Bachelor star Laura Bushnell has opened up about the reason behind her split from fiance Ben Higgins, claiming the “emotional connection” between them “fizzled”.
The couple confirmed three weeks ago that they were ending their engagement after a year together and speaking about the split, the reality TV star said while their physical chemistry remained strong it was the emotional side of the romance that had come undone.
“We were just stressed and tired physically,” she told People magazine. “Emotionally, I just felt like it wasn’t there anymore.”
It comes just a week after Ben spoke out about the break-up following criticism of the couple.
The former reality TV star posted a long message to Instagram in which he claimed he “isn’t perfect” and appeared to take the blame for the split, adding: “the last few months have not gone the way I would have preferred.”
In the lengthy post he claimed his relationships had “changed drastically” since the Bachelor and stated that while it was a “sad” time, there was nothing to feel sorry for him about.
Ben first discussed the split during his iHeart Radio podcast Ben and Ashley: “Almost Famous” and only had good things to say about his ex-girlfriend.
Claiming he wanted to be as “truthful” as possible with his fans, Ben said that he was a “better man today” because of his relationship with Lauren.
Split rumours first began in February this year, with Ben responding to them with a loving post on Instagram to celebrate his fiancee’s birthday.
Calling it “fake news”, he claimed that they realised rumours would always be part of their lives and that he still felt “extremely lucky to be able to share life with her and be by her side.”
The salesman from Warsaw, Indiana first appeared on the 11th season of the Bachelorette, where he came third, before taking part in the 20th season of the Bachelor in January 2016.
He proposed to Lauren, a flight attendant from West Linn, Oregon, at the end of the show. Their season included Former News Anchor, Olivia Caridi and the first set of twins ever to appear on the show, Haley and Emily Ferguson from Las Vegas.
The end of the romance won’t have come as a shock to most Bachelor fans as while Ben and Lauren did get engaged at the end of their seasons, it has been a rocky road for the couple.
Things started off with a bang when Higgins told Bushnell and her fellow finalist JoJo Fletcher that he loved them during the Fantasy Suites, the first time this has ever happened in Bachelor history.
The fallout from his love declaration continued post-filming with Lauren telling People magazine that it was more of an “emotional roller coaster” then when they were on the show.
While she insisted they were falling more in love “every day” she did admit it was hard to separate her feelings from what happened on the show and said watching it back had “hurt”.
While they tried to move on from the Fletcher drama, both admitted the controversy had overshadowed their romance.
They did try to make the romance work, with Lauren moving to Ben’s hometown of Denver after the March season finale, where they went public with their engagement news.
The couple’s romance was put under the spotlight again in October 2016 when they returned to reality TV with their spin-off Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? It quickly became clear though that it wasn’t going to be the happy ending fans wanted.
The show explored how the couple dealt with the fallout from the Fletcher drama, which caused “arguments” and “resentment” between them. They even attended couple’s counselling in an attempt to deal with their issues. Claiming getting their start in reality TV added extra pressure from the public.
After claiming they were not in “any rush” to get married, the couple put their engagement on indefinite hold last November as they worked on the problems in their relationship.
At the time Ben told People magazine that it had nothing to do with “cold feet” or “second thoughts” and they were as committed as ever to make it down the aisle and it was just a case of enjoying things on their “own terms”.
Lauren appears to be moving on with her life too and is opening her own boutique with fellow Bachelor star Amanda Stanton, who was eliminated in week eight.
Speaking about the venture last week Stanton told Entertainment Tonight that they were hoping to get started soon. She also commented on the break-up and said while the couple “love and respect each other” sometimes things just don’t work out.