Fans of “The Bachelor” were hopeful that ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell would join the ranks of married “Bachelor Nation” couples, but some had started to worry that a split was on the way. Unfortunately, there were some signs popping up here and there via both Ben and Lauren's social media pages that they might be having trouble, and now the two have shared an official confirmation that they have ended their engagement.

Bushnell and Higgins are taking the high road

People magazine posted the official statement from Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell on their site. The two said that they are announcing their decision with heavy hearts and the “Bachelor” stars say that they will remain friends and have a lot of respect and love for one another.

Ben and Lauren's statement adds that they only want the best for one another and they are asking for understanding and support from fans.

Gossip guru Reality Steve recently teased via Twitter that multiple splits within “Bachelor Nation” were on the horizon and many followers were quick to guess that Higgins and Bushnell were one of the couples about to end their relationship. The two had been spending a lot of time apart in the past few months, and some social media posts had signaled that they were facing some struggles.

People were still rooting for them

Despite the red flags, “Bachelor” fans were hoping that Lauren and Ben would work through their issues and come out of this trying time stronger than ever. Bushnell and Higgins recently did a wedding-related Disney special that their supporters hoped meant that the engagement was still solid.

Unfortunately, it looks like that wasn't the case.

After their season of “The Bachelor” aired, Ben and Lauren talked about how anxious they were to get married, and she moved out to Denver right away to be with him. As their Freeform spinoff show aired, however, there were signs that the relationship was at least somewhat rocky. The two put their wedding on hold but continued to insist that they would be tying the knot eventually.

There are still several "Bachelor Nation" couples headed down the path toward marriage. Until recently, many people thought that Lauren and Ben would be at the top of the list for snagging an ABC-orchestrated wedding. Unfortunately, this engagement that seemingly started out as one of the stronger ones to emerge from the franchise simply couldn't go the distance. Are you surprised by the news that "Bachelor" stars Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell have split?