After announcing he was dating someone new in the January 14 episode of his and Ashley Iaconetti’s podcast “Almost Famous,” the former Bachelor star had to clarify that he’s withholding the woman’s name only out of privacy concerns, not because she’s a contestant on the current season of the show.
“She’s not from Colton’s season,” the 29-year-old said during the podcast’s January 21 episode. “Not at all. Not from the show.”
The Indiana native, who broke up with Bachelor winner Lauren Bushnell in May 2017, added that he’s trying to keep his love life under wraps for now. “I’m not hiding anything,” he said. “I think you go through public relationships before and you kind of deal with that pressure. And there’s the right timing to it all, to kind of make it a thing and publicly put it out there.”
Higgins hasn’t offered many clues about his mystery woman — saying only that she’s the “best, purest person” he knows and that they’re currently dating long-distance — but fans seem certain he’s dating a Nashville resident named Jessica Clarke.
“Apparently the story was that Jessica and Ben had briefly met at a bar in Nashville a while back and she kind of forgot about it/he didn’t seem interested at the time,” one Reddit user claimed last week. “A couple months later he slid into her dms saying something along the lines of ‘I just saw a photo of you pop up on my explore feed and remember meeting you in Nashville. I never dm girls but I figured I’d be stupid to pass up a second chance at getting to talk to you.’”
Before starring in The Bachelor season 20 in 2016, Higgins vied for Kaitlyn Bristowe’s heart on The Bachelorette season 11 in 2015. He also starred in the spinoff Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? in 2016 and appeared in the competition show Bachelor Winter Games in 2018.