“Bachelorette” nation joined star Kaitlyn Bristowe in shedding some tears last night for eliminated contestant Ben Higgins. The 26-year-old software salesman made it into the final three … but it wasn’t meant to be. In one of the toughest rose ceremonies of Season 11, Kaitlyn chose to give her two remaining roses to Nick and Shawn.

It was a hard goodbye, but Ben was ever the gentleman after receiving the bad news. He departed episode 9 on an amicable, yet emotional note.

“When I’m with you, life is good,” he told Kaitlyn. “I would love to be able to share life longer with you, but that’s not going to happen. And that will be tough. It will not be easy not seeing you.”

But after watching the season back … does Ben still feel the same about the Bachelorette? The Colorado native took to Twitter on Sunday night to share his thoughts after getting sent home in episode 9.

“This wonderful girl deserves happiness,” he posted. “Much respect for you @KaitlynBristowe and glad you were our bachelorette.”

Kaitlyn replied to Ben’s sweet note. “So much respect for you,” she responded.

Nick and Shawn remain in the running for Kaitlyn’s heart on “The Bachelorette,” but viewers don’t have to say goodbye to Ben just yet. Although he’s eliminated from Season 11, he’ll reunite with his bachelor bros for the “Men Tell All” special on July 20. However, fans hoping for even more of Ben may be in luck … because he’s the alleged frontrunner for Season 20 of “The Bachelor.” Although ABC won’t give any hints about who the future star will be, Kaitlyn gave Ben a glowing endorsement … before she dumped him on TV.

“I think he’s just a well-rounded and solid guy who knows what he wants,” Kaitlyn told People magazine (via OK! Magazine). Even though he is only 26 I feel like he’s a very mature 26. He is such a gentleman. He’s a really, really, really, solid guy and he’s extremely handsome.”

And “Bachelorette” host Chris Harrison agrees. In his TV Guide blog he dished that Ben “could be the one.”

“I can pretty much guarantee the next Bachelor will come out of this season, and it’s very rare we have so many good choices,” Harrison explained. “When you look at the front row of ‘Men Tell All,’ we had Ben Z, Ben H, Jared and Chris, and I was looking at those four thinking any of them would make a great season. We’ve started those discussions and we’ll have a great Bachelor.”

Team Ben fans will just have to keep their fingers crossed. “The Bachelorette” continues Monday with the “Men Tell All.”