Although Ben Higgins, 29, and Lauren Bushnell’s, 27, relationship is over, our sadness has just begun. The pair shocked the world when they confirmed the news of their split in a joint statement on May 15. “It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways,” the pair told PEOPLE magazine. You can read the full statement, right here.
Life seemed like a fairy tale after Ben became smitten with Lauren on season 20 of The Bachelor. It was obvious that he had something special for Lauren from day one. Ben’s season officially aired in early 2016 and that’s where it all started…
Jan. 4, 2016: Season 20 of The Bachelor premiered. Lauren was the first contestant out of the limo to meet Ben for the first time and he was blown away. Obviously the show was filmed before the airdate, so we’ll say that they most likely met sometime in 2015.
March 14, 2016: The Bachelor finale aired — Ben proposed to Lauren on national TV with a massive Neil Lane diamond ring. He called her father for permission to marry his daughter, and it was granted. However, we didn’t see it then, but we do now — Up until the middle of the finale, Ben was still unsure about who he was going to pick [JoJo Fletcher, 26, or Lauren]. And, let’s not forget that he was the only Bachelor in history to tell both finalists that he loved them.
Oct. 5, 2016: Ahead of the premiere of their Freeform show, Ben & Lauren Happily Ever After, the couple admitted that they had undergone couples counseling. At the time of their revelation, the pair EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife.com that counseling had nothing to do with their life in the TV spotlight. “It is more so for us to set a really strong foundation before we start planning a date for the wedding,” Ben and Lauren told us.
Oct. 11, 2016: Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After premiered on Freeform. The show was all about their life after The Bachelor. However, the majority of their one and only season was of the couple getting into arguments about their relationship. So, we can understand why the twins, Emily and Haley Ferguson, 24, took the reigns so Ben and Lauren could work on themselves.
Feb 1, 2017: Ben and Lauren became the subject of split rumors at the end of Jan. 2017, when she was spotted without her engagement ring. Nonetheless, Ben took to Instagram on Feb. 1 to deny the breakup reports and called the speculation “fake news.”
May 1, 2017: HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY spoke with Ben and Lauren, where they admitted that wedding planning was all they were talking about at the moment. So, you can understand why we were thrown for a serious loop when we learned about their split.
May 7, 2017: Ben and Lauren were the face of fairy tale weddings when they hosted Freeform’s 90-minute Disney Weddings Special. They helped multiple couples tell their own relationship stories, and it was a complete love fest the entire time.
May 8, 2017: Just one week before we would learn of their split, Ben posted this photo [below] with Lauren. In the caption, Ben seemed to have been defending Lauren and their relationship when he said, “[Lauren] continues to spread love while some feel it is their responsibility to spread hate, she is a light in this world. Proud of my gal, [Lauren] got me,” followed by a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.
Although Ben and Lauren’s split came as a shock, we have to mention that they’ve played coy about their wedding throughout countless interviews leading up to their split. Ben and Lauren have emphasized that they were in no rush to tie the knot. After their efforts to make their relationship work, maybe going their separate ways was their only option. Ben and Lauren, we’ll miss you guys as a couple!
HollywoodLifers, did you see Ben and Lauren’s breakup coming?