Ben Higgins: Jess Clarke won't watch my 'The Bachelor' season recap, she doesn't want to see that
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/22/2020
Ben Higgins has revealed his fiancee Jessica Clarke will not be watching the recap of his The Bachelor season on Monday night's episode ofThe Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons -- Ever!, and he's explaining why.
"I've been through it, so I've seen it," Ben, 31, toldUs Weekly of The Bachelor's 20th season, which aired in 2016.
"It's not hard for me to watch back because I know what to expect. But Jess will not be watching it. She doesn't have a desire to watch it. She doesn't want to see [that]."
But after starring on a Bachelor spinoff called Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? on Freeform, they split in May 2017.
Following his breakup with Lauren, Ben announced he was in a new relationship in January 2019, but he waited several more weeks before revealing his girlfriend's identity and going Instagram official with Jess.
Now that Ben and Jess are engaged to be married, Ben admitted his future wife is not interested in watching three hours of Ben's The Bachelor journey, with all of its ups and downs, on the next episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons -- Ever!.
"She is my partner, and I want her to know that. I don't want her to feel any sort of heartbreak or sadness from that. So she'll make an appearance on the show, but she will not be watching it," Ben explained.
"I think she's decided -- and if she wanted to [watch], I'd let her. I mean, I don't really want to tell her what to do. But she just [told me] that she won't watch it."
Ben acknowledged the next week won't be easy for Jess considering they'll both probably be pestered with questions about his past, but he's not worried.
"She's going to get through the day, and probably the week afterwards, with all the comments about my season, and then we'll move on," Ben noted. "But it's not healthy, I don't think, for her to probably watch it."
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For his part, Ben said he doesn't think watching the show will bring up old feelings, which is a conversation he and Jess recently had.
"No. I think there are going to be emotions of, kind of like some nostalgia. This was a great experience for me," Ben told Us.
"It changed my life forever, and in the best ways, for the most part. And it's expanded my life in ways I never could have imagined. Obviously you have breakups and relationships that evolved on the show, but I don't regret any of those."
Ben explained that he's "learned" from those experiences and they've helped shape him into the man he is today.
"For me, I'll watch and when I see it back, now... it's like it was all on my way to Jess, and I'll see it that way. I believe it's that way. I believe everything led me to this point in my life," Ben shared.
"So there's no raw emotion as much as, 'Wow, that was me, trying to figure this out' -- not knowing at the end of all this, I would be with the girl I love not even from the show at all."
"If [Lauren] reached out and said, 'Hey, how are you going to handle this?' I would love to take that call from her, but I don't think I'm needed in this moment for her," Ben said.
When asked whether he's kept in touch with his The Bachelor runner-up JoJo Fletcher, Ben replied, "JoJo and I are good friends. I have a lot of respect for her and [fiance Jordan Rodgers] -- same kind of thing."
Ben apparently saw JoJo and Jordan in the airport last year but admitted he and JoJo haven't kept in "close contact" because it wouldn't be healthy or smart for them to do so.
It's assumed Monday night's episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons -- Ever! will show Ben telling both JoJo and Lauren that he's in love with them. The moment went down in history considering he told JoJo that he loved her shortly before breaking her heart.
"I don't know if 'regret' would be the right word because it's how I felt," Ben said when reflecting back on his decision to be so honest, "which is messed up and not great when you break up and propose to someone in the same day."
"I wish I would've been wise enough -- I think there's some power in not saying too much," Ben added.
Ben told the magazine he had expressed love for both women because he wanted them to know exactly how he was feeling in the moment. Ben admitted, however, it was "naive" of him to believe JoJo would want to hear that before getting dumped and leaving the show.
"I don't think it was the wisest thing to do," Ben admitted.
Ben, who lives in Denver, CO, proposed marriage to Jess in late March at her family's home in Tennessee, and the pair has since been self-isolating with each other amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Ben revealed on his The Ben and Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast in May that he and Jess are "happily engaged" and "having a great time being engaged."
Ben, who also appeared on The Bachelor Winter Games, previously disclosed he first saw Jessica by stumbling across her Instagram profile when looking for posts about a Nashville hockey game.
Ben acknowledged he was taken with her beauty and decided to direct message her around the time of Thanksgiving 2018.
Jessica reportedly answered Ben's message, and then in December 2018, Ben flew her out to Denver so they could meet face-to-face.