Ben Higgins, Former Star of ‘The Bachelor’, Gets Engaged to Girlfriend Jessica Clarke

In the midst of the frightening coronavirus pandemic, everybody is looking for a silver lining. Luckily, former star of The Bachelor Ben Higgins has a positive story to share. (Unless you were holding out hope on marrying him–which we would understand). The Bachelor star recently proposed to his girlfriend, Jessica Clarke–and she said yes!

‘Bachelor’ favorite Ben Higgins pops the question — after a rough ending with Lauren Bushnell from his season

Ben Higgins and Jess Clarke
Jessica Clarke and Ben Higgins attend the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2019 | David Becker/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Ben Higgins made it out engaged from his season on The Bachelor. However, he and his then-fiancé, Lauren Bushnell, ended their relationship in 2017. Bushnell has since gotten married to country singer Chris Lane.

In February 2019, The Bachelor star and Jess Clarke went public with their relationship. Higgins told Entertainment Tonight what this new journey means to him:

I’ve shared some ups and downs. …But now it’s time for a new chapter, and I think that excites me. It’s a chapter for me to have a lot of peace when it comes to romantic love, a lot of confidence in our partnership and who we are to each other, and kind of to start a chapter of no more tears and no more heartbreak. I’m not going to break this girl’s heart and I know she’s not going to break mine. It’s time to start a new, more confident journey forward.

Higgins gushed that he knew Clarke was the one because of how feels with her. He described it like so: “what I thought love was supposed to be — euphoria and overwhelming.” 

“When I met her, that’s how it was,” he continued. And it didn’t go away: “I just fell in love with her more.” The Bachelor star gushed that Clarke makes him a “better man.”

Ben Higgins and Jessica Clarke’s engagement story – which Clarke shared on Instagram

On Mar. 28, 2020, Clarke posted the news of Higgins’ proposal on her Instagram feed.

“I don’t remember everything you said, but I know that I said yes,” she wrote. “I woke up in a dream today and I get to live in this dream every day from now on.”

Originally, Higgins wanted to propose to Clarke in Central Park. Higgins and his fellow Bachelor alum Becca Kufrin were planning to be in New York City for The Bachelor: Live on Stage tour. However, the event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This past week, the happy couple drove to Tennessee to be with Clarke’s family. Just before dinner, Higgins asked his girlfriend to go on a walk.

Ben Higgins and Colton of The Bachelor
Ben Higgins and Colton Underwood, former leads of The Bachelor | Josh Vertucci via Getty Images

Higgins shared his strategy with ET:

I went back to a pond behind her house, and we had set it up with sunflowers near a bench. It’s right in their backyard, but a little hidden. I proposed and her family and mine were watching from a distance, and then we all celebrated together.

How was The Bachelor favorite feeling through all of this?

“I was super nervous,” Higgins admitted. “She’s my best friend, my partner and I love her. I was nervous to kind of do this whole thing in front of her. I wasn’t anxious, it’s just a big moment!”

How did Ben Higgin’s longtime girlfriend Jess Clarke react to the former ‘Bachelor’ contestant’s proposal?

“I still just can’t believe it,” Clarke told ET.

Apparently, she almost ruined the surprise by telling the Bachelor star she didn’t want to “get sweaty” by going on a walk. Luckily, Higgins persuaded her. And, it all worked out. Clarke continued:

This is exactly how I would have wanted it to be. Central Park would have been magical and special in its own way. But it’s really cool that we just got to be together last night and not really have to talk to anyone else but my family. It was great. It was perfect. I couldn’t imagine it a better way.

Higgins shared the story of the ring with ET, too. He spent around three months helping get the design just right with a jeweler in Denver. The Bachelor alum was attempting to emulate the ring Clarke had told him she’d “dreamed of.” 

“I got the ring two days before we came to [Tennessee], so that was a stressor on me,” Higgins revealed. “I’m pretty happy with it. It took a lot of work and big team effort.” 

“This ring’s never coming off!” Clarke told Entertainment Tonight.