Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell are *officially* back together, and James has a lot to say about their reconciliation. During a May 25 episode of the “Pomp” podcast, James opened up about his current status with Kirkconnell and how they were able to get past the “rough patches” in their relationship. Apparently, Kirkconnell gave James an “ultimatum” that put everything into perspective.
ICYMI, James and Kirkconnell had a relatively tame relationship for the duration of his season, especially by Bachelor Nation standards. By the Season 25 finale of The Bachelor, Kirkconnell was the clear winner of James’ heart and the coveted final rose. Though the duo ended the show un-engaged, much to Neil Lane’s disappointment, they were very much together. Off-air, however, things were more complicated and controversial. As the season aired, details of Kirkconnell’s racially insensitive past came out, including photos of her attending an antebellum plantation-themed fraternity formal. As a result, the couple ended up announcing their split during the “After the Final Rose” special on March 15. At the time, James seemed confident in his decision to end their relationship, but things have definitely changed in the months since then. It has been a ~journey~, to say the least.
James and Kirkconnell were spotted hanging out together repeatedly after “ATFR” aired, sparking rumors of a potential romantic reconciliation. However, on April 9, these rumors became all the more confusing when a woman named Grace Amerling claimed to Reality Steve that James was pursuing her and Kirkconnell at the same time. Per Us Weekly, Kirkconnell was reportedly “very hurt” by the rumor (understandable) and felt “manipulated” by James. Luckily, James and Kirkconnell were able to move past this – and now we know exactly how.
“It was honestly a commitment that we made to each other that we were going to work on the relationship,” James explained their reunion. “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.” Although James didn’t mention the Reality Steve rumors explicitly, that definitely could be what he’s referencing here.
Apparently, Kirkconnell gave him an ultimatum that made the decision to commit a no-brainer. “[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.” From now on, I’ll be referring to this sitch as the only time in the history of dating that an ultimatum has actually worked.
Seriously, it worked. “The best thing about Rachael is her heart. She’s the most kind, caring person, understanding, I’ve ever met,” James gushed during the interview. “Everything we’ve been through, everything she’s been through, she’s stuck right by my side. She’s continued to have a positive attitude. It’s one of the many things I love about her.”
Hey, if they’re happy, I’m happy.