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Lauren Bushnell: Ben Higgins and I keep in touch and there's no bad blood

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/22/2017 

Lauren Bushnell is enjoying "a new chapter" in her life, but she's apparently still in contact with her ex-fiance, Ben Higgins.

"I just got an apartment in the Marina del Ray area, which is where I used to live before the show," Lauren, 27, told E! News on Wednesday. "It's nice to be back. It's still like starting over because I've been gone for two years but it's exciting. It's a new chapter."

Lauren fell in love with Ben on The Bachelor's 20th season, and he proposed marriage on the show's finale which aired in March 2016. After going public with their engagement, Lauren moved in with Ben in his Denver, CO, home, and six months later, the couple was starring on Freeform's Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? in Fall 2016.

Lauren recently admitted to People that she "didn't really want to do" the spinoff and filming the series was a "high-stress situation" that definitely contributed to their breakup.

But the dust has settled, and Lauren is now working on finding her new normal, which includes "friends, family, the beach and working out." So where does Ben fall into her SoCal arrangement?

"We touch base everyone once in a while. It's like, 'Hey you have some mail, can I ship it to you?' But we're really on good terms," Lauren told E! News.

"We check in with each other and say, 'How are you doing?' But we try not to do it all the time because we want to give each other time to heal and give each other our space. But we're on good terms and I genuinely wish the best for him and I think he wishes the best for me. It's good."

In fact, Lauren insisted "there's no bad blood there at all" between the pair.

"I'm really excited for him and what he has going on," she noted, probably referencing Ben's new podcast with The Bachelor alum Ashley Iaconetti.

As far as dating goes, Lauren is in no rush to get tied down. She hasn't even given back her Neil Lane diamond engagement ring yet.

However, the aspiring model and former flight attendant seems to have an open mind when it comes to the possibility of meeting a new man with potential for romance.

"I'm not looking, but if something happens, great," Lauren admitted. "I'm trying not to force anything. I'm not looking for anything necessarily but maybe that's when something good happens. I don't really have any expectations."

During one episode of his podcast, Ben revealed in May that the joy in his relationship with Lauren faded over time and so the decision to part ways was "a long time coming." Even though the split didn't come as a surprise, Ben still said calling it quits was really difficult because he truly loved her.

Lauren also expressed at the time how their communication broke down and she felt "very alone" during Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?, especially because Ben called their wedding off and they constantly faced rumors their romance was on the rocks.

"I think it was just a very abnormal situation and one that [was] unfortunate," Lauren told People earlier this month, referencing the rise and fall of her relationship with Ben thanks to The Bachelor experience as a whole.

"I mean, we tried. We went to couples counseling. We continued that after the show and I went to personal counseling. I feel like we gave it everything we could. Just, at the end of the day, it didn't feel right anymore."

Lauren Bushnell/Instagram

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