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‘Bachelorette’ runner-up Ben Higgins gets his run on ‘The Bachelor’


Newest "Bachelor" Ben Higgins searches for his one true love when he stars in the 20th season of ABC's reality series. Photo Credit: ABC / Felicia Graham

This season on “The Bachelor,” it’s all about the Benjamin: Ben Higgins, second runner-up on the recent Kaitlyn Bristowe “Bachelorette,” who begins a new search for love Jan. 4 at 8 p.m. on ABC/7.

The 6-foot-4 Peter Brady look-alike, who was 26 when the season shot, had confessed to Bristowe that after a bad breakup, “My biggest fear, I guess, is the idea that we could be not loved back or maybe possibly unlovable.” And while getting rejected by her in favor of runner-up Nick Viall and winner Shawn Booth wouldn’t have helped that insecurity, Bristowe herself said afterward she was “not worried about that guy at all. Not at all. He’s amazing.”

In a conference call with reporters, the Warsaw, Indiana, native — now an account manager at the software company Talisys in the Denver suburb of Golden, Colorado — affably acknowledged that, “I respected Kaitlyn a lot and I enjoyed my time with her. But I think when it comes to this season, I was looking for somebody to have their own individual characteristics,” adding that, “I can’t say I was looking for any certain type of person.”

The 28 women competing on this 20th season include Amber James and Becca Tilley — a contestant and the runner-up, respectively, on the previous season of “The Bachelor” — and Las Vegas twins Emily and Haley Ferguson. Two, Lace Morris and Leah Block, are from the Denver area, where Higgins lives, but that doesn’t appear to be a factor for him.

“As far as am I looking for a woman to move to Denver or not, I mean, I love Denver, it’s an incredible place to live and I have roots here and I have a good friend-group here,” he said. “I would really love if a woman would move to Denver. But I’m not going to force it. And I think I’m still open to whatever stage or step is next for us. If she feels strongly about a different city or if a woman in my life feels like we need to move away from Denver, then I’m open to it. I want to make sure that this conversation happened with us and not just me saying, ‘Yes, you have to do this.’ ”

Religious faith might matter more. The 2012 Indiana University grad was the student association’s director of faith-based affairs, and one summer interned for a church program. His Twitter-page description, “sweetly broken, wholly surrendered,” are lyrics from a song by Christian-music artist Jeremy Riddle. And he has a tattoo of a Bible verse. “I would really like to find a woman to have a similar faith as I do,” he said. “I think that’ll be important as we raise a family as we move forward in life.”

As for that whole “unlovable” thing, “It’s a very real insecurity of mine,” he said. But, he assured, “I’m ready to be loved and to feel that love back.”

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