Still going strong — and laughing along the way. Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about their dynamic more than one year after meeting on season 25 of The Bachelor.
“I feel like with everything we go through and whatnot, I feel like it’s pretty crucial to just have fun with one another no matter where we’re at or what we’re doing,” the 25-year-old Georgia native told Us during a joint interview with James, 30, from TAO Beach Dayclub at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. “We got to make the most of everything.”
The former Bachelor agreed, telling Us, “We like to have a good time. And I think that it’s important to share every aspect of who you are with, you know, the people that care enough to follow along and a lot of what we do in our day-to-day is very playful. I think that a lot of other couples are in the same situation — we’re not alone in the way that we interact with one another and talk to each other. So when people see that, it’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, we do the same thing.’ It just helps with them being able to relate to you.”
Fans of the couple know that they have been traveling a lot during summer 2022, including a vacation to Greece and Italy, which included a viral video of James pushing Kirkconnell into the pool.
“The prank wars have just begun,” the Wake Forest alum quipped. “I think I’m due for, like, some[thing] really bad. I know it’s coming and I’m just sleeping with one eye open and cautiously turning every corner.”
Kirkconnell noted, “Here’s the thing — obviously, he knows it’s coming [so] I’ve got a strike whenever he really thinks, like, it’s not gonna happen anymore. I’m playing the long chess game, but it’ll happen.”
Their latest trip was to Sin City for the launch of Evian and Tao Group Hospitality’s first ever “Water Residency,” coinciding with the launch of Evian Sparkling Water.
“[I’m] training for a marathon, [there’s a] heatwave, this is going to be the hottest item on the menu. I’m telling you right now — alcohol is out, water is in,” James told Us, confirming he plans to run the London Marathon in October. “This is cool, like, being able to go out and [have a] classy, sophisticated way to order, you know, sparkling water and not be looked at any differently. It’s like, ‘Oh, he just got the Evian sparkling tower!’ It’s gonna be a thing and we’re excited to be a part of that.”
When it comes to their future together, the duo expects that coming from Bachelor Nation there will always be questions about an engagement.
“I think we understand where they come from because, obviously, we came off of a show that expects an engagement at the end of it and whatnot. So now it hasn’t gone anywhere, of course, because they’ve expected it since day one,” Kirkconnell told Us. “So I think at this point, we’re just kind of used to it because like I said, they’ve just been expecting it for the entirety of our relationship. I don’t think it really affects us anymore — or it really ever did.”
When James noted that setting a timeline is “socially constructed,” Kirkconnell laughed. “The only timeline I give him is I was like, ‘I gotta have kids before, you know, I can’t have kids.’ So keep that in mind,” she told Us.
Scroll through for more from James and Kirkconnell: