Reality was catching up to Ben Higgins.
Drowning in work and preparing for a charity trip to Honduras in late July, the Bachelor season 20 star was hit with gut-wrenching news: Just two months removed from their split, his ex-fiancée Lauren Bushnell had moved on with L.A. real estate investor Devin Antin.
Overwhelmed, “I decided to go for a run,” he recalls exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly. “I was praying the whole time like, ‘God, please release some anxiety.’” His request was granted. “I stopped and thought, if I’m the man I claim I want to be, then I need to celebrate Lauren,” he says. “So if she’s happy, I will celebrate that the best I can.”
Now, he’s looking toward the future, too. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I’m not not ready to date,” explains Higgins, who hosts the Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast with fellow alum Ashley Iaconetti. “But it still feels weird. How do I take that first step? That’s where I’m at. I do long for a commitment and to love somebody and for somebody to do the same for me. I’m ready to find that. If the right moment presented itself, I would want to take a first step.”
That is, the right moment with the right girl. “I want someone to open my eyes wider, who loves a little harder and pushes me to do the same,” the Denver resident, 29, says. “I’m not saying Lauren didn’t offer those things. My dad once said, ‘Ben, when you know, you know.’ I was like, ‘That doesn’t help.’ But that’s all I got right now. So I’m looking for someone that, when I meet them, I know.”
He’s also hoping The One will prove he’s not unlovable, a character flaw he feared he had while competing for Kaitlyn Bristowe’s heart on The Bachelorette. “I think I will always feel that until I find it not to be true,” he tells Us. “But it’s not this paralyzing insecurity anymore. Now, it allows me to speak more vulnerably. I’ve gotten thousands of messages from people who feel the same way, which encourages me. I know I’m not alone.”
(Link in Profile) Where there is love, there is life--and I've hardly ever felt more alive than during my trip to Honduras over the last 11days! With my mom by side, I had the life changing experience of leading 40 amazing Americans & Hondurans on a trip for @humanityandhope and @generous_coffee_. Read along, or come be part of the story! Photo cred @r_petey
For more on Higgins — his career plans, his breakup and if he’ll do The Bachelor again — pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now!
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