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Ben Higgins: I'm not ready to be next 'The Bachelor' star again, it would be disrespectful to Lauren Bushnell

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/09/2017 

Ben Higgins is not interested in starring on The Bachelor next season, despite host Chris Harrison recently suggesting he'd be a possible option.

Ben starred on The Bachelor's 20th season in 2016 and found sincere love with Lauren Bushnell; however, the pair called off their engagement and sadly split in May of this year.

When asked on his podcast with pal Ashley Iaconetti this week whether he'd consider being the franchise's leading man again for Season 22 next year, newly-single Ben was pretty straightforward with his answer.

"That's a good question... and kind of a surprise to be asked. That's, ugh, oof, I'm sweating. That's a good question, and it's one that I don't want to answer politically correct here, so I'm going to be as honest as I can be," Higgins said on The Ben and Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast.

"At this point in my life, I am not ready to be the next Bachelor, I will say that. It just doesn't feel right. For whatever reason, it doesn't feel like a time in my life that I would be the best man possible for the women that would come on this season."

Ben is still apparently reeling from his breakup with Lauren, but she has since moved on with her rumored new boyfriend, Devin Antin, a man she had been friends with before ever appearing on The Bachelor.

"You know, honestly, when you're fresh out of a relationship, I just feel like that'd be almost disrespectful, too, right?" Ben said of starring on another season of a reality dating show.

"It would be really hard for me to imagine watching -- if I were to watch my ex go and be the Bachelorette and it's all over TV, it'd be hard for me. So at this point in my life, I don't think it would be the wise thing to do."

Ben concluded on his podcast, "So I will not be your Bachelor for this next season."

During an interview with E! News last month, Chris Harrison said he liked the idea of Ben potentially starring on The Bachelor again.

"I think people know that Ben H. is a good friend of mine. We hang out together from time to time and have spent some time together lately. I was really sad that he and Lauren broke up," Chris said.

"I love Lauren too and I love them as a couple, and I really thought they were going to make it. But again, life is not always Instagram-pretty. It's ugly sometimes, and they broke up, and it was heartbreaking for the both of them."

Ben was dubbed one of the most sincere Bachelors of all time, along with Season 17 star Sean Lowe.

"Would Ben come back as the Bachelor? I don't even know," Chris admitted. "I don't even know if he would say, 'Yes.' I really don't. We haven't even talked about it. But hey, he was very popular and apparently he's very good looking. And he's a great guy."

Following his stint on ABC's The Bachelor, Ben and Lauren decided to film a spinoff of their very own -- Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? on Freeform.

However, Lauren revealed earlier this summer that their communication broke down during filming, and Ben noted on his podcast at the time of their split that the joy in their relationship slowly faded over time.

Ben Higgins/Instagram

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