Ben Higgins has hit the pause button on his televised walk down the aisle with Lauren Bushnell.
The couple, who has been documenting their life post-national television engagement on their Freeform series Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? got very real in a therapy session in Tuesday’s episode.
The former Bachelor and his fiancée were joined by Bachelor Nation power couples Lace Morris and Grant Kemp (who were engaged on Bachelor in Paradise) and Emily and Haley Ferguson.
During their session, Ben told Lauren he wasn’t quite ready to start a life with her.
“I’m ready for you to know me,” he said. “What I want is for you to walk down the aisle and me be like, ‘That’s my girl. I know her. You know me.’”
The honesty became too much for Ben and he began to cry. “I don't want us to rush it,” he confessed. “I think making a commitment, like marrying somebody, involves knowing what you’re getting into. There’s still things that we need to know. And I would rather do that now than get into… after a wedding and then, all of a sudden, sit down and be like, ‘What the hell did we just do?’ I think this thing sped up real fast, and we haven’t had a second to breathe. We both started to know each other. We were engaged. Like, it’s weird. But now it’s time not to rush anything else.”
To help the couple assess how ready they are to get married, the therapist had Ben and Lauren change into wedding attire. Upon seeing Lauren in a white dress, Ben acknowledged how lucky he was and attempted to assure the blogger his hesitation didn't mean he was nixing their nuptials.
“I’m not leaving you,” he assured her. “I’m not. Don’t think that for a second … No matter what is said or what I express to you, none of it comes back to me ever not being your husband at all. When I say that, even think about not being your husband, I’ll get the tears again…”
But Ben ultimately decided that walking down the aisle felt too rushed. “I think when it comes to the wedding,” he said, “I feel like we have so much to figure out that it’s hard for me at this point to really feel comfortable getting married.”
Lauren was completely blindsided by Ben’s decision and told the twins it was “the last thing” she expected.
The therapist suggested a road trip so Ben and Lauren packed up and headed back to Denver.
Things on the road trip got tense in Sin City when Lauren had to dodge questions about their wedding at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, but a couple they met at a diner, who had been married for 70 years, made Lauren feel better about the situation.
“Meeting them and talking with them put everything in perspective,” Lauren told the camera. “Ed had cold feet, too, and Toots gave him the time that he needed. And it made me realize that if Ben needs a little more time to feel comfortable getting married, that he should really have it because in the end, it won’t matter if this wedding’s a little bit later.”
Then Ben surprised Lauren with a home makeover, the post-Bachelor equivalent of the final rose.
Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.