The Bachelor Alum Ben Higgins Discusses Abstaining From Sex Before Marrying Jessica Clarke

Bachelor, Ben Higgins, Jessica Clarke, Reality News, Reality TV

Ben Higgins and his then-fiancée Jessica Clarke made an unusual (for Bachelor Nation) decision in their relationship that Ben says ultimately strengthened their bond before marriage.

During an appearance on the Talking It Out podcast (as relayed by People), the former Bachelor star opened up about how the couple “successfully accomplished” their “mission” to abstain from pre-marital sex. Ben also explained how this journey made them stronger.

“There’s multiple angles to why that decision was made, right,” Ben began. “I think people hear it from the outside and they assume it was strictly a faith decision. A religious decision might be the better way to explain that. It wasn’t solely that.”

“We both believe in Jesus. That is something that is at the foundation, the corner of our life. It is what we try to have everything come out of,” he continued. “We also, because of that, do believe that sex is sacred. We believe it is something very powerful. Something very important to consider and hold dear, to talk about, to express. We also believe it’s an awesome thing. It’s a gift.”

Ben, who starred on Season 20 of The Bachelor (after making his initial appearance on Season 11 of The Bachelorette) was previously engaged to Lauren Bushnell. And while Ben had previously engaged in physical intimacy, Jessica had not. This led to a conversation between the couple to decide how they would proceed forward.

“We both talked it out and said, ‘What is the wise thing to do here for us?’ ” he said. “It was, ‘Hey, you’ve worked so hard to keep this moment special for you, and I have had failed relationships where that has been a part of my life. And so, let’s try. Like, let’s see what happens there because we have a whole life together.’ ”

But that plan had its challenges, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Ben said the couple, who got engaged in March 2020, “didn’t think COVID was going to shut down our wedding.”

“So the question was, what came of that? . . . It wasn’t easy. So it forced us to grow stronger together in our commitment to each other,” Ben continued. “It also got us really excited for when we did get married. There was something very special there. Something that we were going to work through as a married couple when we had already committed our lives to each other.”

RELATED: Lauren Bushnell Says She “Hit Rock Bottom” After Split From Ben Higgins Following Their Time On The Bachelor

Ben went on, “Finally, I think there was a level, too, where because that physical part of our relationship was not an option, it forced us and allowed us to communicate with our words a lot easier. So we talked things out.”

Ben and Jessica exchanged vows in November 2021  in Nashville, Tennessee.

As their relationship continues to progress, welcoming children together is hopefully in their future. Ben has previously been quoted as saying,  “It’s in the back of my head a lot that I really want a family.”

Wishing these newlyweds the best!


[Photo Credit: David Becker/Getty Images for iHeartMedia]

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