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Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell got engaged on the season 20 finale of The Bachelor and are one of the few couples from the ABC reality dating show who are still together! These two have beat the odds and despite tabloid gossip and rumors, their relationship seems to be better than ever. In the season finale, millions of viewers watched as Ben proposed to Lauren with a $95,000, 4.25-carat, platinum square-cut halo-style diamond Neil Lane ring. Even though there’s no wedding planned in the near future, these two are still very much happily engaged. Here’s a look at 10 things you probably didn’t know about Lauren Bushnell and Ben Higgin’s relationship!
When season 20 of The Bachelor ended and Lauren and Ben were finally able to come out of hiding and publicly announce themselves as a couple. We quickly found out that Lauren had quit her job at Alaska Airlines and moved to Denver, Colorado to be with Higgins. She said she was getting recognized by customers too often and it was getting hard to do her job properly. For a while afterwards, she had to re-evaluate what she wanted to do whether it would be working part-time as a flight attendant or pursuing new dreams as a blogger and interior designer. Since then she’s decided to launch her own lifestyle blog called Sparkle in her Eye which seems to be doing quite well! Meanwhile, after a long break from work, Higgins has returned to his job at Talisys, a financial services company in Denver.
Both Lauren and Ben owe their thanks to The Bachelor for giving them the platform to become reality stars and pursue new careers, but the experience wasn’t all good. Even though in the end they probably wouldn’t do it any differently since it led them to each other, Bushnell still admits that it had an impact on their relationship. “There are so many weird elements to being in a relationship after ‘The Bachelor.’ We’ve gotten in arguments like any other couple, but about some things that other couples wouldn’t have to fight about, like the fact that we met when he was dating other women. You can say that’s what I signed up for, but it’s still real life and it’s still hard,” Bushnell told People.
Despite falling in love and getting engaged at the end of The Bachelor and still being happily engaged to this day, 10 months into their engagement the two started going to couples counseling. “We’re not the perfect couple. Far from it! But we are trying really hard, and we love each other a lot,” said Higgins in an interview with People. They attended therapy at their church in Denver, Colorado. “We want to get a foundation that is healthy and pure and honest, with some help from a mediator. ‘Bachelor’ or not, our life is not easy to navigate. We have our struggles. But we won’t give up. And for every argument, we’re stronger for it.”
A few months after The Bachelor ended it was announced that Lauren and Ben would get their own reality series called Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? The series debuted on Oct. 11 on Freeform and documented all the ups and downs of their lives together after The Bachelor like moving in together, attending couples therapy and planning their wedding. While Ben admitted they were both a little skeptical about jumping from one reality show to another without really taking any time off to focus on themselves, they don’t regret their decision. There have been no plans on drawing up a contract for another season, so it might have been a one time thing — who knows!
The reality star couple went on their first vacation together post-Bachelor in November 2016, seven months after Lauren was given Ben’s finale rose. The couple jetted off to Turks and Caicos for 10 days and stayed at the Gansevoort Hotel and Resort on Grace Bay Beach. According to TMZ, it costs $845 a night for an oceanfront suite. “We both came back just clearly refreshed, at ease and we really needed it. Sometimes you have to listen to your relationship, listen to each other and yourself, and know — hey, we need some time here. Thankfully, we’re blessed enough that we got to take a vacation…It was exactly what we needed,” said Bushnell.
Lauren and Ben are pretty open about the fact that they are Christians which is why they caught a lot of heat for living together before marriage. In an interview with ET Online, Higgins admitted it was a bit of a contradiction, but it was the best way for them to get to know each other. “I think it’s fair. I think a lot of people are judging us for that because of our faith, and we don’t hide the fact that we’re Christians. Our life had really started out so abnormally, and it was going to be very difficult for us to spend time together with how fast our lives were moving. Any amount of time we could be together to get to know each other better, which I think God would desire for us to do before we make that ultimate commitment,” he said.
Looks like we won’t be seeing Ben and Lauren walk down the aisle anytime soon! In an episode of Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After that aired last November, Higgins put a stop to their wedding plans. He promised Lauren he wasn’t calling off the wedding because he wanted the relationship to end, but rather because he felt like they still had so much to learn about one another. This is probably true considering the couple hardly dated before they got engaged! Later on in the episode she seemed to understand and said, “if Ben needs a little more time to feel comfortable getting married, than he should really have it because in the end, it won’t matter if this wedding’s a little bit later.”
In an interview with US Weekly, Lauren and Ben shared their New Years resolutions for 2017 and it seems both of them are looking for answers — whether it be about their careers or relationship. “Wedding clarity. 2017 I hope is the year that we have huge steps in either getting married or having a really good idea of when we’re getting married, but right now we don’t,” said Ben. Meanwhile, Bushnell told Us Weekly, “I feel like the last year of our life has been a blur honestly. Both of us are in this limbo of what’s going to happen next. I think we’re just focusing on ourselves and what it is we’re passionate about and what we want to do. I have a blog and it’s like, ‘Where do I want to take that? What direction?’ It’s going to be hopefully a creative year and also one of those years where we just focus on each other and ourselves also, and what our future looks like.”
One of the burning questions many fans have for Lauren and Ben is whether they regret sharing their lives with the world when they took on their own reality show not long after The Bachelor ended. “I’m torn. One of the things we wanted to do in our new season was allow people to come into our life, to see the issues that we have and to see the experiences that we have, to see the arguments that we have. I wanted it to be transparent, but some of that isn’t exactly healthy to do in a public setting. So, that is meant to be private. So, as much as it was a good thing to show it, and we wanted to show it, I look back on some of that and say there was some nights where we just both like, it hit hard. It hurt,” said Higgins.
In an interview with People, Lauren and Ben both revealed a few quirks each one learned about the other after the show. “He rubs his feet together all the time. He has like, a nervous habit. He’s doing it right now!” she said. There’s also a pair of glasses he wears to bed after he takes out his contacts that he’s had since fourth grade, “So they’re little kid glasses — they’re like, little spectacles! I give him such a hard time about them, but I secretly love it because it makes me laugh.” On the other hand, Ben said Lauren’s need to express how she feels about everything drives him crazy, “She’s cold, she’s hot, she’s sad, she has a headache, she’s hungry, she’s nervous, she’s really full. There’s no in between…like, ‘Hey, life’s just clicking along.’ Lauren makes sure that you know how she is no matter what,” he said.