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The Block NZ couple Jamie & Hayden’s sad split

Why the couple say they're better as friends

The clutch of Kiwi contestants who have conquered The Block NZ will tell you the 10-week renovation challenge teaches you strength, perseverance and the value of an honest day’s work. But for Jamie Johns and Hayden Campbell, the reality TV experience had far greater consequences.

When fans first met Team Orange in the TV3 show’s premiere last October, the duo were head over heels in love, happily engaged and excited about tying the knot in a Rarotongan wedding. Yet when we catch up with the pair less than three months after the live auction finale, Jamie and Hayden reveal exclusively to Woman’s Day that they are no longer a couple. “The Block is a funny thing,” explains Hayden, 30. “You are thrown into every testing situation possible and pulled every which way. Jamie and I could’ve travelled the world three times over and still not have faced all the challenges we did on the show.

“But with all those challenges, we started to learn the very complicated nuts and bolts about each other. We were each other’s biggest support, but in that process, we started to grow closer together as best friends and not as close as a couple. More than anything, we both want for one another to be happy and, for us right now, that means pursuing a friendship.”

It’s been almost two months since the couple officially broke up, an experience they describe as “calm” and “peaceful”. They gave up the rental they shared together on Auckland’s North Shore, with Jamie moving in with her aunt and uncle, while Hayden’s been bunking with some of his rugby teammates at the club flats in Devonport.

“I can sit here and talk about it quite openly now, but the first week apart was really tough,” admits Jamie, 24. “You spend all your time with someone, then suddenly that person isn’t around any more.

“The thing that helped me is that we still talked every day. We didn’t go cold turkey and shut down all communication because there was no need. Neither of us had done anything wrong. There was no messy split. No fights or arguments. “I can’t fault the way Hayden treated me throughout our relationship – he was the perfect gentleman. Something just changed between us, but change can be a good thing.”

Jamie and Hayden may have fallen out of love, but they’re genuine when they say the’re still best mates. As they laugh and goof around at our shoot, you wouldn’t know anything was different – except, of course, the bubbly netball gun is no longer wearing the engagement ring she received when Hayden popped the question in Rarotonga in 2014.

Still smiling with his ex-fiancée, Hayden explains, “Hopefully, we’ve shown there are other ways to go about a break-up.”

Lessons learnt

It was a cheeky pick-up line four years ago that scored Hayden a date with athletic Jamie, who he describes as the “most beautiful smile in the room” when he first laid eyes on her in an Auckland nightclub.

“What Jamie and I had was the real deal,” insists Hayden. “What we are feeling now is a new feeling. Before The Block, we were a love-drunk engaged couple ready to take over the world, but the show took some of the intoxication away. But I don’t regret my relationship with Jamie, not for a second. Our time together has shaped me into the man I am today.

“One of my friends asked recently, ‘Did The Block break you guys up?’ The answer is no, not at all, but it played a part – a positive part. The lessons we learnt about each other over 10 weeks could’ve taken us two years to learn, so I feel like the show has done us a favour.

“I’d hate to get 10 years down the track and discover I’m not the one who can make Jamie as happy as she deserves to be.” But as one partnership ends, another begins for the duo, who have now officially launched their new business venture, Bold Society, a full-service creative agency that specialises in social media.“We realised we were better off as business partners, as we still compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and we thought it would be silly to bypass the opportunity to start something together,” tells Jamie.

“On The Block, we were the team who weren’t afraid to take risks. We encouraged people to do things differently, think outside the box and be bold. So when businesses come to us, they feel like they already know what we’re about.”

Hayden adds, “The biggest motivator for me for starting a business wasn’t to make money. We also wanted to create a vehicle that would positively influence the community. “There is so much talent coming out of where be both grew up, South and West Auckland, that often gets lost or isn’t nurtured. We have so many ideas about creating a healthy forum for these kids to come and express themselves.”

While Jamie and Hayden acknowledge their fans might be upset at first, they hope the show’s Block-aholics will take something positive away from their separation. “Hopefully, we’ve shown

there are other ways to go about a break-up,” explains Hayden. “It doesn’t have to be the big, scandalous sports-star split. You can talk through your troubles and still be happy.”

The Block NZ’s Team Orange has called it quits, but they’re still business partners!

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