Lauren Bushnell says she reached an all-time low when her breakup with former Bachelor Ben Higgins played out in the public eye in 2017.
“I was really in a low place. I was kind of at that rock bottom place,” Lauren tells Page Six in a recent interview. “I needed to get there, though, in order to reflect and figure out who I was and what I wanted. I think I needed to just be alone, refocus on myself and rebuild who I was without a camera in my face.”
She also needed to do some growing up, which was painfully obvious to anyone who watched their train wreck of a show Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?
The early stages of Lauren and Ben’s relationship — along with his decision to call off their wedding — were notably caught on camera. I actually watched a couple of episodes, but quickly bailed out, as they seemed like a couple of high school kids cohabiting, especially Lauren.
Ben and Lauren had no reprieve from the spotlight, as they went almost immediately from being on The Bachelor to their own show just months after their engagement aired on The Bachelor Season 20 finale in March 2016.
“Looking back, I don’t think it was the best idea to do [Happily Ever After?] because at that point in time, I was definitely still processing a lot of what happened,” Lauren says of filming her second unscripted project so soon.
Lauren acknowledges now that she was “having doubts” about her relationship with Ben at the time. However, she had more anxiety about acclimating to instant fame after winning his Final Rose and starring in a show with her fiancé, she says, certainly didn’t help.
“I don’t necessarily like all eyes on me,” she admits. “There was a lot of criticism involved. The foundation was rocky already, and not just the relationship, but my own mental health.”
“I enjoyed my time on The Bachelor more than I enjoyed doing [Happily Ever After?]. I was more comfortable in a setting like The Bachelor, where you’re one of 20 or 25 women and it wasn’t just cameras on you all day long, every day.”
Ben suggested in his 2021 memoir, Alone in Plain Sight, that the pressure of filming Happily Ever After? (which only lasted one season) contributed to their eventual split in May 2017. But Lauren says in her interview that she believes their love bubble popped early, because they weren’t a good fit to begin with.
“I think [we didn’t work] for two reasons,” she says. “I think we shared a lot of the same core values, but personality-wise, I don’t think we were super compatible. I don’t even think it had anything to do with the show or the spotlight or anything like that. Also, I was young. I think I needed to do a lot of reflecting on myself, and I had a lot of growing to do.” Amen, sister!
Now that Lauren and Ben are each married to partners of their own choice (without the pressures of making a television show) and Lauren even has a child (son Dutton Walker Lane was born in June 2021), we can only wish them future happiness. Here’s hoping they’ve finally found their Happily Ever After — just not with each other.
TELL US – WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LAUREN’S EXPLANATION OF WHY SHE AND BEN BROKE UP? DID YOU WATCH “BEN & LAUREN: HAPPILY EVER AFTER?” HOW DID YOU LIKE THEIR SHOW?
[Photo Credit: Mindy Small/FilmMagic]