It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James — but on April 28, 2021, the reality star couple announced they were giving their love another chance. Matt fell for Rachael on “The Bachelor” Season 25 and the pair rode off into the sunset together … well, not exactly. Things on the show took a dramatic turn when racially insensitive photos surfaced of Rachael attending an antebellum-themed ball on a plantation back in February 2018, leading Matt, aka the first Black Bachelor, to pull the plug on the pair’s short-lived relationship.
Matt confirmed his split with Rachael during an emotionally tense “After The Final Rose” segment in March 2021, where he admitted to “questioning” the relationship. “I knew that I had to take a step back for you to put in that work that you outlined that you needed to do,” he explained to Rachael. “That’s something that you gotta do on your own. And that’s why we can’t be in a relationship.”
Things seemed over for good, but Bachelor Nation is known for keeping fans on their toes, and this proved true when TMZ spotted Rachael and Matt cuddling up together in California in April 2021. Per People, the “Bachelor” lead confirmed that he was focusing on his relationship with Rachael. The couple seem more loved-up than ever as of this writing, but how did Matt know that Rachael was the one for him?
Rachael Kirkconnell gave Matt James an ultimatum
Anyone watching “The Bachelor” Season 25 might know that Matt James seemed smitten with contestant Rachael Kirkconnell from the start. But the duo also had to contend with the added layer of the pandemic and growing racial tensions. “Me and Rachael’s relationship was a little different because a lot of things in the world were different,” Matt said on a May 25 episode of the “Pomp” podcast.
He went on to explain that the pair both needed time alone to work on themselves, but he needed an extra incentive, which Rachael gave to him in the form of an ultimatum. “She was like, ‘If you’re going to make this work, let’s do it. But if you’re not going to make it work, I’m going to let you do your own thing,'” Matt revealed on “Pomp.”
The reality star was candid about how he felt Rachael could be “The One” early on in the show, and her ultimatum showed that she understood him best. “There came a point in time where it was evident that my working on the relationship looked different than Rachael’s because I wasn’t really honoring that commitment that I made to working on the relationship,” he added. Currently, Rachael and Matt appear to be on the same wavelength, and Matt even gushed about how she is the “most kind, caring, understanding person” (via “Pomp”).
It’s too soon to tell, but maybe they’ll end up as another Bachelor Nation success story?
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