“[I’m] really happy. She’s a very kind, pure, emphatic and supportive person in general. And she’s not only like that to me. I’m part of that, but she’s like that to everybody around her,” Higgins, 30, told Us Weekly exclusively while promoting his partnership with Capital One x NCAA Men’s Final Four. “She challenges me to be more empathetic, more loving, more caring, more kind as well. So I’m very happy.”
He continued, “It hasn’t distracted me from the things I love doing and the things I envisioned [for] my life … over the next few years. If anything, it’s enhanced it and allowed me a freedom to know that, yeah, I’ve got a partner in crime that will be there to have my back. So yeah, things are great. It was unexpected. Our story’s a little different — a tad, maybe, crazy. But it worked out.”
The former business analyst first hinted at his relationship with Clarke in January, telling fellow Bachelor Nation member Ashley Iaconetti on their “Almost Famous” podcast that he “started dating again,” but waited a month to introduce the world to the University of Mississippi graduate.
“I’ve been selfishly keeping this girl to myself for too long! Hey friends meet @jessclarke_!” the former Bachelor wrote on Instagram in February. “I successfully slid into her Dm’s [sic] a few months ago. I took a risk and I am glad I did. She is someone special, and I look forward to where life is going to take us. Stay tuned for the journey.”
In March, Higgins gushed about his “incredible” leading lady. “I think our biggest points of contention are typically when I’m down and out and bitter, and she’s the one pushing me to just be more about love and more about kindness,” he told Us. “That’s what I’m most attracted to, ‘cause I know that listening to her will always make me a better man.”
The Indiana native proposed to Lauren Bushnell on the season 20 finale of The Bachelor in March 2016, but the pair called off their engagement in May 2017. Bushnell, 29, has since moved on with country singer Chris Lane.
With reporting by Emily Marcus
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