Bushnell and Higgins called off their engagement in May 2017
“I honestly don’t think there was one main reason,” the 28-year-old said during an interview with Reality Steve posted on Thursday. “I don’t necessarily think at the end of the day we were the most compatible.”
Bushnell also said “coming out of a show like The Bachelor is very stressful.”
“Then having to rewatch everything adds a whole other level of stress,” she added. “And then I think the second spinoff show was also a lot of stress.”
Bushnell and Higgins got engaged on season 20 of The Bachelor in 2016. After their stint on the ABC reality dating show, Bushnell moved to Denver to be with her fiancé, where cameras captured the former couple in one season of their own own reality network series: Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? They announced their split in May 2017.
Continuing, she remarked, “It wasn’t this bad blood situation or blow-up fight — it’s nothing I can really pinpoint. It just came down to compatibility.”
She also noted that even if they hadn’t immediately started taping their spinoff show — which she said she “didn’t have a lot of excitement towards” — she still doesn’t think they would be together today.
“I was craving normalcy, at the end of the day,” she said. “I gave up all these things and I just wanted normalcy, and it just felt like we couldn’t get to that point, and that was frustrating in itself.”
She also opened up about her new boyfriend Devin Antin, who she met on Tinder about four or five months before competing for Higgins’ heart on television.
While the pair “lived really close to one another,” the reality star says, “nothing really went from there” because “the timing just wasn’t right.”
But after moving out of Higgins’ home in Denver and heading back to Los Angeles, she says they “reconnected again, initially as friends … and then it just really evolved from there.”
A source previously told PEOPLE in mid-July 2017 that Bushnell and Antin, who is a real estate investor, had been “officially dating for a few weeks.”
“They met when Lauren was living in Marina Del Rey before The Bachelor, and became friends,” said the source at the time. “They reconnected as friends when she moved back to Los Angeles, and then a relationship developed from there.”
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In the new interview, Bushnell also reflected on the criticism she faced for moving on — especially because at the time, Higgins was talking about how he couldn’t even “fathom kissing another girl” on his podcast.
“I felt bad because I’m not trying to hurt anyone by trying to move on with my life — I’m not trying to flaunt anything, rub salt in the wound, but yes, I was trying to move on with my life,” she said, adding that while Higgins’ podcast had already made her seem like the “bad guy” in their breakup, things got even worse once people knew she was dating somebody new.
“I feel like that almost exacerbated the situation, where again I was the bad guy and he was the victim because he had this platform where he was talking about all the ways he was feeling, which I wasn’t sharing,” she remarked. “So naturally, I’m just the person who takes a little more heat. But it didn’t bother me, I wasn’t angry. Was it sometimes hard? Yeah. But it didn’t really get in the way too much of my life, because I just really wanted to move on.”