Former Bachelor star Ben Higgins “couldn’t get” himself to post on social media amid his split from fiancée Lauren Bushnell following season 20. “I didn’t want to just be real and show my true — not even show my true emotions — I just couldn’t,” he exclusively tells Life & Style

The Indiana native, 31, adds he stayed “away” from his accounts during the tumultuous time in his romantic life “because it hurt.”

Lauren Bushnell and Ben Higgins Cuddle on Couch on The Bachelor
ABC/Levy Moroshan

The reality duo got engaged in Jamaica during the season finale and were together for over a year before ending things for good in May 2017. Although they initially kept the details of their breakup hush-hush, Lauren later confessed their spinoff, Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? added some stress.

“I don’t think it was the best idea,” the former flight attendant, 30, told Life & Style exclusively at the time. “I just don’t think I’m made for TV. It’s hard to focus on a situation when there’s a bunch of people around.”

In addition, the happenings from season 20 weighed heavily on their relationship afterward. Specifically, Ben telling both Lauren and runner-up JoJo Fletcher that he was in love with them took a toll. 

“I always try to be really strong because I wanted to move forward from it,” the Oregon native explained to People. “But because I wanted to move forward from it, I don’t think I ever really opened up about how hard that was just in terms of, like, I wanted to make that decision to get engaged one time in my life, and I felt like I wasn’t told everything that had happened.” 

As for Ben, he admitted his “reactions were so bad” as he and Lauren were getting to know each other. “I’m an only child, so I have routines and consistencies in my life that for anyone else in my life to come in change that — for me, I was holding on to way too close,” he told Entertainment Tonight shortly after their uncoupling. “So, I have to become less reactionary, and I’m too sensitive … I doubt all the time in the back of my head.”

Of course, everything worked out for the best in the end. Ben went on to create Generous Coffee, which is available for purchase online, opened multiple restaurants where he resides in Denver and is currently engaged to Jessica Clarke.

Lauren has amassed over one million followers for her social media empire and resides in Nashville with her husband and country music singer, Chris Lane

Onward and upward, right?

Reporting by Diana Cooper