Do you believe in true love?
Love at first sight?
Do you think there are people who find their one and only, their perfect match? Is this still a thing?
I do. I believe in true love, fate, the perfect match. I’m not sure about love at first sight but that is just me. But yes, I believe in love, deeply and hope you do as well.
Love makes the world go round. It gives us a reason to wake up in the morning, to smile, and so much more. Love has absolutely changed my life.
So, here is another question for you … can these things be found on television? More specifically … reality television? I’ve always been skeptical. Did you know that there is a show on ABC that focuses on this very thing? 😉
Like millions of viewers around the country, I too have watched The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I’ve followed the seasons, watched the After the Final Rose specials, and there have been times when I walked away uncertain if the couple was actually in love or if they would make it.
Did you watch Season 20 of The Bachelor with Ben Higgins? How could you not love this guy! He’s adorable, has great dimples, is intelligent, so sweet… the whole package. I watched the season unfold, the trips, the turmoil, and have to admit that I was a little shocked when he selected Lauren Bushnell, happy but shocked. Then I watched After the Final Rose and thought … okay, I’ll buy in… they are in love.
And then, Freeform took it to a new level with their spinoff Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? If you watched the first episode in October and just so happened to be online tweeting then you likely caught me tweeting live with the couple and viewers from all over the country. Last week, I had the opportunity to not only see an advanced showing of episode two but also sit down with Ben and Lauren to ask questions about their new series and how life is treating them now.
Here are some of our takeaways from the conversation!
1) THE SHOW ISN’T SCRIPTED. It is produced but every television show is.
Ben shared that there is a lot of footage and it is just cut down. He said if they are on a car ride, preparing for an event, or preparing to tape then they will discuss what they are going to talk about but that doesn’t make the show scripted. He said some scenes are small and fill the gap but the big life moments, that is just them.
When asked if they forget about the cameras being there, Ben quickly responded, “100 percent.”
He said they try to help everybody out so if they have an event planned, they will wait to do it on a day they are taping, but everything that they are experiencing is real life.
2) THEY HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE FROM THE BACHELOR AND THE BACHELORETTE.
BEN HIGGINS: We do. I think for a couple reasons. I don’t think everybody does. There are people from my season of The Bachelorette that I just don’t talk to, but there are people I talk to quite often. The same holds true with Lauren and our season of The Bachelor. I think first off, we have a shared experience that not a lot of people can relate with. And it does change you.
The Bachelor isn’t easy to do. It isn’t easy to go through. Some of the people that have been the most supportive of our relationship are people like the twins. When we first started seeing them outside of the show, they were so supportive of us. They would just wrap us up in their arms, like, we’re so happy for you guys. They’ve seen us progress and they’ve seen the tears, and the emotions of it all.
Also, there are some awesome people. The cool part is, with the show, for at least this short season of life, we get to do some really fun things. We get to go on events together and we get to go on trips together. It helps if you like the people.
So, I’d say yes, we do hang out. The twins are a part of our episodes because they are a part of our life a lot.
3) FALLING IN LOVE CAN BE HARD.
We asked what has been the hardest thing about falling in love and now moving towards a televised wedding
Do you remember seeing a US Weekly cover that said Ben put Lauren through hell? He does! But, in a sense, he thinks he did and that has been the hardest part for him.
BEN HIGGINS: You come out of this, and you’re so happy. I remember that feeling of getting down on one knee with Lauren, and knowing that I didn’t have to break up with anybody anymore. That I have her and in your mind you just think FINALLY. I ended up with this woman that I’m so in love with, and that I know I’m going to spend my life with, on this show.
Then the next day, you wake up, and you start to realize how much all of the stuff that happened on the show is actually going to affect our relationship. The fact that I didn’t tell Lauren that I told somebody else I loved her. The fact that I did date a bunch of other people at the same time I dated Lauren. And the fact that I’m still a bachelor in everybody’s eyes, for the next five months.
As we’re engaged, and we’re falling in love, and we’re actually starting to actually date for the first time, and we’re sharing these moments together, some of my hardest moments as a bachelor is when I was stressed out, or when criticism would occur. But I couldn’t necessarily bring it home to Lauren. We had our own stuff going on, when it came to the show. It is a difficult time.
That was the hardest on me, because there’s not an easy way. I never wanted to tell her, hey, I didn’t do that, or hey, the show produced that, or hey, that was edited that way because it wasn’t. My strategy was to tell her everything, right away. As truthful as I could. Let it sit, let it settle, and we’ll work through it as we went. And I think, I would tell any bachelor that ends up with somebody he really cares about, or any bachelorette, to do that.
LAUREN BUSHNELL: We’re both pretty up front about each other and honest. I think maybe we sometimes even overcommunicate.
Even with The Bachelor, when he was the bachelor, I was never shocked by anything that happened. Which was good, because I didn’t feel like I was betrayed or lied to. But it was also hard to relive those things, like Ben was touching on.
BEN HIGGINS: One thing to remember, as you watch Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After, we have a really good relationship, we’re trying to do things the right way, and trying to take time. But, one of the hardest parts is that you’re together 24/7. Lauren and I just worked together, in a sense, since July. We wake up, we start doing whatever we’re going to do, and the cameras are around, we’re talking to each other, and we’re communicating. Everything we’re doing in life is shared, and I don’t think that’s healthy for a relationship.
LAUREN BUSHNELL: Yeah.
I think we started to feel that at the end. Some nights it was eight o’clock when the cameras would leave and we didn’t have anything to talk about. We had just talked to each other all day.
LAUREN BUSHNELL: Yeah.
BEN HIGGINS: That was one of the hardest things with Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After. The fact that Lauren and I had to be together 24/7. I don’t like being around her 24/7. I don’t like being around myself sometimes 24/7. That was definitely a struggle at times, for us. But it’s just part of it. And we got through it.
4) LAUREN REALLY DOES LOVE TO PULL PRANKS.
Ben spoke about their everyday lives, even when they aren’t filming, and how much Lauren is a prankster. Lauren said her favorite is to scare him. Ben said he likes to try to get her back by dropping little bombs on her when they are live, doing press, and then he likes to watch her try to fix what he said. However, he noted that she has real skills which can make it difficult.
For Lauren’s latest prank, tune in to weekly episodes of Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After Tuesdays, on Freeform at eight p.m. Eastern.
So what’s next?
THE CREW GOES CAMPING
IN AN ALL-NEW EPISODE OF ‘BEN & LAUREN: HAPPILY EVER AFTER?,’
AIRING TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, ON FREEFORM
Ben and Lauren head to the woods for a camping trip with some former Bachelor contestants, but all hell breaks loose when villain Chad shows up and threatens to ruin everything, in an all-new episode of Freeform’s original series “Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?,” airing TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on Freeform.
In the episode “Chad to the Bone,” Ben and Lauren decide to go on a camping trip to take a break from wedding planning and get some fresh air and a fresh perspective. Former Bachelor contestants Chris Soules, Haley Ferguson, Emily Ferguson, Lace Morris and Grant Kemp join them for the camping adventure and white water rafting. However, when Bachelor nation bad boy Chad Johnson comes to join them in the woods, old emotions and resentment bubble to the surface and things get real.
The series will be produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton and Jason Ehrlich will serve as the executive producers. Jack Mori is co-executive producer.
I can’t wait to see what happens next, who may pop in to say hi, and the challenges this couple will face along the way.
To stay caught up with the latest, follow Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? on social media
Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform
THEN … stick around for an ALL NEW episode of Freeform’s latest, The Letter with Zeda Williams
THE LETTER airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Freeform
Disclaimer: I was sent on an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to cover the #DoctorStrangeEvent and #BenandLaurenEvent with Disney/Pixar, Marvel, and Freeform. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own.