Some couples can experience the most dramatic relationship stories ever during pandemics. But for Ben Higgins and Jessica Clarke, it can bring out the very best in love.
After The Bachelor star chose to quarantine with his girlfriend and her family in Franklin, Tennessee. a special milestone occurred. Yes, Ben decided to get down on one knee and propose.
And while a successful, romantic engagement is absolutely worth celebrating, perhaps it’s the little details that prove these two are meant to be.
“The one thing that’s been cool is Jess and I have been together for a year and a half, but our time together was very sporadic,” Ben explained to E! News exclusively. “The thing that has made us unique in the celebration is being able to be in one place together consistently. Eating food, having a drink, spending time with family.”
The Generous Coffee founder continued, “The other night, Jess’ sister-in-law said, ‘This has been, in a sense, a huge benefit of the self-isolation. We wouldn’t have gotten to know you as well as we have if this hadn’t been happening.’ And so for us, that’s how we’re celebrating.”
While plenty of family time has been great, Ben and Jessica have still been able to enjoy romantic date nights indoors.
Recently, the pair “kind of closed the door to everybody” when they opened a bottle of wine, had dinner and just talked. “The two of us just hung out and I thought that was very romantic,” Ben shared. Jessica added, “The other day, Ben got me flowers because the flowers that we had when we got engaged were dead so he got me new flowers, which was really sweet. I think the little things are a bigger deal now.”
While Ben joked that he’s “always on my ‘A’ game” with Jessica’s family, he’s grateful to feel “extremely comfortable and at peace” when he’s with them.
“When I was dreaming of a partner, one of my hopes was not only would I get along with their family but that she would like and love and get alone with mine,” the co-host of iHeartRadio’s Almost Famous podcast shared. “If anything, this isolation has proven that this is true.”
As many can relate to, the pandemic has also given couples the opportunity to think about big milestones. For these two, questions have already begun about wedding planning.
According to the couple, they aren’t making any solid plans until things get back to normal. At the same time, both Ben and Jessica can’t help but share a few guests they’d love to see on their special day.
Bachelor Nation’s Ashley Iaconetti Haibon, Becca Tilley and Jared Haibon “will be there” while Dean Unglert, Wells Adams and Chris Harrison‘s odds of scoring an invite are strong.
“Becca Kufrin and Garrett Yrigoyen will be there,” Ben added. “The interesting part is a lot of these people have become good friends of mine…Some people have become legitimately good friends who I hope are friends for a lifetime.”
For now, both Ben and Jessica are focused on counting their blessings and giving back to those less fortunate during the Coronavirus.
The couple recently created a T-shirt line called “Hope Still Wins” where proceeds will be donated to help with organizations that need help due to COVID-19.
“Part of my job at Generous Coffee is to figure out how to invest funds into people that need it. And there’s a massive crisis going on right now and there’s a lot of pain that’s associated with it,” Ben explained. “Work has been slower for me because coffee sales just aren’t happening and our coffee shops have closed down for a bit. But the necessary advocacy piece is still there.”
And while the news may be stressful at times, both Ben and Jessica end each night grateful for their faith and good fortunes.
“At night, when I come up the stairs after a day and I see her smiling face, I’m excited to pour a drink and to have a dinner and to watch a movie with her,” Ben gushed. Jessica added, “Getting every single night on the couch together has kind of just reaffirmed how he is my best friend.”
Watch NBC News Special Report: Coronavirus Pandemic Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on NBC, MSNBC and NBC News NOW. For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov.
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