Lauren Bushnell “Open” to Working Things Out With Ben Higgins
Credit: TMZ    

Lauren Bushnell

Lauren Bushnell “Open” to Working Things Out With Ben Higgins


Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell fans, listen up!

There might still be a morsel of hope for the Bachelor 2016 couple after they announced the end of their 18-month engagement a couple weeks back.

Though Lauren tells TMZ this week that they are “completely done” right now, it sounds like she isn’t completely opposed to working things out in the future.

“I mean, I feel like I have no idea what’s going to happen in my life moving forward,” she starts.

She continues, “I’m kind of open to all things, but… yeah.”’

That certainly sounds open-ended to us! Then again, romance seems to be the last thing on the 27-year-old’s mind right now, as she’s picking up the pieces after her broken engagement.

The Season 20 winner confirms that her $100K Neil Lane ring does have to go back to the celebrity jewelry designer — it just hasn’t yet.

When the paparazzi asks if she’s sad or happy to be returning the diamond, she’s very honest.

“Honestly, I’m just trying to move forward and just make the best of a situation that’s kind of awful,” she shares.

That includes “trying” to get her life back to normal in her old home base of L.A., and the Portland native spills that she’s been apartment shopping in the city.

Along with a new place, Lo will be making a bit of a post-reality TV career shift, though she’s not solid on what that will look like just yet.

“I’m going to work on my blog, fashion, I don’t know… Whatever comes my way,” she admits. “I’m just trying to take it day by day.”

Well, maybe not whatever comes her way — she won’t be doing any Bachelor franchise shows in the near future.

She says “not right now” to both Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise suggestions, and she’s not even looking for a high-profile romance off-screen.

“I’m not open to dating anyone at this point, to be honest,” she responds when asked if she’d date a celebrity. 

“I need a second to, like, calm down — breathe.”

Meanwhile, this week, Ben defended himself against critics on social media who have questioned his actions post-split — more specifically, him starting a podcast with Ashley Iaconetti.

You are going to hurt somebody, you are going to hurt somebody deeply. But, I will not be one of those people. I cannot focus on the negative comments or indecently hateful words being said about me or my relationship even though they do sting. I do know great people that I care about deeply that comments and criticisms have affected and as a result I wanted to share my words. A small minority of people (at least I will continue to believe it is a small minority) want to see people suffer or fail. Personally, my basis for judging myself is simple, if I do something that doesnt represent Christ then I will listen to the opinions and words from family and friends who know me best and love me. I do desire (by the direction of family and peers) to become a better person daily. I know some will not agree with my intentions but in all things my pursuit is to represent Christ better. With that, I will once again clearly tell you I AM NOT PERFECT as none of us are and I have never claimed to be. I do desire to show love in all situations (do I always do that? No, I fail often). To be clear, not that this should be a surprise, but this podcast is a professional decision I have made to enhance my life and career. I still have a full time job. I am still running Generous Coffee company. I still have a blog. I am still actively involved in @humanityandhope. And now, because I was given the opportunity, I have added a podcast with a friend and a great company (@iheartradio) to talk about life (and I love to talk). The last few months have not gone the way I would have preferred. My relationships have changed drastically and what I envisioned my life was going to be has been redirected. It is sad, but it is nothing you should feel sorry for me about, life happens both the good and bad. With this, what do you think I should do now? For all of you that have given me advice let me give you some from my heart. Love as hard as you can (even to strangers). Ask yourself what life is about and pursue your conclusion with passion. When a good opportunity comes your way that fits your desires take it, because life is short but a lot more fun when you are doing something you enjoy.

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“To be clear, not that this should be a surprise, but this podcast is a professional decision I have made to enhance my life and career,” he wrote in the caption.

But what does his former fiancée think of the show and its backlash?

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“I know they’re doing a podcast, I haven’t listened to it,” she answers simply with a smile.