Former Bachelor Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell have a message: “Spoiler alert: We’re still together!”
Tuesday night’s episode of their Freeform reality show, Happily Ever After?, was an emotional one. The pair went to couples’ counseling, and Higgins confessed to his fiancée that he wanted to put their wedding plans on hold. “You’re the woman of my dreams,” he said as Bushnell cried. “The last thing I want to do is for us to rush that.”
Higgins said he absolutely still wanted to marry Bushnell; he just needed time to feel comfortable with tying the knot. “This thing sped up real fast, and we haven’t had a second to breathe,” he said. “Now it’s time not to rush anything else.”
ET spoke with the pair Wednesday, and Higgins addressed rumors the two are headed for a split. “That’s one of the things that’s great about doing a show post-Bachelor, it really does highlight the confusion that life is and trying to get to know each other post-show, and trying to figure out how to get married and make everything work in everybody’s best interest,” Higgins says. “We are together, happier than ever -- no plans to break up!”
The 28-year-old has no regrets about what he said during that counseling session. “We’re in one of the best places we’ve ever been in our relationship – probably the best place,” he says. “We’re feeling less stressed. We’re feeling less pressured. We’re able to laugh and smile more. … That decision at that point led us to every decision we’ve made to get to today.”
After a whirlwind media tour for their show, the pair just returned from a vacation to Turks and Caicos -- their first camera-free trip as a couple.
"We both came back just clearly refreshed, at ease and we really needed it,” Bushnell says. “Sometimes you have to listen to your relationship, listen to each other and yourself, and know -- hey, we need some time here. Thankfully we’re blessed enough that we get to take a vacation. … It was exactly what we needed. The adventure aspect of it all and doing things together, paddling, snorkeling -- we kind of hit the reset button.”
Now, they’re continuing to settle into life in Denver. The next episode of Happily Ever After? will be meaningful in a whole new way: the pair are helping a local woman with a home makeover.
“We really wanted to do something and give back to our community,” the lifestyle blogger says. “We ended up finding a woman who is very deserving and has basically dedicated her life to giving back to others, and therefore really doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on herself. In the episode you’ll see we’re able to give something I don’t think she ever would’ve given herself … It’s going to be awesome.”