Ben Higgins Opens Up About His Breakup From Lauren Bushnell

Ben Higgins of The Bachelor and his fiancé Lauren Bushnell have split after being engaged in 2015, E! News confirms. While it didn’t come as a shock for the fans, there are still many unanswered questions.

Higgins sat down with Ryan Seacrest to give more insight into his breakup from Bushnell.

“I don’t want to speak for Lauren on any of this, but I think both of us for so long thought this was the right thing and thought this was going to be something,” Ben said in On Air with Ryan Seacrest. “[We’re] extremely lucky we met on this crazy show that brought us together. [We thought] we’d be spending life together, so yeah, it did come as a shock.”

“You don’t plan on ever breaking up, that’s not why you enter a relationship. Unfortunately that’s what happened,” he added.

The couple went on to a Freeform spinoff Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? after their series ended in The Bachelor, which may have added some pressure on their new relationship.

“I think there’s a lot of pressure coming on this show. I’ve told any Bachelor/Bachelorette that came after me, just try to stay yourself but it’s really difficult,” Ben explained. “You have a lot of people looking over your shoulder. There’s a ton of criticism and judgment no matter what you do — good or bad — or if you have the most pure heart or not. People are going to take it the wrong way and honestly, Lauren and I both agreed it does pull on you a lot and it isn’t exactly healthy for a foundation for a relationship.”

“It’s not easy, it hasn’t been easy. I don’t know how to do this well,” he answered when asked how has it been after the split. “This isn’t the happiest time of my life, but Lauren and I both agreed you just got to continue to move forward. That’s the only option.”

So, who would be the first to move on?

“I’m not anywhere close to that and I don’t think she is either,” the 29-year old star replied. “I would say that whenever that happens, I don’t think either of us will find it easy but I get it, that’s life.”

Unfortunately, the pricey 4.25-carat engagement ring that Ben gave to Lauren at the proposal will have to go back to the show.

“I believe that we’ll have to give that back. Probably soon, I don’t know when or how … They give you this ring, but obviously if you don’t make it, it makes sense that you have to give it back.”

According to E! News, some thought Ben might have his eyes on Bachelor alum Ashley Iaconetti. They were spotted together this past weekend at a Bryan Adams concert in L.A., but Ben says their relationship is purely business.

“[Ashley and I] started planning this podcast months ago way before any of this [separation news] happened,” he said. “Our podcast airs tomorrow and it’s not just going to be Bachelor and Bachelorette-focused. It’s going to be a lot of things. It’s going to kind of be a lifestyle podcast that just has a lot of fun, great interviews and we’re doing it with iHeart.”

The Bachelorette airs tonight on ABC.