Lauren Bushnell is opening up about her breakup with Ben Higgins.
In a new interview with People, the Bachelor star reflects on her and Higgins' relationship, and how hard it was for her to get over the fact that she wasn't the only woman he said "I love you" to on the show.
"I don’t think I’ve ever talked about how hurtful that was," Bushnell says of watching Higgins profess his love to JoJo Fletcher on The Bachelor's season 20 finale.
“I always try to be really strong because I wanted to move forward from it,” she adds. “But because I wanted to move forward from it, I don’t think I ever really opened up about how hard that was just in terms of, like, I wanted to make that decision to get engaged one time in my life and I felt like I wasn’t told everything that had happened.”
Though Higgins chose Bushnell in the end (and Fletcher went on to become The Bachelorette), the blonde beauty says she continued to feel "betrayed" by Higgins' relationship with Fletcher as The Bachelor aired.
"I know that JoJo was told what had happened. I almost felt a little bit betrayed," she explains. "That was really hard, but we moved forward from that.”
“When The Bachelor aired, reliving that months later wasn’t ideal either,” Bushnell admits. “I was still like, ‘We’re going to move forward from this,’ but then the press, that’s what everybody wanted to talk about. I’ve never shared with anyone, except for Ben, how hurtful that situation was and how hard it is to continually talk about it over
and over again when you’re trying to start a life with someone.”
Bushnell says the experience wasn't the reason for her and Higgins' recent breakup, however.
“Looking back, I wish I could be like, ‘That’s why it didn’t work out,’ but I think it was just a very abnormal situation,” she shares. “I mean, we tried.”
In an interview last month, Higgins revealed that the pressure of being a Bachelor couple contributed to their split, and that the show "isn't exactly healthy for a foundation for a relationship."