In 2016, Ben Higgins starred as “The Bachelor” and fell head-over-heels for contestant Lauren Bushnell. The two seemed to have a fairytale romance, and the season ended with an enthusiastic engagement. Initially, the two insisted they were eager to get married quickly. They got their own spinoff show, “Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?,” but by May 2017, they had called it quits. In an interview with Page Six, Lauren opened up about how hard that time was for her and detailed how she grew from it all.
Here’s what you need to know:
Lauren Admits the ‘Foundation Was Rocky Already’ When Their Spinoff Started
Ben and Lauren jumped quickly from the Season 20 finale of “The Bachelor” airing on ABC into their Freeform network spinoff without taking much time for themselves away from the camera or the spotlight. Now, she admits, “I don’t think it was the best idea to do [‘Happily Ever After?’] because at that point in time, I was definitely still processing a lot of what happened.” She acknowledged she was experiencing doubts about her future with Ben and the attention and criticism she faced after “The Bachelor” rattled her. Looking back, she notes, “The foundation was rocky already, and not just the relationship but my own mental health.”
During the early episodes of the spinoff, Ben and Lauren navigated her move to Denver, Colorado, where he lived. Almost immediately, they also started wedding planning. Before long, however, getting married was put on hold. Lauren doesn’t believe the spinoff show necessarily caused their split, though. “I think [we didn’t work] for two reasons,” Lauren detailed. “I think we shared a lot of the same core values, but personality-wise, I don’t think we were super compatible,” she continued. “Also, I was young. I think I needed to do a lot of reflecting on myself, and I had a lot of growing up to do.”
Lauren Found Herself in a ‘Low Place’
“I was in a really low place” after the split with Ben, Lauren recalled. “I was kind of at that rock bottom place.” While she struggled at the time, now she appreciates that difficult journey. “I needed to get there, though, in order to reflect and figure out who I was and what I wanted.” She worked on herself away from television cameras, and when her friendship with country singer Chris Lane shifted from friendship to romance, “The timing ultimately was right.” Lauren noted, “I knew who I was. I felt confident in who I was. I knew what I wanted and all those things. Timing was a big part of it.”
Lauren married Lane in October 2019, and they have one son, Dutton. As for Ben, as People detailed, he recently married Jessica Clarke. Lauren says the infrequent conversations she has with Ben these days “have always been very cordial and nice” and that they never “wished the other person ill will at all.” She doesn’t envision ever doing reality television again, as she’s grown to appreciate her privacy. However, she admits she would “never say never.” Lauren believes the tough journey she had with Ben and “The Bachelor” paved the way to where she is now, and she notes she’s “very thankful” for that.