Ben Higgins and Jessica Clarke are saving some aspects of their relationship until after they say “I do.”
Higgins and Clarke were quarantining with his parents, but have recently started staying with her mom and dad in Tennessee.
“Right now she has a bedroom upstairs at her parents’ house. I’m in the downstairs,” Higgins shared.
“It’s like a respect level,” he explained, “and also just like how — what the logistics of it is.”
Viall asked if Higgins has had sex in the last week, to which the newly-engaged star replied, “definitely not this week, and not in the last like, year and a half.”
“Are you guys waiting until you get married?” Viall asked.
“Yeah,” Higgins said. “You’re right.”
Higgins’ comments, of course, sparked a conversation on social media, and during the most recent episode of his and Ashley Iaconetti’s podcast, “The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast”, the former “Bachelor” star defended his and Clarke’s decision.
“We are excited about this decision,” he said “It’s been the healthiest decision for us. I think people are confused about it or like going, ‘What in the world is going on here?’ It’s the decision we made that we thought was best for us as a couple to allow us the healthiest relationship.
The 31-year-old added: “And we wanted to do that because we knew that we had something special, and we wanted to do some things personally to make sure that we were setting ourselves up for the most success. And this is one of the decisions that we’ve made, and it’s been really good for us.”
The former Bachelor proposed to Clarke last month, after a year and a half of dating. As Higgins told Viall, sleeping apart isn’t unusual for them, as they’ve been long-distance for their entire relationship. “We haven’t been ever in the same city living together,” he shared.
Higgins previously told ET that the coronavirus pandemic had altered his proposal plans — he was hoping to pop the question during a trip to New York City — and it seems the outbreak will have an effect on his and Clarke’s wedding plans as well.
“I have a feeling it’s gonna be a longer engagement and here’s why. We don’t know what this virus is going to affect,” he said.
“It could be here another two months, two and a half months. At that point, weddings are going to be pushed back, venues are going to be booked, and I don’t want to add stress to a really fun and joyful time, knowing that this is the real deal,” Higgins added. He also noted that Clarke’s brother is a professional baseball player, and with the MLB season suspended due to COVID-19, his ability to attend the wedding is another factor they’ll consider.
“It’s almost impossible to figure it out,” Higgins said. The Generous Coffee co-founder revealed that he and Clarke have considered eloping in a small ceremony with family, but he’s leaving it up to her to decide. “That could be fun and exciting and a lot less stress. But at the end of all of this, this is Jess’ day.”
Higgins and Clarke spoke with ET in their first on-camera interview after their engagement. Watch below.