Bachelor Ben Higgins Calls Kaitlyn Bristowe "An Incredible Woman," Says His Insecurities Remain a "Burden"

Ben Higgins Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images

No longer unlovable? It was difficult for Ben Higgins to see himself as deserving of Kaitlyn Bristowe's affection on her season of The Bachelorette earlier this year, but the Bachelor Season 20 star says he is doing his best to make sure his insecurities won't derail his rose-filled journey.

The 27-year-old software salesman spoke to reporters during a conference call on Thursday, Dec. 10, when he admitted he's always been worried that he's "going to be able to go through life and never feel [real] love."

"It's a very real insecurity of mine, but it's not out of a need for reassurance,” the Denver, Colo., native said. "I'm excited, I'm ready to be loved and to feel that love back. And I don't know that, honestly, if I've ever felt that love that feels like this could last forever, and I'm excited for that, and I'm ready for that."

"I think going through The Bachelor, I feel like, I'm not not confident as a man," he clarified. "It's not a fear that keeps me questioning everything. It's just something that always kind of sat on my heart. It's a burden that I carry."

Higgins, who was the second runner-up on Bristowe's season (Shawn Booth won Bristowe’s heart in the end), clearly had strong feelings for the spunky Bachelorette star, but he hopes that won't distract him in his new quest for love.

"I definitely know that Kaitlyn is an incredible woman and one that I'm happy and glad that I got to meet," he said. "Yes, I respected Kaitlyn a lot, and I enjoyed my time with her, but I think when it comes to this season, I was looking for somebody that had their own individual characteristics."

As for who will be the last lady standing when the final rose is handed out, Higgins, who is a devout Christian, said that a woman's faith is one of the most important factors for him.

"I would really like to find a woman that has a similar faith as I do — I think that would be important as we raise a family, as we move forward in life," he explained. "Also, somebody that offers grace because I think I’m going to need a lot of grace in my life — I think we can all say that sometimes we're not the easiest to deal with, especially if you’re going to live life with somebody. And that also goes with patience."

Photos and very memorable descriptions were released this week of the 20 lucky women vying for Higgins' heart, a group that includes a "chicken enthusiast," a "cowgirl," and a pair of twins. Also competing are Becca Tilley and Amber James, who were both on Chris Soules' season.

The Bachelor returns on Monday, Jan. 4, with a two-hour premiere on ABC.

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