At some point when Ben Higgins was still vying for Kaitlyn Bristowe’s heart on The Bachelorette, he said he felt “unlovable.” In her recap of the Bachelor season premiere, Entertainment Weekly writer Samantha Highfill said she didn’t remember the moment when those words came from Ben’s mouth, but it was enough to set the theme for this season of The Bachelor.
Now, Higgins has apparently felt the need to explain that “unlovable” comment. In his blog for People, he said it doesn’t necessarily imply what people think—that he has a poor self-image. More than anything, it’s based on past experience in matters of love.
“When I say that I worry about being unlovable, it doesn’t mean I think I am some awful person or have no self-confidence or that I don’t have people that love me in my life or anything like that. But in my experience in relationships so far, it has felt like I have been more invested in the relationship than the person I was dating at the time. I’ve had my heart broken. So until I am with someone that loves me wholly and gives themselves to me as fully as I give myself to them, it can be hard for me to know that that can happen for me.”
Ben went on to describe his feelings as “insecurity,” and said he was looking for a relationship just like his parents’. Before The Bachelor started, people from Ben’s Indiana hometown said he was just a regular guy—they had a tough time picturing him as something special. That normalcy was another theme Higgins emphasized in his People blog.
As viewers of the season premiere found out, Ben has a big group of women with diverse personalities to choose from—among them Becca Tilley, the runner-up of Chris Soules’ season. Soules, Jason Mesnick and Sean Lowe—all former Bachelors—were on hand to give Higgins advice as he started the televised dating process. Two of those men found their wives on the program, although Mesnick actually married his runner-up.
— Kim Osborne (@KimOsborne14) January 5, 2016
Chris Harrison, in his own Bachelor blog for Yahoo TV, made note of the drama that occurred on premiere night, including the miniature horse, Huey, who came in with one contestant, who called herself a cowgirl. Harrison anticipated more scenes in upcoming episodes with Lace, the tipsy contestant who took Ben aside after the first rose ceremony to question why he wasn’t looking at her. The long-time Bachelor host said Ben will “have to navigate that relationship carefully.”
Despite some of the obvious craziness—the identical twins, the self-described “chicken enthusiast,” the dental exam from the woman who came in wearing a rose on her head—Harrison also said this season would have lots of genuine romance. Tilley and fellow Bachelor veteran Amber James both went home with roses.
— •bree• (@BreannaGraceXO) January 5, 2016
The New York Post said the unpredictable pool of candidates was the network’s solution to Higgins’ good guy image. The paper noted Ben is no Kaitlyn Bristowe, who was known for her outgoing personality. Indeed, Harrison called Higgins, “perhaps the most genuine, most caring, most sincere Bachelor we’ve ever had,” which may or may not make good television.
Bristowe and her season’s winner, Shawn Booth, recently posed for some engagement photos for Brides magazine. Speaking to Harrison after the Bachelor premiere, Bristowe said the couple was in no rush to get married.
The Bachelor airs Monday nights on ABC. For the month of January, Harrison will host a follow-up program, Bachelor Live, immediately after every episode.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment]