Ever since Ben and Lauren’s kind-of-expected split that left them—but more importantly us—totally broken, the two have remained preeeetty silent about the logistics of the breakup (minus that one “we plan to stay friends” statement). We’ve all been wondering WTF happened and better yet, who broke up with who!? Nearly a month after the split—while Lauren has been steadily documenting her much-needed girl time all over social media—Ben is finally (!!) breaking the silence and opening up, to multiple outlets, to talk about life after Lauren. Here’s everything we’ve learned about the split from Ben himself; through interviews, social media and his new Almost Famous podcast with Bachelor Nation alum (and non-girlfriend, but we’ll get to that later) Ashley I.
Ben and Lauren actually do plan to remain friends
They said it in their breakup statement and now Ben has confirmed that they actually *are* going to stay friends and even better—best friends! “Just to be as politically correct as possible and to also be as truthful as possible, Lauren will always be one of my best friends,” Ben said in a clip from his new Almost Famous podcast series. He also admitted during a radio interview with Ryan Seacrest that while it’s not the happiest time of their lives, they still really care for and have a lot of respect for each other.
The end of their beautiful (but obviously time-stamped) relationship was “a long time coming”
In another clip from the podcast, Ben explained that the joy they felt in the beginning of their ’ship was slowly slipping away. “We were both working very hard to bring that joy back and it just never seemed to get there. So it was a long time coming but it wasn’t necessarily like we dragged it out,” he said.
But it was still a shock when it actually happened
When asked during his interview with Ryan Seacrest whether the breakup came as a surprise, Ben said he was *definitely* shocked by it: “I don’t want to speak for Lauren in any of this but both of us for so long thought that this was the right thing and thought that this was going to be something that lasted…and we’d be spending a life together. So yeah, it did come as a shock.”
Lauren took EVERYTHING when she left
During another episode of their podcast, Ashley I. flipped through photos on Ben’s phone that depicted his v. empty post-Lauren living room. Because Lauren technically owned all their furniture (if you watched Ben & Lauren: Happy Ever After? you know she originally HATED everything about Ben’s Denver bro house) she took it all with her, minus one mirror. According to Ashley I., the living room is pretty freaking heartbreaking. “My house and I are feeling very similar,” Ben piped in. “Sad, mourning, a little empty…in all seriousness, it’s really sad. But I do have my whiskey cart left.” *Insert all the crying face emojis*
After painting the saddest picture ever, he went on to explain that his current unfortunate furniture situation consists of one wicker lawn chair (when he wants to watch TV at night he has to lie on the floor to avoid getting those annoying wicker marks in his legs #worst) and an old college mattress. We literally can’t handle the sadness that is Ben’s life right now.
But before you go thinking Lauren is legit the cruelest human being ever (which is totally what we were thinking): Ben recently took Twitter to apologize for what he said about his ex and his living room in this lengthy note.
— Benjamin Higgins (@benhiggi) May 21, 2017
He definitely *didn’t* do the breaking up
There are a few reasons that lead us to believe Lauren was the dumper and Ben, the dumpee, so we’re going to break it down:
Point A: In that ridiculously long apology note (so obviously written for Lauren), Ben says that Lauren has “assisted in making this transition as easy as possible.” Why else would she be going out of her way to make the transition as “comfortable as possible” for Ben? DUH because she’s feeling the guilt from breaking his heart. BOOM. Case closed. Lauren broke up with Ben. Moving on.
Point B: During his interview with Ryan Seacrest, Ben straight-up said, “I don’t know if I could say I [emphasis on the I] broke up with Lauren, but we have separated” when Ryan so assumingly said “so, you broke up with Lauren.” Still need more proof? Let’s move on to Point C.
Point C: In an Instagram essay that he posted last week, Ben wrote, “The last few months have not gone the way I would have preferred. My relationships have changed drastically and what I envisioned my life was going to be has been redirected. It is sad, but it is nothing you should feel sorry for me about.” In other words he defs didn’t break up with her.
You are going to hurt somebody, you are going to hurt somebody deeply. But, I will not be one of those people. I cannot focus on the negative comments or indecently hateful words being said about me or my relationship even though they do sting. I do know great people that I care about deeply that comments and criticisms have affected and as a result I wanted to share my words. A small minority of people (at least I will continue to believe it is a small minority) want to see people suffer or fail. Personally, my basis for judging myself is simple, if I do something that doesn’t represent Christ then I will listen to the opinions and words from family and friends who know me best and love me. I do desire (by the direction of family and peers) to become a better person daily. I know some will not agree with my intentions but in all things my pursuit is to represent Christ better. With that, I will once again clearly tell you I AM NOT PERFECT as none of us are and I have never claimed to be. I do desire to show love in all situations (do I always do that? No, I fail often). To be clear, not that this should be a surprise, but this podcast is a professional decision I have made to enhance my life and career. I still have a full time job. I am still running Generous Coffee company. I still have a blog. I am still actively involved in @humanityandhope. And now, because I was given the opportunity, I have added a podcast with a friend and a great company (@iheartradio) to talk about life (and I love to talk). The last few months have not gone the way I would have preferred. My relationships have changed drastically and what I envisioned my life was going to be has been redirected. It is sad, but it is nothing you should feel sorry for me about, life happens both the good and bad. With this, what do you think I should do now? For all of you that have given me advice let me give you some from my heart. Love as hard as you can (even to strangers). Ask yourself what life is about and pursue your conclusion with passion. When a good opportunity comes your way that fits your desires take it, because life is short but a lot more fun when you are doing something you enjoy.
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Other than talking about all the furniture dramz on his podcast, Ben has nothing but good things to say about his now ex *tear* fiancée
Ben admitted on the ’cast that he’s a better man today because of Lauren: “It’s [a relationship] where I learned a lot about myself; I think she learned a lot about herself. Obviously, she knows me better than anybody else that has gone through this experience, and really probably anybody else in the world,” he said.
And for the last time, he is NOT dating Ashley I.
Rumours that Ben and Ashley I. are the newest Bachelor Nation couple have been circulating ever since they announced the podcast and were spotted together at a Bryan Adams concert. (Side note: We’d just like to point out that we never, for one second, entertained these rumours because if you know anything about Bachelor Nation, you know Ashley I. will be in love with Jared Haibon for the rest of her life.) Nevertheless, the rumours spread all over the internet and we’re here to tell you it’s so not true. The iHeart Radio co-hosts have made it clear multiple times that they’re “just really good friends” and always make a point to clarify that they’re defs not dating in any of their Instagrams together. Plus when chatting with Ryan Seacrest, Ben said he’s nowhere near ready to move on (duh).