Abigail Heringer Explained Why The First Impression Rose Was Extra Meaningful

by Candice Jalili
ABC/Craig Sjodin

During an appearance on the Jan. 5 episode of Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin's Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, Abigail Heringer opened up about receiving the first impression rose from Matt James on the Jan. 4 premiere of his season of The Bachelor. For those of you who missed the episode, Heringer received the first impression rose after telling James that she "was born completely deaf" and has a cochlear implant. Receiving the rose after her revelation meant a lot to Heringer.

"It was something that I'd been so insecure about, and so to open up about it and to not only have him acknowledge it but to actually see it as a really attractive quality, it was just a really special moment, for sure," she told Lindsay and Kufrin. "It just kind of came the full circle."

When Kufrin asked if Heringer entered the night planning on bringing up her disability, she confirmed she did. "I knew going into it that night that I wanted to talk about it just because, just going back to what my dating has been like, it's something that I normally don't say on a first date," she replied. "You know, it is a huge part of who I am. But just kind of being a hidden disability, and you can't really see my cochlear implant when I wear my hair down, it is kind of a scary thing just to bring up to somebody on a first date 'cause you really don't know how they're going to take it."

She continued, "When you're trying to be attracted to a guy, you know, airing your insecurities is not always the first thing that you want to do. But just going into this whole process, I was like, 'You know what? I'm going to go all out. I'm just going to lay it all out there and, you know, just see how he takes it: Is it something that he wants to learn more about? Is it something that he wants to see what a relationship with a deaf person would be like?'"

As for what her dating life was prior to coming on the show, Heringer told the hosts it was pretty much "nonexistent." She found depth to be lacking in the romantic connections she was making. "I think a lot of people can just kind of relate to being in my shoes," she explained. "Being in your 20s, you are on the dating apps and you're trying to date around. But I think what I just really struggled with is it's so superficial. And you know, just kind of doing the same thing, and I was getting the same results and I just wasn't happy with that."

Something about James felt different to Heringer. "I think there's just something about Matt that just comes across very genuine," she shared. "You know, I've heard him speak a few times. And just how compassionate he is, I knew that he was going to be able to challenge me to have those conversations."

Looks like her hunch was true! Excited to watch more of their love story unfold as James' season of The Bachelor continues.