Ben Higgins on Why His Relationship With Lauren Bushnell Really Ended, 1 Year After Their Split (Exclusive)

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One year after his breakup with Lauren Bushnell, Ben Higgins has new answers as to what went wrong. 

During an interview with ET's Lauren Zima on Tuesday, the former Bachelor reflected on his split, revealing that he's learned to take some responsibility for the relationship coming to an end. 

"It's so easy to be the victim... and so when you start looking inward and saying, 'OK, what exactly did I do that affected this breakup or this relationship negatively?' [and] for me, it's my reactions towards things," he candidly shared. "I have routines and consistencies in my life that for anybody else to come in and change that, for me, I was holding on to them way too close. So I have to become less reactionary." 

"The other part of this [is] I’m too sensitive. I just get so sensitive sometimes and that affects just my normal relationships because I doubt all the time in the back of my head, you know, is this relationship for real? Do they really like me? Do they really care? Or let’s throw another one out there, do they really love me?" he continued. "That’s something I have to give up, because when I start to get in my own head about that, I start to push the person away."


Higgins and Bushnell called off their engagement on May 15, 2017, a year and a half after he proposed while filming the season finale of The Bachelor. The couple quickly became Bachelor fan favorites, and even had their own reality show, Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?in 2016. Higgins returned to reality TV for Bachelor: Winter Games this February. While he didn't find love on the show, he told ET he's currently dating -- when he's not busy working on his latest endeavor, Generous Coffee. 

"The schedule is an issue," Higgins confessed, sharing that he's been working full time on Generous, in addition to his new podcast, Ladybosses With Ben Higgins and Jesse Draper, and other projects. "[But] I think I'm surviving! I think it helps because what I'm doing, I'm really passionate about, care about, and believe in. If I didn't do that, than this would be a total train wreck. I'd be done."

"I want Generous to be a place that any consumer comes in and says, 'These are high-quality products. These are the best out there, the highest standards, [and] they also have a story behind them,'" he said. "[We] donate profits to causes that are fighting injustices and are building some type of sustainable good in the world."

"I'm at this stage now where I've done the grind for a year, I've traveled and worked as hard as I possibly can, and now it's like, we need to start focusing on relationships," Higgins added. "That's what I'm trying to do." 

"One of the reasons I held myself back so much [on Bachelor: Winter Games] is because I knew that if I entered into another serious relationship at that time in my life or even today, if that relationship were to fail or to end, I knew how hard it was from the last time and I was doing pretty good. I was functioning and I was able to still have relationships and communicate with people. I don’t know if I was healthy enough -- especially during Winter Games and today in this season of life -- to recover again as well as I did last time," Higgins said. "So, I think every breakup has something that affects you positively and negatively. But the negative maybe would have paralyzed me for awhile."

The former reality star said he thinks he's definitely "more ready" for a relationship now. "When a relationship is solidified and it's something I want to pursue, Generous is the way we're putting food on the table," he said of the company, which has expanded to include T-shirts and jewelry. "And it's in the back of my head a lot that I really want a family," he noted. 

"Today, I am one of very few friends that aren't in a serious relationship or are not married with kids. I think it's an Indiana thing. It's a Midwest thing," he shared. "Now I'm 29 years old. I'm four years later than I expected to be [married]." 

"I remember feeling pressure back then to find somebody. Now I'm more confident in where I am to say, 'OK, I don't need to feel that pressure, that's not exactly valid.' But still, I'm a little late to the game," Higgins said. "Single life is something I've had to accept and it's not something that I desire forever." 

See more on Higgins in the video below. 

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