When Ben Higgins set out to find love on The Bachelor, we had high hopes that he would find his perfect match (and a quiet wish for him to stay single so we could still have our shot at marrying him). We all know how that story ended, with Ben getting down on one knee to propose to Lauren Bushnell.
Now it’s time for this Bachelor couple to start the next chapter, and thankfully, they’re taking us along for the journey. Ben and Lauren chatted with reporters ahead of the premiere of their spin-off, Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? Here are 11 things we’re dying to share.
1. JoJo is supportive of Ben and Lauren and vice versa
Though a few loose ends from Ben’s season of The Bachelor might have you believe there’s bad blood between Ben and Lauren and JoJo, Ben assured us that’s just not the case. “I hope she’s excited or happy for Lauren and I, and know that when her premiere of The Bachelorette was airing, Lauren and I were happy for her…I think we’re all fairly supportive of each other—very supportive of each other—and I think JoJo will feel the same way.”
2. They’re over the JoJo drama
You know what they say: time heals all wounds. That’s certainly the case when it comes to the drama surrounding Ben’s previous relationship with JoJo. Lauren shared, “With time and with experiences and with just working on our relationship, I think that’s how we’ve moved forward.”
“I’m totally comfortable with the three of us sitting down today, but I can’t say that I necessarily would’ve been comfortable with that a week after we got engaged,” she added.
3. The real reason they agreed to a spin-off has nothing to do with the cameras
Some fans—or haters—may question Ben and Lauren’s intentions for signing on to film another reality show. But it’s not because they’re interested in being followed around by cameras 24/7.
Ben explained, “We didn’t do this because we wanted cameras to follow us. I think we did this because we realized that our life wasn’t going to be private, even if we desired for it or even tried to make it private. People were going to still want to know what’s going on in our life…So jumping right into a new show wasn’t because we wanted cameras. It was because honestly it was a good opportunity for us to highlight exactly what everybody else was already asking.”
4. They go to Bachelor super-couples for advice
Lauren mentioned that previous Bachelor couples were the only ones who really understood her and Ben’s circumstance after the final rose, and they’ve turned to ones like Catherine Lowe, Desiree Siegfied and Trista and Ryan Sutter for guidance. “It’s really great to have them, and I hope that we can be that to future couples of The Bachelor.”
5. You’ll see what Ben and Lauren’s Bachelor friends are like IRL
You may think you know your fave bachelors and bachelorettes, but this spin-off is going to give you an even closer look behind-the-scenes. “What you’re going to see is these people out of the Bachelor and Bachelorette world, into their normal life, which I think is so cool to see. You see these people’s true character; you see how they react in everyday situations,” Ben said.
6. Lace and Grant’s relationship is real AF
We’re all skeptical of the lightning-speed couplings that form in Paradise, but we don’t think we have to worry about Lace and Grant. The engaged pair makes an appearance on Ben & Lauren later in the season, and Ben and Lauren were blown away by their bond: “One thing Lauren and I just kind of took away from being around them for this show was, like, ‘Wow, they really care about each other.’ We said that multiple times. It’s such a beautiful thing to see.”
7. There will be tears when Chad visits
Lauren admitted that after meeting Chad during JoJo’s After the Final Rose special, she and Ben were eager to help him and get to know him better. But they probably didn’t expect what was meant to be a fun camping trip to take such an emotional turn. “It definitely got interesting, and there were some tears shed,” Lauren previewed.
8. But watch out for the twins and Chris Soules
Chad may bring the drama, but Ben says fans should be most excited for the twins and Chris Soules to stop by the series. We hear you, Ben, and we’ll be keeping an eye out.
9. Ben is sweetly protective of Lauren
Lauren noted that, while filming, she’s learned just how protective Ben is of her. “I think, for both Ben and I, we promised each other that we would never let this show affect our relationship and our relationship will always come first. And that evidence is where our schedule is exhausting or I’m struggling with something and Ben is the first to step in.”
10. They’ve learned a lot about each other while filming, and it’s only made them stronger
For those who doubt that a relationship can survive the reality TV treatment, Ben and Lauren want to be living proof. “I’ve gotten to know my quirks more and Lauren’s quirks more, and how she supports me and how we lift each other up in times that are frustrating or tiring,” Ben explained. “This has been an experience that I think we both have just learned a ton about each other through, which has added an element to doing this show that I think is great for our relationship. We know each other very well right now.”
11. They still don’t know why they got a spin-off
When we asked Ben why he and Lauren are the first Bachelor couple to ever take part in a spin-off, he confessed that he doesn’t really know. His best guess? They’re a real couple.
“I think after being around us…and seeing, ‘Hey, this is a real couple. They actually do have arguments. They actually do annoy each other. Wait, they actually really like each other and love each other also.’…I think the franchise probably thought this is a couple that we would like to highlight or show more of.”
Timing, the success of the franchise and Lauren’s beauty might also have something to do with it, he hinted.
Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? premieres Tuesday, October 11 on Freeform.