Too sweet! Clare Crawley‘s ex-fiancé, , is “glad” she was named as the new Bachelorette, but he doesn’t “want her to get hurt,” he exclusively tells Life & Style. “I’m glad she got that chance at finding love because we both trust that process,” notes the Bachelor Nation stud. Clare, 38, and Beniot, 33, got engaged after Bachelor Winter Games in 2018 but split a month later.

“It was big news,” the former contestant on The Bachelorette Canada adds about his ex becoming season 16’s leading lady. “All I want for her is to be happy because she deserves the best.” The pair had a very amicable uncoupling and promised that there were “no negative feelings” between them. “We are simply two people who believed in love and were open enough to give it a chance. We still care for each other very deeply,” they wrote in a joint statement at the time.

Clare Crawley and Benoit Engagement on Bachelor Winter Games
ABC/Paul Hebert

“She has always been so nice to me, even after the breakup,” divulges Benoit. “We talked on a regular basis and still care a lot about each other.” The Sacramento native is definitely ready to find her Mr. Right. “I know what I want, what I don’t want and what I won’t settle for,” she said on Good Morning America after the big announcement on March 2.

Benoit can’t help but agree that his ex will deliver an amazing season. “She will be the best person to call out her men if they aren’t there for her,” he confesses. “I’m sure she will find her soulmate. She will be the best Bachelorette, I can tell you this!”

Franchise alum Ashley Iaconetti also gushed exclusively to Life & Style about Clare being a great choice as the next Bachelorette. The former Bachelor in Paradise contestant acknowledged that “people [were] and perhaps lead,” and said that the former contestant from ‘ season is “such a warm, nurturing soul who knows what she deserves.”

Clare is going to bring her beauty, brains and experience to season 16, and we can’t wait to meet her lucky contestants.