Matt James is feeling feelings! The Bachelor admitted he was falling in love with contestant Rachael Kirkconnell on Monday night’s episode of the ABC dating show, and shared that with her on their first date.
After the fairytale day portion of their one-on-one (during which Rachael went home with a designer wardrobe), Matt and Rachael sat down for dinner. Matt asked Rachael about never having been in love before.
“I think a lot of it has to do with like, me, and even today, there were times where I felt like I was undeserving of it all. First off, I think you’re out of my league. I really do,” Rachael said, as Matt told her “that’s ridiculous.” “I don’t have a lot of confidence in myself a lot of the time, and sometimes that can be projected onto my relationships and I have a hard time opening up because of that, because I’m scared. I’ve come to realize that for me to have a relationship that really works, I do need to gain that confidence and stop all that self-doubt. I just worry that these little things might push someone away. I don’t know. I’m not trying to push you away right now.”
“You’re pulling me in!” Matt said with a smile. “I like everything about you, even things you may be ultra aware of, I find those things attractive, and I love them about you. When I’m around you, you don’t even have to try to get my attention. You just have it. If you’re in the room, you’ve got it. And you’ve never been the loudest, you’ve never been the first one to run up. You’re so subtle, and you’re just so sure of yourself, and I love that about you.”
Rachael told Matt that the butterflies haven’t stopped since they first met.
“I knew I was in trouble. And although I’ve gotten more comfortable with you, the nerves have not gone away at all. The butterflies, if anything, they’ve grown,” she shared. “I really am already completely falling in love with you. And I want to walk out of here with you, and I want to start my life with you. And I hope that will happen. But the scary part about it is I just don’t know if that’s going to be the outcome.”
“Can I share something with you?” Matt asked. “You’re not crazy, because I feel the same way.”
Matt shared more of his feelings as he gave Rachael the rose.
“Rachael, I’m falling in love with you too. And it is scary to say, but when I’m with you, it just feels right. With that being said, Rachael, would you accept this rose?” he asked.
“Tonight just confirms that I’m falling for Rachael. It feels really good to say that I’m falling in love with somebody, especially when it’s reciprocated,” he told the camera. “I’m laying it all on the line, and there’s no fear anymore. Rachael is someone that I could see, at the end of this, getting down on one knee and proposing to.”
“When I look at Matt, I see the man that I’ve been searching for and waiting for and praying for. I can easily see me spending the rest of my life with Matt. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this guy, and he’s here,” Rachael gushed.
Rachael is the first woman Matt has expressed he’s falling in love with this season. In an interview with ET last month, Matt said Rachael really stuck out to him.
“I just love her honesty,” he said. “She is someone who was clear cut about why she was there, Night One.”
Matt also opened up about never having been in love before the show — and admitted that his journey changed everything.
“Love to me looked different before I got to Nemacolin [where the show filmed] because of what I experienced up to that point,” he said. “And yes, I guess I’d say I haven’t experienced love until I got out there.”
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. See more in the video below.
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