Ben Finds 'Peace' After Split from Tayshia, Admits She Had a 'Deeper Connection' with Zac
Ben Smith had quite the journey on this season of “The Bachelorette.”
While he won a spot among Tayshia Adams’ final four men — alongside Ivan Hall, Brendan Morais, and Zac Clark — the handsome U.S. Army vet was sent home before Fantasy Suites due to a perceived lack of emotion. He later returned, finally revealing to Tayshia that he loved her and making a case to remain in the competition.
He eventually wedged his way into the top two — after Brendan left on his own accord and Ivan was sent home because of religious differences — but it was Zac who emerged victorious in the fight for Tayshia’s final rose.
Though Ben was heartbroken over Tayshia’s decision to let him go, he has since come to terms with their breakup, as he explained during a new interview with Nick Viall for “Viall Files.”
“It’s tough to see yourself go through something like that,” Ben said of watching the finale back, adding that he is “so happy” for Zac and Tayshia.
“Zac and I were close throughout the entire experience,” Ben continued. “You can see that they’re happy together. The fact that they’re still together, that’s incredible in and of itself.”
Although he had hoped to be the last man standing, Ben told Nick that he is grateful to have had the “Bachelorette” experience nonetheless. As Bachelor Nation witnessed, the show became a place for the Venice, California, native to open up about several emotional topics, including his past struggles with bulimia and previous suicide attempts.
“I have this peace around the whole experience, and holy cow, I came out of that with so much growth and so much experience,” he said. “And I’m a newer, better, more complete version of myself, and so I’m incredibly thankful and happy. And I just have this peace about the whole experience.”
During his chat with Nick, Ben also reflected on his connection with Tayshia — and admitted that Zac’s was stronger.
“I was in the camp of being like, There’s no f--king way that any other dude is having the same experience that I am having,” Ben said. “But watching it back now, I see, Oh, my God, Ben, dude. Like, your relationship was one thing, and it was playful and fun, and I can see that connection that we had, but it’s pretty evident that there was a deeper bond and a deeper connection, ultimately, with Zac. You can see their chemistry, you can see the way they play off of each other.”
Ben went on to say that, prior to appearing on “The Bachelorette,” it had been more than a year since he had gone on a date.
“I came in trying to meet a girl, trying to learn something about myself and maybe restore my faith in humanity, and I got all those things, which is nuts to me,” he enthused, later revealing that Tayshia helped him believe in the possibility of finding love again.
“The reason I fell in love with her was the way that she made me feel. She held space for me. She created a space for me to be open and vulnerable,” Ben said. “And it was safe, and it was secure, and she didn’t run, and she didn’t chastise me, and she didn’t do anything other than just receive me. And for that I’m grateful, and I’m incredibly thankful for the experience.”