Dating

Here’s Who Matt James Reportedly Dated Before Becoming The Bachelor

(ABC/Billy Kidd)

Matt James has officially made his debut as The Bachelor's Season 25 lead, and unsurprisingly, the single ladies vying for his affection are already pretty smitten. While fans of the show are most excited about which of these lucky gals is going to end up engaged to him in the (near) future, I couldn't blame you for wondering about Matt James’ reported dating history. For one thing, it might offer hints as to who he'll give his final rose to. Does he have a type?

Well, those hoping to gain some insight into who James might pick based on his romantic history might not be so lucky. Despite putting his dating life on the most public platform of all time, James has played his past romances very close to the vest. As a result, not much is known about his exes— like, at all. However, one reported former flame did reportedly almost make an appearance on his season of The Bachelor, which would have been all kinds of juicy.

According to Reality Steve, the popular Bachelor blogger famous for his spoiler reports, James was previously linked to Madison Nelson, a communications expert from Indiana who now lives in New York, and who was reportedly, at one point, being considered for the show. Nelson and James were spotted at a fashion show in the summer of 2019, where Gigi Hadid was walking the runway, back when James' bestie, Tyler Cameron, was dating the supermodel.

Reality Steve tweeted that James and Nelson reportedly dated for “at least a couple of months," but it's unclear how serious they were or why they went their separate ways. Before the premiere, Reality Steve updated his report saying that although he believed Nelson was going to be on the show at one point, she ultimately wasn’t selected because of her history with James. “[I] was actually told once they found out she HAD dated Matt last summer, they decided against bringing her on,” he wrote.

Scrolling through James’ Instagram account, there are a few more shots with other women that appear couple-y, but there are no additional details, so speculation on the nature of those relationships is just that — speculation. The pics, though cute, could likely be of just friends.

While his romantic life might not be prominent on his socials, James has plenty to keep him busy. He's dedicated much of his time to his charity, ABC Food Tours, a nonprofit he created alongside Cameron that helps underserved children learn more about developing a healthy lifestyle through exercise and nutritious eating. The program takes children from the NYC metro area on mini-tours, stopping at different restaurants to allow them to try food they've never tasted before, while educating them on food preparation and healthy eating.

James might not be open about his past relationships online, but it's clear there's a real number one lady in his life: his mother Patty James. James seems to be very close to his mom and isn’t afraid to show it off. Patty raised James and his brother John James as a single mother, and on Father’s Day, he posted a photo with her with the caption, “Happy Father's Day Mom.” It also featured bible verse Psalms 68:5, which reads, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”

Soon enough, he's going to have another special lady in his life, and audiences will get to see it all unfold on the “most dramatic season ever” of The Bachelor.