Ben Hinted That Romance Could Be On The Way For Him In 'Bachelor Winter Games'

by Jordan Lauf
Lorenzo Bevilaqu/ABC

Bachelor Nation fans are used to heartbreak; it's kinda part of the deal of becoming invested in relationships that developed on a reality TV show over the course of only a few weeks. So while fans of former Bachelor Ben Higgins and fiancé Lauren Bushnell were naturally upset when the couple called it quits in May of 2017, they have been quick to bounce back and hope that Ben can find love once again. Now that he is appearing on the new Bachelor spinoff series, The Bachelor Winter Games, Ben is finally getting the chance to find love on television once again. But, is Ben Higgins dating anyone after Bachelor Winter Games?

Unsurprisingly, Ben has been coy in interviews about whether or not he's dating someone from the show, although he does seem to suggest that he experienced at least some romance during the Winter Games. In an interview with Us Weekly, Ben revealed that whether or not he fell in love over the course of the show, he was able make romantic progress, whatever that might mean.

"I made a lot of good relationships from when I stepped into the house to the time I left. If you ask me, ‘Did I take steps in the romance department?’ I definitely did. There’s not a question in my mind that there were steps made. I may or may not have [found love]. For me, personally, there was huge steps made. I’m excited for people to be with me in that story, through television."

It seems like Ben wanted to come on The Winter Games in order to move on from his split from Lauren. "The Bachelor helped me fall in love in a way that I never felt before. If there is any place that could help me move on, it’s the Winter Games. The Bachelor and Bachelorette are not just an American thing — there are people coming here from literally all over the world," Ben told People. “I’m hoping for that spark, for something to ignite within me. I want to be in love again.”

But some of Ben's fellow contestants seemed to have doubts about whether he is truly over Lauren, and whether or not he's ready to find love again. Bibiana, a memorable contestant on Arie's season, voiced her concerns during the premiere of the show. “[Ben] has this great presence of him, but I have concerns because he was recently heartbroken,” she said. “Is he really at the state where he can talk to anyone? Or even just emotionally available?”

Rebecca, a Bachelor Sweden alum, also seemed unsure as to whether the former Bachelor was ready to put his heart on the line again. She asked Ben point blank during the cocktail hour, “Are you here for love? I just feel like you’ve been a little distant. You’re like hanging out with everybody.” And promos for the show seem to hint at the fact that Ben and Lauren's breakup will be a significant plot point during the season. People reports that during a promo for upcoming episodes, a tearful Ben is shown confessing that he's still consumed by the breakup. “I still find myself defending Lauren and our relationship,” he says. “As much as I’ve moved on, and I have — I promise that — but for me, it breaks you every day.”

Fans hoping that Ben managed to overcome this struggle and actually did find love on the show shouldn't turn to social media for clues. Ben's Instagram is mostly featuring solo shots these days, or the occasional picture with friends. Though there were rumors that Ben and his good friend and permanent Bachelor franchise fixture Ashley I. might get cozy during the show, it seems that the pair are really just very good friends. So if Ben has left the Winter Games with a new girlfriend, the couple has done a remarkable job of keeping the relationship under wraps.

Fans will just have to watch the show to see if Ben finds love again, leaves heartbroken, or realizes that he still needs more time to recover from his last break up. Whatever the case may be, Bachelor Nation is ready to embrace him with open arms— we're just happy to have him back on our screens.