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Lauren Bushnell: I've never shared how hurtful Ben Higgins' love profession to JoJo Fletcher on 'The Bachelor' was

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/07/2017 

Lauren Bushnell admits Ben Higgins' love confession to JoJo Fletcher on The Bachelor was a lot harder to deal with than she initially let on.

Ben memorably professed his love for JoJo, his runner-up on The Bachelor's 20th season, before proposing marriage to Lauren.

"I don't think I've ever talked about how hurtful that was," Lauren told People of the finale.

Lauren received Ben's final rose and an engagement ring, but she worried part of his heart belonged to JoJo -- and might always belong to her.

"I always try to be really strong because I wanted to move forward from it," Lauren, 27, revealed.

"But because I wanted to move forward from it, I don't think I ever really opened up about how hard that was just in terms of, like, I wanted to make that decision to get engaged one time in my life and I felt like I wasn't told everything that had happened."

Lauren apparently felt blindsided by how torn Ben's heart really was prior to getting engaged. She said JoJo, on the other hand, received a warning from Ben about his feelings at the time of filming. 

"I know that JoJo was told what had happened. I almost felt a little bit betrayed," Lauren explained. "That was really hard, but we moved forward from that."

After The Bachelor finale aired in March 2016, the couple could finally go public with their engagement. But instead of earning support from fans and the media, Lauren and Ben were bombarded with questions about Ben's love for JoJo.

"When The Bachelor aired, reliving that months later wasn't ideal either," Lauren told People.

"I was still like, 'We're going to move forward from this,' but then the press, that's what everybody wanted to talk about. I've never shared with anyone, except for Ben, how hurtful that situation was and how hard it is to continually talk about it over and over again when you're trying to start a life with someone."

Once The Bachelor edition wrapped on television, JoJo went on to star on The Bachelorette, and talk of her strong relationship with Ben didn't subside for weeks. JoJo vented about how much Ben had hurt her, and she gushed about how she wanted a man similar to him.

All the while, Lauren and Ben were trying to make their romance work in Denver, CO, a location totally foreign to the blogger, model and former flight attendant from Los Angeles, CA.

"Looking back, I wish I could be like, 'That's why it didn't work out,' but I think it was just a very abnormal situation and one that [was] unfortunate," Lauren noted.

JoJo's history with Ben was finally put to rest when Jordan Rodgers proposed to JoJo at the end of her The Bachelorette season. (And they are currently still together).

In subsequent months, reports circulated Lauren and Ben's relationship was on the rocks. The couple then decided to film a reality spinoff, Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? for Freeform, which featured the former software salesman calling off their televised wedding in order to get to know each other better.

Lauren was devastated over Ben's decision to slow things down, but again, attempted to move on from it.

Although Lauren told the magazine, "We tried," she and Ben announced their split last month after a little over one year together.

Lauren Bushnell/Instagram

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