On Wednesday, the former Bachelor star took to Instagram to set the record straight on his relationship with his fiancée.
“No need to respond often to rumors or ‘fake news’ but the feeling I have in this picture is the same feeling I have for this girl today,” Higgins captioned a throwback photo of himself and Bushnell cuddled up on a beach.
“We have entered into a world where rumors will exist we know that,” he continued in the post, and added, “but just know as @laurenbushnell celebrates her birthday tomorrow I am still extremely lucky to be able to share life with her and be by her side.”
Higgins, 28, and Bushnell, who is celebrating her 27th birthday in Mexico with her sister, met, fell in love, and got engaged during Higgins’ season 20 of The Bachelor.
In the 10 months after the reality star couple revealed their engagement on the ABC series, the couple exclusively told PEOPLE that they had entered into couples counseling at their church.
“We’re not the perfect couple,” Higgins told PEOPLE exclusively. “Far from it! But we are trying really hard and we love each other a lot.”
Added Bushnell: “There are so many weird elements to being in a relationship after The Bachelor … We’ve gotten in arguments like any other couple, but about some things that other couples wouldn’t have to fight about, like the fact that we met when he was dating other women. You can say that’s what I signed up for, but it’s still real life and it’s still hard.”
But in November, the Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? stars, who recently revealed on their show that their wedding is off, are focused on moving forward.
“We’re still engaged and we’re still together,” Higgins explained. “We are building a foundation and we’re taking every day one step at a time. That’s what I’m excited about. ”
“This trip brought us closer together,” added Bushnell about the couple’s trip to Honduras. “We weren’t ready to jump into a wedding. And we both needed to take a step back from life in the limelight. Me understanding a little bit more of where Ben’s heart is was so important and exactly what we needed.”
And for the record, “I still want to marry Lauren, very much so,” said Higgins. “Our relationship is better now than it has ever been.”