Strictly's John Whaite receives outpouring of support after comments about his romance

John is engaged to long-term partner Paul Atkins

Strictly star John Whaite has opened up about his romance with fiancé Paul Atkins – prompting a number of supportive comments from his fans.

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John, 33, took to Instagram on Tuesday to share a black-and-white snapshot of the couple smiling for the camera.

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He explained in the caption: "Relationships are complicated - the ones we have with ourselves, and those that we share with others.

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"They aren't a blissful merging of freedoms, but rather a complicated sharing of experiences, both joyous and painful. We learn more about ourselves on a daily - if not hourly - basis, and we grow from those lessons."

John shared a rare photo with his fiancé Paul to accompany his post

John continued: "After 14 years I'm blessed to have this man in my life, and how we define what we have is ours alone. So do enjoy the work we both share publicly, but please respect that we all have a sacred and precious right to privacy."

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Fans and famous friends were quick to reach out, with a number expressing concern for the couple. "Hope nothing nasty has prompted this," one wrote."Absolutely John… and it upsets me to learn that some people may have tried to overstep those sacred boundaries of privacy," wrote a second.

The couple have been dating for 14 years

A third follower confessed: "Great message John. I admit to wondering if you were still with Paul because you hadn't mentioned him for so long, but I'm glad that you are. But of course, whatever happens in your relationship is your business and no one else's. You don't owe us as fans anything and you don't owe the public anything. Never forget that."

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And a fourth added: "Well said John, you absolutely do have a right to your privacy and it must be so hard to keep certain parts of your life separate when fans are pushing to know all they can about you.

John famously danced with Johannes Radebe on Strictly

"I wish you all the best in your private life and your public life because as a fan I do greatly admire you and at the end of the day I want you to be happy, you're at your absolute best when you're happy."

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