A perfect Ben? Ben Higgins may go down as one of the most beloved Bachelors in the history of the ABC franchise, but season 20 still had a fair share of drama.
After competing for Kaitlyn Bristowe’s heart on season 11 of The Bachelorette in 2015, the Colorado native went on his own journey for love and fell for Lauren Bushnell and … JoJo Fletcher. During the season finale, Ben came under fire when he told both women that he loved them, but he ultimately proposed to the flight attendant from Portland, Oregon.
“I don’t know if regret would be the right word, because it’s how I felt, which is messed up, and not great when you then break up and propose to somebody in the same day,” Ben told Us Weekly exclusively in June 2020 about dropping the L-word twice. “I think at the time I was naive enough to think that it was a way to reassure them, when they left, that this was the real deal, that I really did care about them both. I just don’t think I chose the right words, and I don’t think it was healthy for the long term and the longevity of either relationship. So, necessarily don’t regret it, because it is how I felt. Don’t think it was the wisest thing to do, especially two days before you broke up with one of them.”
Lauren, who didn’t know at the time that Ben told JoJo he loved her too, accepted a proposal during the March 2016 finale.
“It obviously hurt … it was a lot to take in,” Lauren told E! News at the time about Ben and JoJo. “It felt like a punch in the gut in a way, but it wasn’t anything that made me question him or question our relationship. But it was just more like, ‘Ow, that hurts.'”
While the twosome went on to star in their own Freeform spinoff series, Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?, for one season, they called it quits in May 2017.
Three years later, ABC aired a condensed version of season 20 in one-night as an episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever! Ben told Us at the time he doesn’t keep in touch with Lauren but wishes her well.
“Not Lauren, we haven’t talked [about the show re-airing]. She’s married. I’m happy for her, and she found her partner and it wouldn’t … I mean, if she reached out saying, ‘Hey, how are you going to handle this? This is what’s sensitive me …’ I would love to take that call from her, but I don’t think I’m needed in this moment for her,” he explained. “JoJo and I are good friends. I have a lot of respect for her and Jordan. The same kind of thing, if she has a man and a confidant by her side that she probably leans in on. If I saw her, it would be … I actually saw her in the airport last year. It was awesome to see her and Jordan together, but we don’t keep in close contact. I think just because for me, and probably for them, it wouldn’t be healthy. It’s not smart.”
The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever! airs Mondays on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.
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Scroll through for an update on the most memorable contestants from Ben’s season: