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Ben Higgins: I took huge steps in the romance department on 'The Bachelor Winter Games'


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/13/2018 

Ben Higgins went through a painful split from his The Bachelor winner Lauren Bushnell last year, but his The Bachelor Winter Games participation apparently helped to heal his heart.

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The Season 20 The Bachelor star had no idea what to expect from the Winter Games spinoff -- which premieres February 13 on ABC -- when he signed up considering producers even said, "We have no clue what it is."

But Ben, a 29-year-old podcast co-host with Ashley Iaconettitold Us Weekly that he's very happy he did the show.

"I made a lot of good relationships from when I stepped into the house to the time I left. If you ask me, 'Did I take steps in the romance department?' I definitely did. There's not a question in my mind that there were steps made," Ben told Us.

"I may or may not have [found love]. For me, personally, there was huge steps made. I'm excited for people to be with me in that story, through television."

Ben first found fame when he competed for Kaitlyn Bristowe's heart on Season 11 of The Bachelorette.

He then went on to star as the Bachelor in early 2016, when he got engaged to Lauren and she moved to Denver, CO, to live with him. The couple broke up, however, in May 2017, and now Lauren is dating a Los Angeles real estate investor named Devin Antin.

Ben hasn't gotten seriously involved with a woman since his break up with Lauren, but he felt it was time to forge ahead with his life on Winter Games. After all, he said The Bachelor franchise never let him down.

During a late January conference call with reporters, Ben admitted he was "excited about the possibility of potentially finding somebody" on the four-episode series.

"[I was] excited about putting my foot out there to say, 'Okay, I'm ready. Let's make this public and let's try something new,'" Ben said, according to People. "In truth, I'm really glad I did... It moved me forward very quickly in my pursuit of somebody or of a relationship."

Ben added at the time, "Even through a really tough relationship that still plays a huge role in my life, it provided me an opportunity to explore myself more than I ever thought I would. I think that was huge for me to break down some walls that were already up."

Per usual, The Bachelor franchise apparently did a great job of forcing Ben to break down those walls. But Ben couldn't help that his failed romance with Lauren remained in the back of his mind during Winter Games, which filmed in Vermont.

"It did affect the way I interacted with women [on the show] and it does that in real life," Ben said, People reported.

"Coming off of a breakup, it's smart to take time to process through things but also to make sure you do know what you're looking for. I knew that what I was looking for was somebody very similar to what I had before and just a partner, somebody who was patient and kind and willing to go out there and tackle the world side-by-side."

And Ben revealed that he got very emotional when speaking about his relationship with Lauren on The Bachelor Winter Games.

"I would question myself more if I wasn't emotional when I speak about [her]... I went into this knowing if I got asked about my relationship, I would probably be emotional. I was okay with that because that's just truth," Ben noted to reporters on the media call.

Viewers will watch Ben digging down deep in a conversation with Chris Harrison at the start of the season in which he'll talk about what it's like to be single and searching for love again.

In a separate interview with Entertainment Tonight, Ben teased what viewers can expect from that open and honest discussion.

"I ended up having probably the most emotional conversation I've ever had on [a Bachelor franchise] show," Ben shared with ET. "I would imagine it made for very raw, very emotional television because it was a very raw, emotional moment for me personally. I'm glad I got to share that because it's real."



Ben Higgins/Instagram

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