Pre-wedding blues. Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell‘s relationship was put to the test on the latest episode of Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? and The Knot recaps the two-hour Freeform special that aired Tuesday, November 15.
One Step Closer
After a successful launch party for her blog in Los Angeles, Lauren meets with her sister and three gal pals at Joanna August’s L.A. store to choose dresses for her bridesmaids. Lauren wants the ladies to feel “comfortable and beautiful” on her wedding day, and she encourages them to pick different styles — as she prefers for them not to wear matching dresses. Although one friend initially opts for a hot pink dress, all four ladies eventually find flowy dresses in lighter shades, and Lauren is thrilled with their choices.
While Lauren enjoys a girls’ day out, Ben meets a friend at the batting cages to blow off steam. The Bachelor alum is admittedly overwhelmed by the wedding-planning process, and he believes wedding details should come “behind the foundation” of his relationship with Lauren. He shares that he hasn’t yet found a way to verbalize his feelings to his bride-to-be.
One of Lauren’s friends suggests marriage counseling for Lauren and Ben. They choose group therapy, and are joined by Grant Kemp, Lace Morris, and twins Haley and Emily Ferguson for the group session.
During a game of the “nearly wed game,” viewers learn that Grant and Lace know each other quite well, but Ben and Lauren seemingly know very little about one another. The only thing they can agree on is that their most recent argument was about their upcoming wedding.
Later, Ben admits that Lauren is the first person he hasn’t wanted to push away. He fears being unlovable, and he wants to build their relationship before rushing into married life. Sitting face-to-face, Ben and Lauren are both in tears as Ben shares that he wants to slow down the process.
Lauren feels “blindsided,” explaining that she moved to Denver and left her job in order to be with Ben. He then reassures Lauren that she’s the woman of his dreams.
In an effort to see how prepared they are for marriage, Ben and Lauren’s therapist asks the couple to dress as if they’re getting married. Ben dons a tuxedo, and Lauren changes into a wedding dress before they talk one-on-one to discuss their feelings about the wedding.
Ben explains that they have “a lot to figure out.” He’s not yet comfortable getting married.
“So, you’re saying the wedding’s off?” Lauren asks.
“Yeah, I am,” Ben replies.
Grant, Lace, Haley, and Emily are later stunned when Ben makes the announcement that the wedding is canceled. Lauren admits that she’s concerned that Ben doesn’t want to marry her at all.
Ben & Lauren Return to the Bachelor Mansion
Ben and Lauren meet with Chris Harrison at the Bachelor mansion. Ben tells the Bachelor host that he and Lauren are not ready to wed quite yet.
Ben is open when Chris asks if he is afraid to get married. “I’m scared about what our relationship really is… I’m not scared about Lauren, and that’s why I have zero doubt that we will get married,” Ben explains. “I just want to make sure that when she’s walking down the aisle towards me that this is it. From then on out, we start a marriage in a healthy place, and not from a place that still has a lot of stress and a lot of questions.
Lauren follows up by saying she’s “more ready” than Ben. She wants to be on the same page together and doesn’t want to force him.
Chris encourages the couple to “continue having these tough conversations.”
In a surprise twist, Ben takes Lauren to a car dealership where he has bought her a new car so they can take a road trip back to Denver. Ben wants a “new start” with Lauren, and she’s hopeful the trip will bring them closer.
Ben and Lauren have a great time as they travel first to Las Vegas to attend the iHeartRadio Music Festival. When asked about their wedding plans, Ben is noncommittal, and Lauren is stressed, as she doesn’t know how to respond. She is admittedly annoyed that she has to “dodge the question.”
“We’re not happily ever after right now,” Lauren explains to viewers, “and for me, it’s hard to pretend.” She feels that she and Ben are “miles apart.” As they continue their road trip, Lauren tells Ben that she doesn’t understand why he called their wedding off.
When they stop at a diner, Ben and Lauren sit down with an elderly couple named Ed and Toots, who are eager to offer marriage advice. After 70 years of marriage, Ed explains that he also got cold feet before their wedding, and he and Toots nearly didn’t get married. He encourages Ben to always put Lauren first. In the end, Lauren realizes that she’s okay with giving Ben more time before getting married.
When they arrive home in Denver, Lauren is shocked to find that Ben has had their home redecorated. He wants Lauren to know that she comes first in his life.
On the next Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?, Ben takes dance lessons. Lauren asks Ben if they can celebrate their anniversary by helping someone in need. Tune in on Tuesday, November 22, at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.