People magazine can confirm “The Bachelor” couple Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell have broken up.
In an exclusive statement to the magazine, the couple announced their decision to separate. “It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways,” they tell the magazine. “We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time.”
The couple first met in January 2016 on Higgins’ season of the reality-competition show. He offered her his final rose, right after he told both Bushnell and fellow contestant JoJo Fletcher that he was in love with both of them.
The season finale aired in March 2016 and the two quickly announced their engagement following the show.
Because Higgins revealed his love for both of the final women, it caused some issues for the couple following the show. Bushnell revealed to People that life after the show was more difficult than being on it. “It’s confusing. It does wear on me,” she admitted.
Higgins said that he couldn’t apologize for his honesty during the show and he genuinely felt love for both of the women at the time.
The couple had their own spin-off reality show together on Freeform called “Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?” which explored their preparation for marriage, including couple’s counselling.
They never married because they weren’t in a rush to tie the knot. “We’re both ready to get married, but we haven’t set a date because we want to make sure we’re not doing it for anyone but ourselves,” Bushnell said.