Matt James is considering taking the next step with Rachel Kirkconnell. ET’s Denny Directo spoke with the former Bachelor ahead of the release of his first book, first impressionsAnd he revealed that there is no question of an engagement between him and Kirkconnell.
“At this point in my life, I wouldn’t be dating anyone I wouldn’t consider marrying,” James told ET. “That’s the ultimate goal and that’s what we’re working towards.”
James and Kirkconnell met during their season the BachelorWhich aired in 2021. Ahead of its season premiere, controversy erupted when A Tiktok user alleged Kirkconnell of the East bully her For dating black men. Then, another user accused him For liking racist photos. Picture also appeared At an Old South Plantation-themed party while in college. Kirkconnell has since apologized and asked people to stop defending his actions.
James writes in his book, “Rachel had to parade the headlines, every minute, seeing every past mistake.”
James also details the fallout from the feud, including his and Kirkconnell’s decision to “move away from each other for a time” before they get back together. Before that could happen, however, Kirkconnell ended things when she learned that James had “taken advantage of our undefined, gray space and reunited with the former flies.”
A misstep shared by Kirkconnell turned out to be the thing that reunited the pair for good, a fact that James considers “fate.”
“We talked for four hours … about all the issues that kept us apart—his faults, my mistakes, insecurities, family drama, public perception, and everything else under the sun,” he writes. “I decided to get better next. He did self-act that I didn’t reciprocate. I promised him I was everything. It was the best decision I could make.”
It was not as difficult for James to replicate his ups and downs in his book as some might believe.
“The hardest part was actually getting on with the show, because I doubted if something like this could work,” James told ET. “I’m lucky I kept them [doubts] On the one hand because I’m in a great relationship with Rachel now… the hardest part for me was being vulnerable up front. When I did it it was easy to get it down on paper.”
Still, though, James wanted to be aware of Kirkconnell’s feelings as it started the turmoil for their relationship.
“You’re walking on eggshells when you talk about that stuff because it’s real. I wanted to make sure that when I’m conveying my story … that I’m consistent with Rachel.” Was in communication when I was sharing how she wanted to be portrayed,” he said. “I was in constant conversation with [co-author] Cole Brown, who I was working with, and then with Rachel to make sure I’m not manipulative in the way that he needed to get together for her.”
“He didn’t get a chance to speak on this” [or] That’s the light I have with opportunities like this,” James told ET. “I just wanted to make sure I was doing him right and not continuing to kick a dead horse.”
Even with that in mind, not including his story in his book was not something James ever thought of.
“I think it would have been a cop, because I’m telling my whole story, and that includes everything, the good and the bad, the ugly,” James explained. “You see it in a bunch of different people’s books. I respect it when they talk about things that are dark and that are uncomfortable, because it shows you that you can embrace those things.” You can’t move on from those things unless you embrace them and you get over them.”
The couple is in a good place now, and James is confident that, as he and Kirkconnell continue to live their lives, support for their relationship will grow.
“I think if people know Rachel and I better they will understand our relationship. The context of a show and how it’s presented there doesn’t give the whole picture. It’s not their job to give . . they can’t render everything,” James said. “As we continue to live our lives, I think people will continue to support us, because they see that we are real, authentic, that we love each other, and it’s not meant to be shown. These are two good people.”
In addition to continuing his relationship with Kirkconnell, James is excited about the future of the nonprofit he founded, ABC Food Tourswhich educates children from underserved communities in New York City about food and exercise.
As he continues in work and life, James is looking forward to “much more personal growth and a lot more to give back” in the years to come.
“If I can create such programs and educational platforms for financial literacy, food insecurity and just personal health and wellness, then I have done my job,” he told ET. “I saw how mental health and physical health took a toll on people during the pandemic. As someone who appears to have been thriving at the time, it is needless to say, because a lot of people are still being beaten up by that. I feel a responsibility, to know what I know, to do better and to serve those who were affected by it.”
first impressionsJames’s first book, now available wherever books are sold.
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Reference from www.etonline.com