Matt James Says Rachael Kirkconnell Gave Him an 'Ultimatum'

Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell’s relationship has been filled with ups and downs, but they’re giving their love another chance. During the latest episode of the Pomp podcast, the former Bachelor star got candid about what pushed him and Kirkconnell to rekindle their romance, and why she gave him an “ultimatum.”

“She 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,'” James, 29, recalled. “That’s really all I needed. It was an ultimatum that I needed. It’s been great.”

“It was honestly a commitment that we made to each other that we were going to work on the relationship,” he continued. “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.”

On the finale of his season of The Bachelor, James fell for Kirkconnell, but by the time After the Final Rose aired, the two had called it quits. Their breakup came after a TikTok user accused Kirkconnell of previously bullying her for dating Black men. Then, another user accused her of liking racist photos. Pics also surfaced of her at an Old South plantation-themed party while in college. Kirkconnell has since apologized and asked people to stop defending her actions. 

By April, the two were photographed together and James revealed he was “pursuing” a relationship with his ex.

“Me and Rachael’s relationship was a little different because a lot of things [in the world] were different,” James explained, sharing how their relationship looks now. “We watched a lot of movies. We worked our way through Disney+. There were rough patches in our relationship [and] we actually broke up for a moment. We’re back together [now].”

As for his connection with Kirkconnell and how he knew she was the one, he said, “It’s funny. You have your eye on a few that first night. You have this connection, and you’re like, ‘I need to make sure this feeling is real, and it’s validated over the course of the one-on-one dates.’ I would say, I had an idea pretty early [that she was the one].”

“The best thing about Rachael is her heart. She’s the most kind, caring person, understanding, I’ve ever met,” he continued. “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.”

For more on their relationship, see below.

‘Bachelor’ Matt James Says Seeing Rachael Kirkconnell on ‘ATFR’ Hit Him ‘Like a Ton of Bricks’

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