The final rose that blew away in the wind. Matt James’ relationship with Rachael Kirkconnell was so short that his best friend Tyler Cameron did not even have a chance to see the former couple together.
“I never got to meet her … but they seemed happy,” the Bachelorette alum, 28, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, March 16, while promoting his and Clay Harbor’s partnership with Optimum Nutrition. “It was like a honeymoon afterwards still, and that’s easy to be happy in.”
Cameron noted that time was ultimately “a test” for James, 29, and Kirkconnell, 24, before they went their separate ways, telling Us, “What happened had to happen.”
The former couple met and fell in love on season 25 of The Bachelor. While the real estate broker did not propose to the graphic designer during the Monday, March 15, finale, they did leave the ABC reality dating series together. However, sometime in February after Kirkconnell’s past racially insensitive Instagram posts resurfaced, James broke up with her. They confirmed the news during Monday’s After the Final Rose special.
“He’s going through it. He’s doing good,” Cameron told Us of the former athlete, who was the franchise’s first Black male lead. “It was definitely tough, you know, but … I always support Matt. I’m always a sounding board for him. … I’m here for him, and he does the same for me. That’s what brothers do for each other.”
The model explained that despite everything, James has very few regrets about his time on the show.
“I think it’s made him grow up a lot. I think he still believes in love. I think he’s still gonna find love,” he told Us. “But, you know, it’s definitely a whole growing, learning experience. He pushed himself a ton. He got himself very vulnerable and opened up and learned what good that can do for you. … Everything’s a lesson in life, and I think this was a giant lesson for him.”
As for whether his roommate will get back on the dating scene, Cameron does not see it happening anytime soon.
“I’m sure he’s going to take some time,” he told Us. “I’m sure he needs to figure himself out and get his mind right and he’ll be ready to go.”
James, who tweeted about needing a “therapist near me” on Tuesday, candidly addressed his split from Kirkconnell on Good Morning America after the finale aired.
“I know that Rachael’s a good person,” he said after his ex’s social media scandal. “Everything she outlined in her apology and her statement, I’m looking forward to seeing her do because I know she’s capable of it.”
That said, the ABC Food Tours cofounder confirmed that he has no plans to get back together with the Georgia native, saying, “I need time to process everything that’s going on. I want to respect Rachael and what she’s gotta do as well.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi