Bachelor Ben Higgins Says He and Lauren Bushnell Were 'Looking for an Out' Before Split

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell faced a number of challenges and public controls before stopping.
The couple met and became engaged in Higgins' season of The Bachelor, which aired in 2016. Monday's episode of ABC's retrospective series The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons - Ever! looked back at the trip and the suggestion shortly after Higgins said goodbye to his other finalist, JoJo Fletcher. Higgins had also known to both women that he loved them - a big no-no, and for the first time in franchise history. (But certainly not the last one.)
31-year-old Higgins and 30-year-old Bushnell announced their separation in May 2017. In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Higgins considered the split and admitted that the two had problems before they stopped.
"I think Lauren and I went out of our way so early on that it worked that it only pulled parts of us all the time," he said.
Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell
Bushnell, who is now married to country singer Chris Lane (35), also admitted that it was "a rocky road from the start" and said to PEOPLE after their breakup that "there simply was no such joy that should be there and that was there. " at the beginning."
RELATED: Lauren Bushnell Tells Her 'No. 1 The most exciting next chapter will be a baby with Chris Lane
Although the couple moved into The Bachelor and for a season of their freeform reality show Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? Returning to the small screen, Higgins told ET he thought, "internally, we knew how unhealthy it was likely to go on." go on. "
"We were just looking for an out, but we tried our best to hold it as long as possible to see if we might have found the secret sauce," he said. "We never did at some point."
Since then, Higgins has moved on and suggested to his girlfriend Jessica Clarke in March; The two plan to get married in the fall of 2021. He said Clarke had never seen the The Bachelor season before and it was "just uncomfortable" to look back at it himself.
Ben Higgens / Instagram Jessica Clarke and Ben Higgins
Darling Juliet Photography Lauren Bushnell Lane and Chris Lane
"It is not healthy for me to see, it is not healthy for me to experience," he said. "I think I now have my focus, heart and attention on a woman, and I set limits in my life to keep it healthy and good. Seeing how I make a suggestion is not one of them healthy border, but I made it. It was really hard for me to see, especially the place where I am now in life and how happy I am. "
RELATED: Ben Higgins reveals that he and his fiancée Jessica Clarke sleep in different beds until their wedding
Ultimately, Higgins, who said he didn't speak to Bushnell, is grateful for the way things are going.
"I think the foundation of my relationship with Jessica is stronger," he said. "I can't speak for Lauren. I'm sure she sees Chris the same way, but I'm with Jessica and she just extends everything I do. She encourages me. She supports me."

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