'The Bachelor' star Ben Higgins talks about having "the wedding bug" with girlfriend Jessica Clarke and taking the next step in their relationship
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/10/2019
The Bachelor alum Ben Higgins is apparently already picturing his girlfriend, Jessica Clarke, in a wedding dress, as he admits to having the "wedding bug."
Ben, 30, revealed he's starting to think about the next steps of his relationship considering two of his best friends, Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon, are getting married this summer in Rhode Island.
"I think it's exciting, right? Especially to see two people walk into marriage with such a positivity to it, such a confidence," Ben toldUs Weekly at Ashley's bridal shower.
"So that gives me the wedding bug, is just seeing how confident they are in walking into that special day."
Ben first revealed he's in a new relationship in January on his The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous Podcast, but he chose not to identify Jessica as the woman in his life right away.
Several weeks later, the Season 20 The Bachelor star introduced Jessica, a 23-year-old Nashville resident and recent University of Mississippi graduate who reportedly sells LED lighting for a living, to the world, when the cute couple also went Instagram official.
Ben 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 to Denver, CO, so they could meet face-to-face.
While Ben admitted "it's still too early" to get engaged to Jessica and marry her, that doesn't mean he isn't hopeful about their future together.
"Jess and I have some timelines set. We still do long distance and we are going to talk about next steps in August," Ben shared with Us.
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"It allowed us the freedom to not put the pressure on the situation, and so in August, we're going to talk about, 'Hey, what's the next move even?' Or 'Hey, how do we make this thing a little more close to each other? How do we continue to move this forward in the right direction?'"
Ben concluded, "But we're waiting until August to not put pressure on who we are as a couple."
Ben, however, gushed to the magazine in April about how Jessica inspires him every day and he couldn't be more pleased they got together.
"[I'm] really happy. She's a very kind, pure, emphatic and supportive person in general. And she's not only like that to me. I'm part of that, but she's like that to everybody around her," Ben said at the time.
"She challenges me to be more empathetic, more loving, more caring, more kind as well. So I'm very happy."
This marks the Generous Coffee co-founder's first public relationship since his engagement to Lauren Bushnell, which aired on The Bachelor finale in 2016.
Ben and Lauren broke up in May 2017, and he only entered one brief and private relationship before meeting Jessica, according to Entertainment Tonight.