Former Bachelor star Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell had one of the sweetest romances during the show's 20th season, and they shocked fans by calling off their engagement in May 2017. Fans later relived their romantic beginnings during The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons Ever in June 2020, but sadly, their romance did not last. Keep reading for everything to know about Ben and Lauren's split, what went wrong and more.
Why Did Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell Break Up?
Initially, the Bachelor Nation duo provided very little details as to why they decided to end things for good. "It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways. We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another," their statement read at the time. "We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time."
A few months following their uncoupling, Lauren went on to blame reality television for their failed relationship, specifically their spin-off series, Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?
"I don't think it was the best idea," the former flight attendant told Life & Style exclusively. "I just don't think I'm made for TV. It's hard to focus on a situation when there's a bunch of people around."
Fans of the ABC series will remember that Ben infamously told both Lauren and future Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher that he was falling in love with them. And while he ultimately chose Lauren in the end, that double L-bomb definitely added tension to their relationship long after the finale.
“I don’t think I’ve ever talked about how hurtful that was,” the Oregon native told People. “I always try to be really strong because I wanted to move forward from it. But because I wanted to move forward from it, I don’t think I ever really opened up about how hard that was just in terms of, like, I wanted to make that decision to get engaged one time in my life, and I felt like I wasn’t told everything that had happened.”
Ben later admitted he needed to stop playing the victim and work on his reactions to things. "When I first started dating Lauren, when [we] started having a very serious relationship and I was trying to share everything with her, and she was sharing everything with me, my reactions were so bad because it wasn't what I expected or it wasn't what I was used to," he told Entertainment Tonight. "I'm an only child, so I have routines and consistencies in my life that for anyone else in my life to come in change that — for me, I was holding on to way too close. So, I have to become less reactionary and I'm too sensitive... I doubt all the time in the back of my head."
“It did affect the way I interacted with women [on the show] and it does that in real life,” Ben told Chris Harrison on the show. “Coming off of a breakup, it’s smart to take time to process through things but also to make sure you do know what you’re looking for."
Where Do Things Between Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell Stand Now?
As far as where they stand today, the exes are currently not on the best of terms post-split. “There’s no communication,” Ben told Life & Style in October 2017. “When there is [communication], it’s not anything more than, ‘Hey, can you send this to the house?’ or, ‘Hey, I forgot this, can you help me out with my password here?’"
The blonde beauty agreed, adding, "We don't chit-chat all the time or talk every day, I think that would be difficult to move forward if that's how we were approaching it but we still check in on each other." And move on she has. Lauren is now married to country singer Chris Lane. Together, they share two sons together — Dutton, born in June 2021, and Baker, born in October 2022.
Ben, for his part, married Jessica Clarke in November 2021.
Now that they've both moved on, it seems there's no bad blood between Ben and Lauren. The "Almost Famous" podcast host proved this when he had a January 2023 run-in with Lauren's country singer husband, Chris.
“Right away, I saw him. He didn’t see me, he had his head turned,” Ben recalled on “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever” hosted by Chris Harrison. “I walked up and I said, ‘Hey Chris, good to see you.’ … I will tell you, it has been nothing but great. It’s been nice to talk to him.”
The Generous Coffee founder added, “No matter what, we’re all adults. So I wasn’t worried about the outcome or how we’d handle it."