Ben Higgins Reacts to Ex Lauren Bushnell’s New Romance With Chris Lane (Exclusive)

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The former 'Bachelor' said he had 'no clue' Bushnell was dating someone new.

Ben Higgins learned about his ex's new relationship the same way the rest of the world did. 

During an exclusive interview with ET's Lauren Zima on Monday, the former Bachelor reacted to Lauren Bushnell's romance news, revealing that he had "no clue" she was dating country singer Chris Lane. Bushnell and Lane made their red carpet debut as a couple at the BMI Country Awards in Nashville last week; ET broke the news they were dating. 

"This one was one I didn’t know about," Higgins confessed. "I think the first time, when she was dating Devin [Antin], I remember that feeling -- like the Band-Aid getting ripped off. This time, and I mean this, I really want Lauren to be fulfilled and happy, whether it’s with Chris or not."

While speaking with ET at the 2018 CMA Awards on Wednesday -- where he also brought Bushnell as his date -- Lane said he didn't know Bushnell during her Bachelor days, but that the two had become friends over the past couple of years.

"I know they were friends when we were dating, and I know she always admired him and thought he was a good dude," Higgins told ET, but admitted he's never met Lane himself. "I still care a ton about Lauren. I admire Lauren, she was a huge part of my life and we spent a ton of our lives together. What we have will always be something I remember."

"When it comes to her and her future relationships, I hope they’re healthy and good and I hope they’re bringing her joy," he added. "It’s a weird thing when you date somebody, you care about them and then you hear they’re dating somebody else. I just sit back and hope it’s good."

Higgins and Bushnell went their separate ways in May 2017, a year and a half after he proposed on The Bachelor. By July 2017, Bushnell was dating Antin, though they split in August. 

"I think it would be OK," Higgins said of what would happen if he and Bushnell ran into each other, confessing they haven't seen each other in a long time. "It’s bound to happen at some point.”

While Higgins isn't currently dating -- "I've only dated two people since Lauren," he admitted -- he does seem to have a little more confidence when it comes to his love life these days. 

"All this stuff is happening, cool things that I’ve always dreamed of being a part of," he said, mentioning his new Denver restaurant, Ash-Kara. "It’s all really exciting, and I feel through it all I’ve gotten a little more self-confidence. I don’t question whether I’m unlovable, but I do wonder if I’ll meet that person who will match me and push me."

For now, however, the restaurant, as well as his other venture, The Wedding Party, for which he will produce an event to marry 12 couples across different backgrounds, seems to be taking up most of his focus. 

"The soft opening … was everything I’ve ever dreamed of," he raved of Ash-Kara. "I have a desire to connect people around me, myself to groups, the desire for loving and romantic connection as well. The restaurant and The Wedding Party both represent a real ability to connect people through a mutually shared experience."

See more on Higgins in the video below, and join ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here