Matt James & Rachael Kirkconnell’s Relationship Timeline

We hear it each season, however Matt James’ journey to seek out love was really probably the most dramatic in Bachelor historical past. Because the 29-year-old actuality star’s love story with Rachael Kirkconnell unfolded on TV, rumors circulated that the 24-year-old graphic designer had a racist past. Quickly sufficient, the proof started stacking up. Not solely did a former classmate accuse the contestant of bullying her for relationship a Black man, however pictures of the Georgia native at an antebellum-themed occasion surfaced on-line.

The scandal examined Matt and Rachael’s relationship and practically broke them up for good. After the finale aired, the pair confirmed that they referred to as it quits on the top of the backlash. The industrial actual property agent additionally made it appear as if the 2 have been over for good. “Probably the most disappointing factor for me was having to elucidate to you why what I saw was problematic and why I used to be so upset,” the truth star instructed the Season 25 winner earlier than admitting that his emotions didn’t go away in a single day.

Afterward, Matt instructed ATFR host Emmanual Acho that he needed to “take a step back” from their relationship. “The work and the reconciliation that must be achieved is figure that I can not do for you,” he instructed Rachael. Nonetheless, since that fateful day, the two have been spotted together on numerous events. So the place do they stand now? Try Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell’s full relationship timeline under to seek out out.

The First Evening

Though it was Abigail who received the first impression rose, Rachael clearly felt a religious connection to Matt when he took a second to hope with the 32 ladies who confirmed up on night time one in hopes of discovering love. “The whole lot that he mentioned I felt like I actually associated to that,” Rachael mentioned, per Us Weekly. Afterward, the Georgia native admitted in a confessional that she thought she could be “infatuated” with Matt, however that she didn’t anticipate having such strong feelings so early on. “The truth that he opened that up with a prayer struck a nerve for me,” she mentioned. “I didn’t anticipate to really feel like this so quickly.”

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Their First Date

One-on-one dates have the potential to vary every part, and that was definitely true for Matt and Rachael. The Bachelor took the early frontrunner on an elaborate procuring spree match for a princess, however the graphic designer received far more than a complementary pair of Louboutins. “Rachael, I’m falling in love with you too,” Matt admitted. “And it’s scary to say, however after I’m with you, it simply feels proper.”

The following week, Matt reassured Rachael that his emotions hadn’t modified by giving her the group date rose. “The place I’m at with you is, after I’m not round you, I’m fascinated about you,” he mentioned. “And also you simply make me smile.” Rachael, for her half, admitted that she “lastly discovered what she had been searching for. “The one fear is that I simply don’t get you on the finish of this,” she mentioned.

The Fantasy Suite

Spending the night together in the fantasy suite makes or breaks {couples} on The Bachelor. In Matt and Rachael’s case, that uninterrupted time solely strengthened their relationship. “The place I’m at with you is I’ve fallen in love with you,” Matt instructed Rachael on the March 8 episode. “I’m head over heels for you,” she responded. “I’m utterly in love with you.”

The Last Rose

Not each season of The Bachelor ends with an engagement, and when his journey was wrapping up in November 2020, Matt couldn’t get down on one knee. “I couldn’t reside with myself if I put you thru what my mother’s been by,” he instructed Rachael of his dad and mom’ damaged marriage. Regardless of not proposing, the truth star instructed his last rose recipient that he wished to pursue a relationship off-screen. “I wish to depart right here with you, and I wish to decide to you,” he mentioned. “The reality is that I like you.” Rachael, who mentioned she “by no means felt a love like this” in her entire life, fortunately agreed.

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The Racism Scandal

If Season 25 of The Bachelor proved something, it was that nothing can rock a relationship fairly like a racism scandal. Because the present premiered, rumors of Kirkconnell’s racist previous circulated on-line. In late January, a TikTok consumer accused Kirkconnell of liking racist social media posts and taking pictures with pals sporting MAGA hats. Another person on the platform claimed she knew Kirkconnell in high school and that the contestant used to bully her for relationship Black males.

James addressed the rumors on Feb. 2 and requested viewers to not make assumptions. “Rumors are darkish, they usually’re nasty, they usually can destroy individuals’s lives,” he instructed Leisure Tonight. “I might give individuals the advantage of the doubt, and hopefully, she’ll have her time to talk on that.” Later that month, new photos surfaced of Rachael attending an antebellum-themed occasion in 2018. Extra pictures of her dressed as a Native American additionally made the rounds.

Longtime host Chris Harrison weighed in on the scandal throughout a Feb. 9 interview with Additional host and former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. “The woke police is on the market,” he mentioned. “And this poor lady Rachael, who has simply been thrown to the lions, I don’t understand how you’re outfitted when you have got by no means achieved this earlier than, to be woke sufficient, to be eloquent sufficient, to be able to deal with this.” The backlash was swift, with viewers instantly calling for Harrison’s resignation. On June 8, he formally introduced that he wouldn’t be returning to the franchise.

The Apology

On Feb. 11, Rachael took to Instagram to challenge the first of several apologies. In her assertion, she referred to as her actions “flawed,” “ignorant,” and “racist.” “I’m sorry to the communities and people that my actions harmed and offended,” she wrote. “I’m ashamed about my lack of schooling, however it’s nobody’s duty to coach me.”

On Feb. 25, the Season 25 winner returned to Instagram with a virtually eight-minute-long video asking her followers to cease defending her. “In case you are in my feedback or defending me anyplace, telling those who I did nothing flawed, that there’s nothing to be damage about, there’s nothing to be offended about or offended about, please cease,” she mentioned. “That’s not our place to inform individuals what they will or can’t be offended about.”

The Cut up

Matt and Rachael reportedly broke up in mid-February. Later that month, the Bachelor called the entire situation “devastating and heartbreaking” on Instagram. The pair addressed their cut up in the course of the After the Last Rose particular, which aired on March 15. “When he first referred to as me to finish issues, my preliminary response was I used to be very confused. I used to be very blindsided,” Rachael mentioned. “However as soon as that preliminary response went away, I considered how sturdy I assumed our relationship was. So for him to finish issues, he should have been very, very damage by every part. It was laborious, as a result of I misplaced the love of my life.”

Though Rachael mentioned she was nonetheless in love with Matt, the truth star instructed host Emmanuel Acho that they wanted time aside. “I’ve to take a step again and permit her to place in that work,” he mentioned. He additionally revealed that their breakup was “robust. “It’s heartbreaking,” he added. “When you don’t perceive that one thing like that’s problematic in 2018, then it’s laborious for me to imagine. … It’s so simple as that.”

After the particular aired, Rachael took to Instagram to reflect on your entire expertise. “I knew from the primary night time I met Matt that he was one thing particular,” she wrote alongside a carousel of pictures from the season. “Whereas I by no means anticipated this consequence, I respect his choice utterly. In fact I want circumstances have been completely different, however I nonetheless really feel blessed for the time we did have collectively and the reminiscences we made. I received to fall in love, and I actually imagine he was the love of my life.”

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The Reunion

Whereas Matt appeared adamant that they wouldn’t get again collectively, the 2 have been spotted in New York City this previous April. “They wished to maintain it a secret, however they received caught strolling across the metropolis,” a supply instructed Us Weekly. “They’ve been engaged on their relationship privately over the previous few months and taking the following steps to get again collectively. They spoke and FaceTimed day by day.” It’s value noting that there have been some conflicting experiences. Based on E!, the duo had no plans to rekindle their romance. “Rachael and Matt are utterly simply pals,” a supply instructed the outlet. “He has no intentions of relationship her sooner or later.”

The Different Lady

After their reunion, many Bachelor fans thought they made amends. Alas, the other gave the impression to be true. On April 9, a lady named Grace told Reality Steve that she was talking to the former Bachelor throughout Kirkconnell’s go to to New York. Based on Us Weekly’s supply, Rachael felt “very damage” and “manipulated” when she discovered about Grace as a result of she and James had reportedly been “speaking a few future collectively.” The insider added that Grace and Rachael each “dropped him” upon studying that he was speaking to each of them directly.

“Rachael may be very emotional proper now as a result of she was very hopeful that issues have been going to work out. She’s nonetheless attempting to course of this,” Us Weekly’s insider mentioned, including that it “doesn’t seem to be they are going to be getting again collectively.” Based on an E! Information supply, Rachael expressed how upset she was however in the end determined that it was best for them to cut off contact. “Matt and Rachael are not talking and Rachael is actually upset concerning the state of affairs that occurred,” an insider mentioned. “She is devastated and feels completely performed by Matt. Rachael actually trusted that they might have a future collectively and is heartbroken.”

The Reconciliation

In late April, Rachael and Matt gave the impression to be on the identical web page once more. After being photographed grabbing meals in California, the previous Bachelor instructed Folks that they were working on their relationship. “I’m not pursuing any relationships proper now exterior of that,” he instructed the journal. “I mentioned I used to be going to concentrate on my relationship together with her and which means specializing in it.” The next month, the 2 have been noticed holding hands in NYC.

In a Might interview with WSJ, Matt defined why he decided not to give up on their relationship. “It’s on individuals who care about being allies to do the work to be really antiracist,” he mentioned. “And I believe it’s unfair to go away individuals with out the power to unlearn and be higher.” In an e mail, Rachael confirmed to the journal that they received again collectively. Throughout an look on the Pomp podcast that very same month, Matt revealed that their reconciliation was the results of an ultimatum.

“There got here a cut-off date the place it was evident that my engaged on the connection regarded completely different than Rachael’s as a result of I wasn’t actually honoring that dedication that I made to engaged on the connection,” Matt mentioned on the podcast. “She was like, ‘When you’re going to make this work, let’s do it. However, in the event you’re not going to make it work, I’m going to allow you to do your individual factor.’ That’s actually all I wanted. It was an ultimatum that I wanted. It’s been nice.”

Since getting again collectively, the couple has gone on many journeys collectively, together with a steamy, PDA-filled trip to Miami and an expensive Aspen getaway. In July, they made their red carpet debut at the ESPYS. “Simply probably the most unathletic individual within the constructing final night time however perhaps probably the most impressed,” Rachael wrote on Instagram. “What an honor to have met a few of the most extraordinary ladies and may’t wait to see them proceed to make their mark on this planet.” | Matt James & Rachael Kirkconnell’s Relationship Timeline


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