Why 'Bachelor' Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell Have Had to Talk Post-Breakup (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
John Lamparski/Getty Images
It's been almost a year since Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell announced their breakup, but the two are still on speaking terms.
ET's Lauren Zima sat down with the former Bachelor for a Facebook Live interview on Monday, where he explained his current relationship with Bushnell after breaking down over their split on Bachelor Winter Games.
"Off and on, we've had small conversations. They haven't been very extensive," Higgins revealed. "As Winter Games came up, I think out of all fairness, she asked, 'Hey, what can I expect?' And she was supportive and she gets it. But also, it's hard for her. She wants to move on, she has moved on, and to get pulled back into this [is unfortunate]."
"It doesn't help that Arie [Luyendyk Jr.] has a Lauren B. in the finale, and has told two women he loves them," he said with a laugh. "There's a lot of [parallels between our seasons]."
"She's moved on, and she seems really happy. There's a place that I have to respect, and I think she wants respect, so there's a boundary we can't cross," the 29-year-old reality star said of how Bushnell's new romance has affected his relationship with her. "I think any time you have a past relationship, there has to still be a boundary -- we shouldn't confide about this stuff anymore. But the mail still gets sent to my house sometimes, so we text over that."
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'Bachelor' Ben Higgins on How His Breakup from Lauren Bushnell 'Crushed Him' For Months (Exclusive)
"We have a fine relationship, but it's one you'd expect for two people who are not together," he added.
As for whether Higgins is ready to jump back into the dating pool himself, he said he's gone on a few dates since Winter Games, which have gone "really well." He's just not sure he's prepared for another relationship right now.
"It's been a life change for me. It feels weird," he admitted. "The first date felt like I was doing something wrong, like I was cheating on somebody, even though I wasn't. But I'm excited to continue to try it and get better at it. I haven't dated, up until these last few months, for three years because [of] The Bachelorette, The Bachelor and post-Bachelor."
While he's still navigating dating, Higgins said that his experiences on TV have changed what he's looking for in a woman. "I'm pretty sensitive, and I need some reassurance," he confessed. "I need somebody who's like, 'Ben, snap out of it, you're not as low as you feel right now. You're doing alright.'"
When he does find that special someone, it's going to take a while for the world to meet her. "We would have to be pretty committed [for me to go public with the relationship]," he explained. "There's no longer this ability just to date. I've been in the public eye in my relationships over the past few years. It's taxing and it's tiring and it pushes things a lot faster than you want it to."
Nonetheless, Higgins couldn't be happier for his friend Ashley Iaconetti, who found a successful relationship with Kevin Wendt on Winter Games. "Ashley is one of the greatest people I've ever met, and Winter Games brought her Kevin, who is a great guy," he said. "I don't want to put pressure on it -- this is one of her first committed relationships ever -- but just to see Ashley happy and to see a guy look at Ashley and say, 'You're beautiful, you deserve love' ... is really cool to see."
For now, Higgins is focusing on his energy on his new business venture, Generous Coffee. "We're just trying to do something that causes a movement, to get people involved in something a little greater than themselves," he revealed.