The Bachelor's Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell have officially split.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways,” they tell PEOPLE in a statement. “We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time.”
The couple met on Ben's season of The Bachelor. Lauren made it to the final rose ceremony alongside JoJo Fletcher, but ultimately he decided to propose to Lauren. During the show, Ben told both finalist that he loved them. After filming Lauren told PEOPLE exclusively at the time that “post-filming was more of an emotional roller coaster than the actual show.”
“It hurts,” she added. “It’s like, why did I have to go through that hurt? It’s already a few months of confusion and tears and then to have to deal with it again. It’s hard.”
The two even had their own reality show 'Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?' on Freeform. Before the premiere of the show the two revealed exclusively to PEOPLE, “We’re not the perfect couple,” Higgins said. “Far from it! But we are trying really hard and we love each other a lot.”
“There are so many weird elements to being in a relationship after The Bachelor,” said Bushnell. “We’ve gotten in arguments like any other couple, but about some things that other couples wouldn’t have to fight about, like the fact that we met when he was dating other women. You can say that’s what I signed up for, but it’s still real life and it’s still hard.”