At the end of Ben Higgins’ season 20 of The Bachelor in 2015, he proposed to Lauren Bushnell and she accepted the proposal. About a year and a half later, however, the two ultimately called off the engagement and split up.
Following their televised engagement in 2016, Higgins and Bushnell got a reality TV series on Freeform about their lives together after The Bachelor. The show, entitled Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?, only received one 8-episode season. The season finale even teased trouble for the couple; its episode description read “Ben and Lauren’s friends throw bachelor and bachelorette parties for the duo in Las Vegas, unaware of the troubles in the couple’s relationship.” The last episode of their reality show aired on November 26, 2016. The couple publicly announced their break-up on May 15, 2017.
In 2017, after news of their split spread, Bushnell opened up to People, revealing that learning Higgins had also told runner-up JoJo Fletcher that he was in love with her put an immediate strain on their engagement. She said: “When The Bachelor aired, reliving that months later wasn’t ideal either. I was still like, ‘We’re going to move forward from this,’ but then the press, that’s what everybody wanted to talk about. I’ve never shared with anyone, except for Ben, how hurtful that situation was and how hard it is to continually talk about it over and over again when you’re trying to start a life with someone. Looking back, I wish I could be like, ‘That’s why it didn’t work out,’ but I think it was just a very abnormal situation.”
When they first broke up, Ben Higgins told Ryan Seacrest “I don’t want to speak for Lauren on any of this, but I think both of us for so long thought this was the right thing and thought this was going to be something. [We’re] extremely lucky we met on this crazy show that brought us together. [We thought] we’d be spending life together, so yeah, it did come as a shock.”Higgins spoke to Entertainment Tonight about a year after their split and acknowledged where he held partial responsibility for their failed relationship, saying “It’s so easy to be the victim… and so when you start looking inward and saying, ‘OK, what exactly did I do that affected this breakup or this relationship negatively?’ [and] for me, it’s my reactions towards things. I have routines and consistencies in my life that for anybody else to come in and change that, for me, I was holding on to them way too close. So I have to become less reactionary.” It seems that, ultimately, the two were not compatible in the long-term once the cameras were turned off.
Since their breakup, Higgins appeared on The Bachelor Winter Games (although his time with the reality dating show franchise didn’t end with a proposal or relationship, this time). Lauren Bushnell starting dating Devin Antin months after her breakup from Higgins, but they broke up in August 2018 after about a year of dating. According to Us Magazine, she was most recently linked to country music star Chris Lane; she was his date to the Country Music Awards in Nashville in November 2018.
Tune in to season 23 of The Bachelor on ABC, Monday nights at 8pm.