It's hard enough in the real world without the eyes of a million viewers watching you to try and find "the one," so we can only imagine what that's like when your dating life is broadcasted over national television for anyone and everyone to watch. Rather than imagine, we thought we'd have Bachelor's Ben Higgins actually tell us what it's like on this week’s podcast episode.
Bustld: Tell us a little bit about what led you to audition for The Bachelorette in the first place.
Ben: I would say, in all honesty, it was because I was in a pretty low spot in my life. I had just taken a job in Denver, I'd moved to Denver having no friends, no family, nobody out there and I was in my mid-20s. And just because of the life I was in, I had just gotten broken up with, I moved out to Denver to prove to my ex that I could do it and when I got there, I realized I really couldn't, I was struggling. A lady at my office came in and had told me, hey, you're the only person I know that is single, the right age, and would probably do okay on the show and so, would you do it? And I said I would because I needed to shake life up a bit. So, honestly, when I went on The Bachelorette, it was with the desire to shake life up a bit, not knowing really what could be next or even expecting what was next.
Bustld: How did it feel having all these cameras following you around while you're trying to date people semi-normally?
Ben: You know, it's not as odd, you get used to it. And its honestly kind of weird once you get off the show is, you're used to people watching you, which has its own mental issues. You come off the show and you're used to 100 people being around you at all times, and knowing when you're going to bed, knowing when you're waking up, knowing when you're going to the bathroom, knowing what you're doing, seeing you kiss, that's a weirder thing than even having them around is the down of the show. And you get used to it pretty fast.
Bustld: What was it like sharing your dating and your love life with all these strangers?
Ben: You know, my faith is very important to me. So, I went into more with saying I'm going to share my life with strangers, and I think, for me, yes, I wanted love. I knew it was an opportunity to find love, I knew that the show could work but for the most part, I was excited that so many people were going to be watching my journey with me, to see the ups and downs, to support, also criticize, to keep me accountable. And so, you know, sharing it wasn't a problem. I think I had already gotten off The Bachelorette where I'd shared some of my biggest deepest feelings and emotions, where I was ready to share as much I could with as many people as I could because it felt like it was a healthy thing for me to do.
Bustld: Was it weird having people have opinions on your love life?
Ben: It's tough, yeah, it's hard. Well, because, you go from being just a regular citizen, trying to do your best to keep food on the table, at least I was, and I wasn't doing a great job at it. And you have your friendships and you date as best you could. And then, all of a sudden, you have the world criticizing you and supporting you. And it feels like the world, it's not the world, it's like 10 million people which is a lot of people. Things are heightened quickly. I look back on that time and I remember it being really hard, confusing, people were criticizing for things that I never knew I'd be criticized for. But also, in a sense, healthy because I was able to find my support system.
Bustld: What did you learn while you were on-camera that changed how you dated after the show?
Ben: Listen more than I talk. Ask the questions that are important to me. And probably be intentional. Dating is fun and it should be fun and it's exciting but there's a moment in time in dating where you have to get intentional about what you want as time progresses. I've said this now and it was advice given to me by a good friend but when I was single, they just said never stop dating, if you really want to find somebody, just date. Go out there, see what you like, see what you don't like, sift it through, work it through, have fun with it, get excited about it. And then, I think the next step is once you find somebody you're intrigued by, invest in that relationship, if you really want to see stuff work.
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About Our Guest, Ben Higgins: Ben is best known from season 20 of ABC's hit series “The Bachelor” where he opened himself up to millions of viewers. Since “The Bachelor,” Ben has been keeping up with a number of projects including co-founding Generous International, his iHeart Media podcast "Almost Famous," two restaurants and so much more.
If you drink coffee and you like good coffee and you like it shipped to your door, go to GenerousCoffee.com. That is the company Ben operates and they give all of their money to non-profits and social causes that are fighting human facing injustice around the world. With My Fan Threads Ben offers custom apparel that's printed on demand, so you don't have to carry any inventory and they sell it from their website. It's a great way for small businesses to get some apparel out there. If you're in Denver, visit his restaurants Ash’Kara or Mister Oso.
Photo credit: Limelight Photography