How Lauren Still Affects Ben's Life Post 'Bachelor' Breakup

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua

Ben Higgins has had an interesting go of it. Fans saw him fall in love with Lauren Bushnell, and after the couple subsequently broke up, he's dipped his toes back into the waters of the Bachelor franchise this winter by hitting the slopes and engaging in some serious competition — with perhaps some hopes of love thrown in as well. As the show wraps up, people will be wondering what Ben is doing after Bachelor Winter Games.

According to his Instagram, he's had a lot going on aside from any romance that may or may not have bloomed. He's been getting in some good old guy time with friends, and doing plenty of work for charity. He also apparently adorably golfing with the likes of franchise host Chris Harrison and Dean, another Bachelor alum, which means that he's definitely not leaving behind his Bachelor roots, even if he's not immediately diving back into a serious relationship.

It seems like maybe Ben isn't quite ready for any special someone to regularly grace his Instagram feed again just yet, after what appeared to be a pretty rough breakup with Lauren. And that question has been raised a lot during his time on Bachelor Winter Games.

“I don’t know what the others girls are voting on, but I look at guys like, gosh, Ben. He has this great presence of him, but I have concerns because he was recently heartbroken,” Bibiana said of Ben on Bachelor Winter Games, according to People magazine. “Is he really at the state where he can talk to anyone? Or even just emotionally available?” Though Ben obviously felt ready to move onto another dating show, he has admitted that his history with Lauren does, understandably, still affect how he continues to pursue other relationships.

“It did affect the way I interacted with women [on the show] and it does that in real life,” Ben said in another People article.

“Coming off of a breakup, it’s smart to take time to process through things but also to make sure you do know what you’re looking for. I knew that what I was looking for was somebody very similar to what I had before and just a partner, somebody who was patient and kind and willing to go out there and tackle the world side-by-side.”

Despite the fact that he's obviously still hurt by the relationship's end, E! reported that he doesn't harbor any bad feelings toward Lauren, which could bode well for a future relationship. "I think there's a lot of pressure coming on this show. I've told any Bachelor/Bachelorette that came after me, just try to stay yourself but it's really difficult," Ben told Ryan Seacrest after the breakup, according to E!.

"You have a lot of people looking over your shoulder. There's a ton of criticism and judgment no matter what you do — good or bad — or if you have the most pure heart or not. People are going to take it the wrong way and honestly, Lauren and I both agreed it does pull on you a lot and it isn't exactly healthy for a foundation for a relationship."

He also said that it does wear on him to get the Lauren questions time after time. “I still find myself defending Lauren and our relationship,” he said, according to People. "As much as I’ve moved on, and I have — I promise that — but for me, it breaks you every day."

Even if Ben doesn't come away from Bachelor Winter Games with a new partner on his arm, he still has plenty going for him. His social media accounts show that he's been keeping busy with plenty of obligations, and he also, of course, continues to co-host his Almost Famous podcast with Ashley I., his good friend and another Bachelor franchise alum. If there are any developments from here on out that occur off camera, hopefully that's where he'll give listeners a glimpse.