Why Ben Higgins & Lauren Bushnell Split

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell

Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for iHeartMedia Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell attend the iHeart Music Festival.

Ben Higgins is arriving at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in tonight’s episode of The Bachelor. It was just a few seasons ago that he was in Matt James’ position.

After famously telling both ex-fiancée Lauren Bushnell and his runner-up JoJo Fletcher that he loved them, he had a short-lived engagement with the former flight attendant. He recently told Entertainment Tonight they did try to make it work early on, but “it was just pulling pieces of us all the time.”

The former Bachelor continued, “I don’t think we wanted to make it work, because I think internally we knew just how unhealthy it probably was to continue to go on. We were just looking for an out, but trying our best to make it last as long as we could to see if maybe we found the secret sauce.”

Despite Bushnell moving to live with Higgins in Colorado and filming the reality show, Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?, they were never able to discover that “secret sauce.” They announced their split in May 2017.

A year after the split, he told Entertainment Tonight that his inflexibility with his own routines and his sensitivities played a part in their split.

A potentially bigger factor was watching back his season and his unfolding relationship with Fletcher.

“I do remember those moments of trying to explain myself or thinking, ‘Hey, this is all good. We’re gonna watch this back because you know I chose you, and this is going to be fine.’ It wasn’t. It wasn’t at all,” the Generous Coffee co-founder told the outlet. “It hurt deeply and I know I did.”

“The decision I made to overcommunicate ended up hurting the relationship I was in,” Higgins continued. “And I would not even want to risk doing that again right now,” he said referencing his engagement with Jessica Clarke.

Higgins is grateful for his time on the franchise, despite the heartbreak. He and Bushnell have since moved onto other relationships.

“It’s almost scary for me to think of what my life would’ve been like. This show has been so good to me, and it’s taught me so much about myself,” he said. “I don’t think [I’d be] with my fiancée now if the show didn’t happen, just because of random circumstances.”

“So, yes, it taught me a lot and it’s been really good for me and really fun to celebrate that from the show re-airing,” Higgins added at the time his season was featured on The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons — Ever! “I’m still trying to figure it out, but this was a part of that story and it’s been really fun to see that.”

Higgins is engaged to Jessica Clarke

After his relationship ended with Bushnell, he eventually appeared on Bachelor Winter Games. While he left without a relationship, he would go on to meet Jessica Clarke.

The couple revealed their engagement in April 2020 and bought a house in Denver in December 2020.

Higgins told Entertainment Tonight that Clarke was not really a fan of the franchise before they got together, so he cannot foresee any benefit watching his season with her.

“I don’t see the benefit [of her watching] and I don’t think she does either. I think the cons far outweigh the pros. I think there would be a chance where even though I have no fear that it would end our relationship, I think that the small moments of watching me pursue and encourage and kiss other people might be the closest thing to, like, heartbreak that she’s felt romantically and I don’t want be a part of that and she doesn’t want to be a part of that,” said Higgins. “So, no, she’s not watching. She doesn’t plan on watching ever, and I’m pretty OK with it.”

Bushnell Is Expecting Her First Child With Country Singer Husband Chris Lane

Bushnell started dating country singer Chris Lane in 2018, revealing in the “Big Big Plan” music video that the couple was engaged. They got married in 2019.

Their family is growing, as the Nashville-based couple revealed in December they are expecting their first child.

Bushnell posted a video of her sonogram, along with the caption, “A dream. Except I’m not dreaming. I’m wide awake. Holding your dads hand, watching you dance around in my belly. Listening to your little heart beat. My new favorite sound. A miracle. New life. Our sweet baby. Thank you Jesus! All the glory belongs to You.”

At the time, her ex-fiancé congratulated her, commenting on her post, “Congrats! What a thing to celebrate!”

Higgins can be seen on Matt James’ season of The Bachelor tonight on ABC at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

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