Former The Bachelor star Ben Higgins has introduced his girlfriend, Jessica Clarke, to the world, and now they are Instagram official!

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A little over a month ago, Ben announced on The Ben & Ashley I Almost Famous podcast he had someone special in his life and would reveal her identity later on.

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Bachelor Nation spoiler sleuths reported Ben was dating Jessica, a 23-year-old recent college graduate and brunette beauty who lives in Nashville, TN, and now Ben has confirmed she is in fact his girlfriend.

On Wednesday, Ben posted a sweet photo of the couple on Instagram and captioned it, "I've been selfishly keeping this girl to myself for too long! Hey friends meet @jessclarke_! I successfully slid into her Dm's a few months ago."

"I took a risk and I am glad I did. She is someone special, and I look forward to where life is going to take us," Ben continued.

"Stay tuned for the journey. In addition, this picture was taken this week in Honduras. I got to spend some time with an incredible group of people from all over the USA on a @generous_coffee_ adventure. Life is good!"

Congratulatory comments poured in from fans and Ben's friends, including The Bachelor's Ashley Iaconetti and Lauren Burnham as well as The Bachelorette's Luke Pell and Dean Unglert.

The response to Ben's post was overwhelmingly positive, as most people seem to be in agreeance Ben deserves to be in a happy relationship after his failed engagement to Lauren Bushnell, who has dated a couple of men since their May 2017 split.

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Jessica also confirmed her relationship with Ben on Instagram by sharing a couple of photos from their trip to Honduras on Wednesday.

"My secret boyfriend, Ben! He has one of the biggest hearts and kindest spirits, I got to share Honduras with him this past week and I'm excited for many more adventures!" she captioned the slideshow.

A Reddit user claimed last month Jessica and Ben had briefly met at a bar in Nashville a while back and she "kind of forgot about it/he didn't seem interested at the time," although the post has since been deleted.
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"A couple months later he slid into her dms saying something along the lines of, 'I just saw a photo of you pop up on my explore feed and remember meeting you in Nashville. I never dm girls but I figured I'd be stupid to pass up a second chance at getting to talk to you.'"

According to another Reddit user, Ben visited Jessica in Nashville right before Christmas, and she then visited him shortly after the holiday.

"They spent New Years together in Colorado skiing [and] snowboarding," said the spoiler sleuth.

Jessica was a track and field star at the University of Mississippi, where she graduated from in May 2018.

When Ben confirmed on his podcast -- during an interview with the new The Bachelor star Colton Underwood -- in January that he has a new girlfriend, he gushed about how the unidentified woman is "the best, purest person" he knows. 

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Ben also revealed at the time they have a long-distance relationship and FaceTime constantly but his experience on The Bachelor's 20th season improved his communication skills.

Meanwhile, Lauren Bushnell is currently dating country music singer Chris Lane. Their romance sparked three months after her relationship with Devin Antin ended in August 2018.

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In addition to starring on The Bachelor in 2016, Ben also appeared on Kaitlyn Bristowe's season of The Bachelorette and the franchise's one-time spinoff The Bachelor Winter Games.

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