The Knot Gala 2016"The Bachelor" stars Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell have broken up and called off their engagement.

Higgins was the lead of the ABC dating reality series in January 2016. He chose to give his final rose to Bushnell over JoJo Fletcher (who later became "The Bachelorette). Earlier this year, rumors swirled that the couple was on the verge of a split. Higgins noted that he was looking for "wedding clarity" in 2017. That clarity seems to have resulted in breaking up.

"It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways," they told People in a statement. "We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time."

After "The Bachelor," Bushnell moved to Higgins' hometown of Denver. They also starred together in the Freeform show "Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?" At the time, they acknowledged they were undergoing couples counseling.

There are so many weird elements to being in a relationship after 'The Bachelor,'" said Bushnell. "We've gotten in arguments like any other couple, but about some things that other couples wouldn't have to fight about, like the fact that we met when he was dating other women. You can say that's what I signed up for, but it's still real life and it's still hard."