he and Randolph would both like to see an engagement happen this year -- and while he told ET he's grateful to have her support amid his coronavirus recovery, it hasn't made him want to propose in the coming weeks. After his COVID-19 diagnosis, Underwood has been self-isolating on the third floor of the Randolph family home in Huntington Beach, California, but noted they haven't experienced the same quarantine-induced time together that other couples have.
"It's still a day-by-day thing at this point," he repeated of his relationship with Randolph. "There is not certainty right now in this world."
Underwood's lax attitude is seemingly a direct response to the issues that caused his breakup with Randolph last year.
"I put a lot of pressure on our relationship when I was always defending it or I was overcompensating and trying too hard. I was almost pushing her away by trying to bring her closer," he explained. "I was saying, 'No, we'll be fine. We'll be engaged by this date. We'll do this, we'll do this, we'll do this.' And it was sort of overwhelming her all over again. "
"[I said things] like, 'We need to talk about this. You can't just, like, go out in the media and say this,' or 'You can't just tweet about this or Instagram like this without communicating and talking with me,'" Underwood recalled. "We both just let a lot of things -- little things -- build up, because we got busy."
Micromanaging their relationship wasn't working -- but neither was the lack of communication. "She was doing a lot of things on her own and I was doing things on my own and we forgot what made us so strong together was that communication and working through problems together... being there for one another and being a team," he said.
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Like so many people my age, and maybe like you, i am a mix of contradictions as i try to figure out where i fit in. I can be tough one day and cry the next. I can get angry, but i can be vulnerable, too. My mood changes daily. I make mistakes. I am not afraid to try new things. I want to be successful. But i find the most meaning when i help other people. There’s something about giving selflessly that makes me my best self. Going on the bachelor brought a lot to me — some good, some bad, and some I’ll never be able to figure out. I went looking for love and found out more about myself than i imagined. Today, I get to add “Author” to list of words that describe me among many other things. I hope that this book can resonate or help even just one person that is struggle or going through a rough time in their life. Thank you all so much for going on this ride with me. ♥️🤙🏼
Underwood and Randolph celebrated their one-year anniversary last November, and these days, they do have some conversations about their future. They've also made some important decisions -- just without a specific timeline attached.
"We decided that we're not moving in together until we're married. So, we have that to look forward to in the next step into our relationship," he revealed. "But as far as like, timeline, we still talk about her finishing school and this and that."
The pair have also discussed having kids together, with Underwood joking that fans won't find out if he lost his virginity until Randolph's possible future pregnancy announcement. "You sort of get a two-for-one when we decide to have kids," he cracked.
The former football player's new book, The First Time, addresses his relationship with Randolph, his sexuality, his virginity and more -- and he hopes it will help readers work through some of their own issues.
"There's a lot of little things in there that I feel like can help a lot of people," Underwood said, before thanking his friends, family and Bachelor Nation for making the book possible. "Whether you liked me or didn't like me in those three seasons [on Bachelor shows], thanks for being there with me and going on that ride with me. And thanks to the show. I have mixed reviews when it comes to [my time with the franchise], but at the end of the day, I'm very happy and very in love with Cassie and I have them to thank for that. So, I just wanna say a big thank you."
The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV is now available where books are sold.