She said yes! Ben Higgins and his girlfriend, Jess Clarke, are engaged, Us Weekly can exclusively confirm.
The Bachelor alum, 30, and Clarke, 24, made their relationship Instagram official in February 2019, just a few months after Higgins “successfully” slid into her DMs a few months earlier.
The former reality star told Us in January that he would “definitely” be proposing to his girlfriend in 2020.
“I don’t think that’s a question,” Higgins said at the time. “We’re great. It’s fun. It’s just healthy … I think she would say the same. Our relationship is healthy. I’m a better version of myself, a more free version of myself than I’ve been in a while.”
The newly engaged couple have been quarantining together at his family’s home amid the coronavirus pandemic — a big change from their previous long-distance relationship between Denver, where he lives, and her home in Nashville, Tennessee.
Higgins told Us exclusively on Wednesday, March 25, that social distancing together is helping to prep them for marriage.
“I believe that all time together helps you prep for the next steps,” the former reality star said while promoting Bachelor Nation’s #HopeStillWins T-shirts, with all profits going to organizations and people affected by the coronavirus shutdown. “This has definitely been another time where being with Jess has made me excited for our next steps.”
The Indiana native told Us in August 2019 that he already had faith that Clarke was The One.
“I don’t think I’d be dating anybody if I didn’t see it being a part of the future. So, at this point, I’m 30, I’m ready, I’m excited about it,” Higgins said at the time. “So there would be no reason for me to date anybody if it wasn’t something I believe was the real thing.”
He added that the model hoped to be engaged before they made the commitment to move in together.
“So before she’d really moved to Denver, we need to be engaged,” Higgins explained. “And I think that’s smart. I think that’s wise. And so those are steps that we’re talking about and figuring out how we can best do that.”
Higgins was previously engaged to Lauren Bushnell, whom he met and proposed to during his season of The Bachelor in 2016. The couple called off their engagement in May 2017. Prior to that, he was the runner-up on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season 11 of The Bachelorette in 2015.
With reporting by Nicholas Hautman and Kayley Stumpe
Listen on Spotify to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!