Ben Higgins and Jessica Clarke are postponing their wedding.
The Bachelor alum confirmed the news on Tuesday's episode of The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast.
Like many couples, Higgins and Clarke decided to hold off on tying the knot due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
"Ideally, it would have been this year we would [have] gotten married…November  was the idea," Higgins said. "COVID, you know, kind of stopped those plans."
The season 20 star said the duo then started looking at 2021 dates. However, they knew they couldn't plan a wedding for the first four months of the year due to The Bachelor Live On Stage Tour, which Higgins hosts with The Bachelorette alumna Becca Kufrin. Higgins said the tour is a "good source of income" and that he and Clarke were "both pumped" for it. So, it looked like they'd have to wait to say "I do" until mid-2021. But the scheduling conflicts didn't end there. Because Clarke's brother Phil plays professional baseball, the duo wanted to factor in his season. As a result, Higgins said he and Clarke are now planning on having the wedding around November 2021.
"We don't have an exact date yet. We're finalizing the location of it," the future groom said. "But I do believe that it will be in November of 2021 that we will be getting married."
While Higgins acknowledged "that feels like a long time" away and is "not ideal," he said he and Clarke are trying to look on the bright side.
"What Jess and I have been able to do is, like, mentally wrap our brains around the idea of how much fun is it going to be to be engaged for a year and a half. And we're talking to each other in that way. Like, this is a fun time. We should enjoy this. We can celebrate this," he continued. "Hopefully by then, you know, COVID is—cross our fingers—it's far enough gone that our family can be there and celebrate with the freedom of knowing that, you know, there's a solution to the COVID virus and we can look at it in that manner."
Fellow Bachelor Nation member and podcast co-host Ashley Iaconetti then asked Higgins how he felt about living apart from Clarke for the next year and a half. According to Iaconetti, Higgins and Clarke have decided to wait on moving in together until they're married. Higgins then noted "it's not easy."
"Yes, it's healthy for us; it's good for us; it's the best thing for us as people. But, like, Ashley, it's not easy," he said. "I don't think it should be easy. I miss her often. We're apart right now."
To help distract them from the time apart, both Higgins and Clarke "have decided to enter into learning or trying or investing" their time in new things. For instance, Clarke has enrolled in esthetician school.
"We will be seeing each other often, but we will be apart until that day," Higgins said. "I want to believe and trust that, in five years, we'll look back and it will almost be just a distant memory of how much time we spent apart and that we have a lifetime together, hopefully, God willing.