Updated May 19, 2017, 9:40 a.m. PT: Chris Harrison has spoken out about the most recent Bachelor breakup, and it sounds like Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell were doomed from the beginning. How they made it so long is anyone’s guess according to Harrison.
“I know that they have struggled with the show and then kind of continuing on and doing their reality show and kind of where the show stopped and then where life began,” he said about the couple, who ended their engagement this month. “So I know they were fighting through a bunch of stuff. Apparently, I did not see that coming. I love them both. They are really two of my favorite people we’ve ever had on the show and Ben is a really good friend.”
Sad news today, Bachelor Nation. We all thought that Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell were in it for the long haul, but People magazine has confirmed their split. Insert every sad emoji ever, because they were adorable together.
The former couple released a statement about their breakup, saying, “It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways. 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.”
Their relationship got off to a super-rocky start on Higgins’ season of The Bachelor, when he told both Bushnell and runner-up JoJo Fletcher that he loved them during the Fantasy Suite episode. Higgins and Bushnell have since spoken out about how watching that moment play out when the show aired affected their burgeoning relationship.
“Post-filming was more of an emotional roller coaster than the actual show,” Bushnell said at the time. “It hurts. It’s like, why did I have to go through that hurt? It’s already a few months of confusion and tears and then to have to deal with it again. It’s hard.”
Higgins, meanwhile, said he couldn’t apologize “for being honest or expressing what I thought was the best thing to express at the time.”
He added, “Don’t get us wrong. Throughout this whole show airing and conversations we’ve had about decisions and life, it hasn’t always been easy. But it’s added a whole new level to our relationship. And [the show ultimately] led me to this woman who I love deeply. She’s the only woman I’ll love from now on.”
So much for that.
Bushnell moved in with Higgins at his home in Denver, Colorado, soon after their season aired, and they stayed together until their recent split, even returning to TV for one tepid season of Freeform’s Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? Their split isn’t necessarily a surprise to dedicated Bachelor fans, but it’s still not the best news in the world.