Happily ever after? Matt James chose Rachael Kirkconnell over Michelle Young during the season 25 finale of The Bachelor on Monday, March 15.
Matt’s mom and brother met Michelle first. While his mother believed the prospect of her son getting engaged was a “long shot,” she hit it off with Michelle and could see her as part of their family. Rachael then bonded with Matt’s relatives, and she cried with his mom over her belief that God brought her and Matt together. Matt said after Rachael left that he was ready for an engagement and marriage.
However, Matt’s family changed his mind, planting doubts about whether he was prepared for such a big step. His mom questioned whether he needed to propose just because he was in love or if he should see where a relationship went outside the show. Matt’s memories of his broken family only deepened his uncertainty.
Matt took his worries to Chris Harrison and confessed that he still thought his wife was there, but he believed he should take his time before making a decision. However, he agreed to stay open-minded and continue with the final days as scheduled.
Matt’s hesitations bled into his final date with Michelle. After she gifted him jerseys that read “Mr. James” and “Mrs. James,” he admitted that he was having doubts about their relationship for the first time. She asked whether she should fight for him, leading him to confirm that he could not get where he needed to be with her. Michelle was blindsided but said she did all she could to make it work.
Matt subsequently broke down in tears and told Chris he loved Michelle but wasn’t in love with her. He could not shake what his mom said about love fading, and he did not want to put Rachael through what his mother dealt with during her marriage to his father. Matt clarified that he was not ready to get engaged and said he needed time to sort out his feelings.
The next day, the host showed up at Rachael’s room to inform her she would not be going on a final date with Matt. She was hurt and confused that he did not want to see her. Meanwhile, Matt picked out an engagement ring with Neil Lane despite his doubts. He noted that if he gave it to Rachael, he would never want her to remove it.
Matt sent Rachael a note the following day asking her to meet him by the lake for a makeshift final rose ceremony. He assured Chris he was in love with Rachael but admitted he was still uncertain about getting engaged. When she arrived, Rachael told Matt she would not run when things got tough between them and promised to choose him every day if he would let her. He then explained that he could not propose to her because he did not want to rush into things.
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Matt did not want to lose Rachael, though. He wanted to leave the show with her and commit to her in that way. “I do see you as my wife; I see you as the mother of my kids,” he told her. “I just wanna make sure my love is enough for you.” Rachael replied that “of course” it was enough and she could picture their lives together too. He then gave her his final rose.
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