Anyone who loves The Bachelor has also had to, at some point, come to terms with the fact that the relationships made on that show don't necessarily always last. But, luckily, there are plenty of fish in the sea and the former contestants often move on even if their on-screen romances don't pan out. For example, while Ben Higgins, star of the show's 20th season, is no longer with his fiancée Lauren Bushnell, he may be dating someone new. So, who is Ben Higgins reportedly dating?
Last week on the Jan. 15 episode of The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous, he shared with his fans that he's begun dating again after his 2017 split.
"I've started dating again," he revealed. "This is big news, right?"
If you're a Bachelor fan, the answer is yes!
"I am dating," he went on to say. "I'm actually dating one person that we'll talk about in a couple of weeks."
What other hints did he provide? Well, he said that they are long-distance and, because of that, their relationship consists of lots of FaceTime calls. He also called her "the best, purest person I know." So... yeah, sounds like he's pretty smitten.
Then, in last night's episode (aired on Jan. 21), 29-year-old Higgins gave fans another clue about his reported girlfriend.
In response to a fan's question, the former bachelor confirmed that his reported new girlfriend is not a contestant on Colton Underwood's season of the show that's currently airing on ABC. In fact, he says his reported current girlfriend is in no way related to Bachelor Nation.
"Dating is fun and it's exciting and I've been able to get back into it," he said. "So life's good, but she's not from Colton's season. Not at all. Not from the show."
While he's not necessarily trying to keep any secrets from anyone, Higgins also admits he's still not quite ready to reveal this mystery woman's identity to the public. "The reason that I just didn't want to put out names yet is because at some level I didn't even really mean to slip up," he explained. "I didn't think I slipped up. I'm not hiding anything."
While Higgins remains tight-lipped, fans were curious about his girlfriend's identity. The leading guess? Jessica Clarke, a recent graduate of The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and current Nashville resident, according to E! News. Clarke is a key account manager at Valet Energy in Tennessee, according to her LinkedIn profile. (Elite Daily reached out to Clarke and a rep for Higgins for comment and did not hear back in time for publication.)
Regardless of who Higgins is dating, he seems incredibly happy. There are plenty of reasons to take it slow in the early stages of a new relationship, and that goes double if you're a person in the public eye, like Higgins is. Just one thing is certain: If he and his new love choose to reveal more about their relationship in the future, Bachelor Nation will be thrilled.