The Bachelor star Ben Higgins is defending the decision he and fiancee Jessica Clarke have made to wait until marriage to have sex with each other for the first time.

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"We are excited about this decision," Ben, 31, told Ashley Iaconetti during a recent episode of The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous Podcast.

"It's been the healthiest decision for us. I think people are confused about it or going, 'What in the world is going on here?' But it's a decision we made that we thought was best for us as a couple to allow us the healthiest relationship."

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The Season 20 star of The Bachelor had told Nick Viall on the April 22 episode of The Viall Files podcast that he and Jessica, 24, have been sleeping in separate beds while they quarantine with her family in Tennessee.

Ben explained at the time he and Jessica are abstaining from sex just out of "respect" for their current situation, confirming he has "definitely" not had sex in the "last year and a half" and doesn't plan on doing so until Jessica becomes his wife.

"We wanted to do that because we thought we had something special and we wanted to do some things personally to make sure we were setting ourselves up for the most success... And it's been really good for us," Ben explained on his podcast.

"It might not be for everybody, I get it, I'm not saying it should. But all I know is for Jessica and I, it's been healthy and it's been great and we are really excited for what the future holds."

Ben, who lives in Denver, CO, proposed marriage to Jessica in late March at her family's home, and prior to self-isolating with each other amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Ben and Jessica withstood a long-distance relationship.

Regardless of whether people agree with Ben and Jessica's decision to wait to sleep together, Ben acknowledged, "It's worked so far. We are happily engaged and having a great time being engaged."

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However, Ben joked it's awkward to be so open about his sex life.

"Weird to now have this as a dinner conversation for her family and my family, [but] it's a healthy conversation to have," Ben said.
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"This is something I have never shied away from when it comes to sex and the boundaries I have set with my partner. It's not something I want to hide."

After getting engaged, Ben took to Instagram and gushed of Jessica, "From my first date in the 8th grade to the moments leading up to me getting down on one knee it all led me to you. I now officially have the most beautiful, kind hearted, supportive, well intentioned person to spend life with. Our adventurous ride through life together is just starting."

Ben anticipates Jessica will be moving to Denver soon both for their relationship and her work.

After competing for Kaitlyn Bristowe's heart on The Bachelorette's eleventh season, Ben starred on The Bachelor in 2016.

Ben got engaged to Lauren Bushnell during the season finale that aired in March of that year, and after starring on a Bachelor spinoff called Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? on Freeform, they split in May 2017.

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Following his breakup with Lauren, Ben announced he was in a new relationship in January 2018 on his Almost Famous podcast, but he chose not to identify Jessica as the woman in his life right away.

Several weeks later, Ben introduced Jessica -- a University of Mississippi graduate reportedly selling LED lighting for a living at the time -- when the cute couple went Instagram official.

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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.

As for Lauren, she is married to country singer Chris Lane and living in Nashville with him.

RELATED LINK: 'THE BACHELOR' FRANCHISE COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER?? (PHOTOS)

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