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Ben Higgins Recalls Reality Show With Lauren Bushnell, Says It Was ‘Impossible’ to Focus on Engagement

Ben Higgins Lauren Bushnell Relationship Was Impossible Amid Reality Show
Ben Higgins and Lauren BushnellAllen Berezovsky/WireImage

Ben Higgins said that he and ex-fiancée Lauren Bushnell Lane made a lot of “poor decisions” during their relationship — but the Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? reality show might take the cake.

“We became working partners. We had no time. Any time we had privately, away from the cameras, we were exhausted, or I was working,” Higgins, 34, told Jason Tartick on the Monday, September 4, episode of his “Trading Secrets” podcast. “We were in survival mode at that point.”

Higgins went on to say there were “many reasons why we didn’t work as a couple” but filming the show made it “impossible” for himself and Bushnell Lane, 33, to have a healthy relationship.

“In the midst of stuff that was already hard for us, this show is being filmed at the same time for 10 to 12 hours a day in my 700-square foot house,” Higgins recalled. “Black vans parked outside our garage was their production studio. There were people in the house at 7:00 a.m., leaving at 10 p.m. every day.”


Related: Former ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Bachelorette’ Leads: Where Are They Now?

Initially, Higgins explained, the reality show was set to follow his journey running for office in Colorado, but “a whole mess behind-the-scenes” changed the focus. But because they were under contract, Higgins and Bushnell Lane had to film the series amid their “tumultuous” relationship.

Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? became about as a show about their life and “about the things we were trying to figure out,” Higgins said.

Higgins was quick to note, however, that filming the reality show was “a really good business decision because we were not married” as he and Bushnell Lane both made $100,000 for Happily Ever After.

Ben Higgins Lauren Bushnell Relationship Was Impossible Amid Reality Show 2
Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

“They used our house to film in, so obviously, then there’s the rental income for them to film a show in our home,” Higgins added. “We split [the rental income] up until the very end.”

Higgins and Bushnell Lane left his season of The Bachelor (season 20) in 2016 as an engaged couple. They split in May 2017, more than a year after their proposal aired on ABC.

Ben Higgins Where Are They Now contestants

Related: Ben Higgins’ Season 20 of ‘The Bachelor’: Where Are They Now?

“It was just a weird ending. It was a very drastic, quick ending. It was kind of like, ‘We’re done. Let’s go two different directions,’” Higgins recalled on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast this past April. “I think when you’re with somebody for as long as we were, and you care about somebody as much as, you know, I think we cared about each other, I think that just feels weird. You don’t really know, like, how the other person’s doing or you don’t really know if there’s forgiveness or if forgiveness is even needed or how to, like, settle it.”

Following their split, Bushnell Lane moved on with country star Chris Lane, whom she married in October 2019. Together, they share two sons, Dutton and Baker. Higgins, for his part, married Jessica Clarke in November 2021.

“Now that life has moved on and I’m married and she’s married with kids, I think it’s a really healthy place and it’s good for my mental health,” Higgins told Us. “It’s good for my lack of jealousy and envy in life to just get to a place where it’s like, ‘No, I wanna see you thrive. Like, why would I not? I wanna see you do so well.’”

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