Wedding bells are in the air! After getting engaged in Jamaica during The Bachelor‘s season 20 finale that aired in March, Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell are enjoying life together in Denver, Colorado, and awaiting the premiere of their new reality show, Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? The dynamic duo are no strangers to the spotlight, and they told Us Weekly and other reporters during a conference call on Wednesday, October 5, that they’re looking forward to showcasing their relatable relationship for the world to see.
On whether being surrounded by a surplus of cameras — yet again — has helped or hurt their relationship, Bushnell, 26, confessed that the Freeform unscripted series has presented a “unique set of challenges.” While being filmed is more natural for her hubby-to-be, 28, it is less comfortable for the flight attendant, who was one of the 28 women competing for Higgins’ heart on ABC dating series. The pair are committed to couples therapy, hoping to work out some of the ongoing issues that they were harboring after The Bachelor.
Upon discovering that Higgins had confessed his love to both herself and runner-up JoJo Fletcher, Bushnell revealed during the press event that she was left in a “hurtful and confusing situation,” and that she had to deal with concerns over not knowing why her fiancé told another woman he loved her. “I don’t think any of us can really put ourselves in Ben’s shoes, and it took me a long time to learn that because I wanted an answer so bad,” Bushnell said. “I’m learning to break down those walls — that I didn’t even realize I put up — through honesty, conversation, communication and then just time.”
Bushnell also admitted, “I came out of The Bachelor feeling very alone. … No one can really understand what you’re going through, and the only people who can are previous Bachelor couples, especially those who have made it. Their advice was very needed and wanted.” Bushnell sought out support from Catherine Giudici, winner of season 17 star Sean Lowe’s final rose (the couple raising their 3-month-year-old son, Samuel). She also heeded guidance from the very first Bachelorette, Trista Sutter, who accepted a proposal from husband Ryan Sutter in a finale that aired 13 years ago.
A source previously revealed to Us that Fletcher and her fiancé, Jordan Rodgers, will be double-dating with Bushnell and Higgins on the show. Bushnell said that, while in the past such a meet-up with her beau’s ex would have made her uncomfortable, she trusts Higgins and is confident enough in their relationship for him to be around Fletcher.
A recent trailer also hinted at a camping trip with the hotheaded and carnivorous Chad Johnson, a Bachelorette season 12 fan favorite. Higgins and Bushnell told Us that “they saw something” in Johnson, and wanted to help him get through the aftermath of his whirlwind Bachelor in Paradise fiasco.
As previously announced, Nick Viall, a Bachelor Nation alum, will follow in Higgins’ footsteps as season 21’s Bachelor. Higgins and Bushnell revealed that they had dinner with Viall, 36, last week, offering him words of wisdom for the journey he was about to embark on. Higgins told the two-time Bachelorette runner-up, “If at the end of this you’re not confident that this is your forever person, don’t feel like you have to propose. Like, I don’t want this to be a joke or a forced situation for anybody. That’s not fair. That cheapens the way I found my [fiancée].”
Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? premieres on Freeform Tuesday, October 11, at 8 p.m. ET.
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