Just a few days after confirming they were officially back together, Matt James posted his first Instagram with Rachael Kirkconnell, eliminating any doubt about where the two Bachelor stars stand. The May 27 pic is from a visit he and Kirkconnell paid to a Lower East Side classroom as part of his ABC Food Tours program in New York. “The gift of conversation lies less in displaying it ourselves than in drawing it out of others,” he captioned the photo. Cute!
Though they first sparked reconciliation rumors in April, James finally confirmed he and Kirkconnell are dating again during a May 25 episode of the Pomp podcast. According to James, Kirkconnell gave him an “ultimatum,” which convinced him to give their relationship another shot. “[Rachael] 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.’ That’s really all I needed,” James explained. “It was an ultimatum that I needed. It’s been great.”
Kirkconnell has yet to speak out about their reunion, but James seems ready to move forward. “Everything we’ve been through, everything she’s been through, she’s stuck right by my side,” James continued during his Pomp appearance. “She’s continued to have a positive attitude. It’s one of the many things I love about her.” Um, did he really just casually drop the L-word?
Shortly after James' season premiered in January, concerning allegations about Kirkconnell's past racially insensitive behavior began circulating on TikTok, sparking outrage among fans — especially when it became clear she was a front-runner. Even though Kirkconnell ended up winning James' final rose, the two later went their separate ways due to the controversy, and James opened up about their decision to break up during the After the Final Rose special in March.
“You hear things that are heartbreaking, and you just pray that they’re not true. And when you find out that they are, it just makes you question everything,” James told guest host Emmanuel Acho. The Season 25 Bachelor said he had to step away from his relationship with Kirkconnell to protect himself and to give her space to educate herself about race. For a while, it wasn't looking likely he and Kirkconnell would reconcile, but eventually, James reached out to his ex.
In April, the pair was reportedly spotted out and about in New York City, and during an interview with People later that month, the former Bachelor said he and Kirkconnell are taking things slow. “I’m not pursuing any relationships right now outside of that,” he said at the time. “I said I was going to focus on my relationship with her and that means focusing on it.”
The two have kept their relationship on the DL since then, but now that they’re IG official, here’s hoping fans will get more glimpses into their romance.