"I think mutually Lauren and I saw that life was getting more difficult," Ben told The Bachelor franchise's Ashley Iaconetti in their upcoming podcast together called Ben and Ashley: Almost Famous, which debuts May 23 on the iHeartRadio app, according to E! News.
Ben, 29, and Lauren, 27, called it quits on their engagement after meeting and falling in love onThe Bachelor's 20th season in early 2016. Following the show's March finale that year, Lauren moved from California to Denver, CO, to live with Ben.
Ever since, the couple has shared a home there and even starred on their own Freeform reality spinoff Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?.
"I would say the joy that we felt toward our relationship at the beginning was -- for some reason -- slipping away," Ben reportedly told Ashley on the podcast.
"And we were both working very hard to bring that joy back. And it just never seemed to get there. So it was a long time coming but it wasn't necessarily like we dragged it out."
Ben admitted the split from Lauren is "very fresh" and definitely not easy.
"It's hard to say goodbye to somebody that you spent so much time with and it's hard to say goodbye to somebody that you really did believe was the one for you," Ben reportedly explained.
A source recently told E! News that the pair broke up because they "wanted different things."
But reports swirled for months before Lauren and Ben's split that they were having problems and the self-described "SoCal girl at heart" wasn't happy in Colorado.
Lauren had trouble finding a career that suited her for a while, and Ben had called off their televised wedding due to cold feet.
Ben said he was overwhelmed with wedding plans and feared rushing his romance, but Lauren had been thrilled about the opportunity to wed on TV in front of their fans. (She was already picking out bridesmaids dresses and bridal registry items with her maid of honor).
Lauren once vented on the pair's Fall 2016 Happily Ever After? spinoff that she didn't have a desire to be Ben's "almost housewife."
However, Ben insists that his relationship with Lauren is currently amicable, and he surprisingly believes their dynamic will stay that way going forward.
"Just to be as politically correct as possible and to also be as truthful as possible, Lauren will always be one of my best friends," Ben admitted.
"It's [a relationship] where I learned a lot about myself; I think she learned a lot about herself. Obviously, she knows me better than anybody else that has gone through this experience, and really probably anybody else in the world. It's tough."
Ben also told Ashley on the podcast that his split from Lauren was "for the best."
In a recent interview with People, Lauren opened up about the near future -- including her new career endeavor and decision to move back to California.