Bachelor's Abigail Heringer Reflects on Decision to Share Her Hearing Loss With Matt James

Just days after fans watched her win the first impression rose, Abigail Heringer appeared on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast and spoke about talking to Matt James about her hearing loss.

By Elyse Dupre Jan 06, 2021 2:00 PMTags

Matt James' journey on The Bachelor is just beginning, but fans have already fallen in love with one of his contestants: Abigail Heringer.

The client financial manager opened up about her decision to go on the show during the Jan. 5th episode of the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast. According to Abigail, her love life was "nonexistent" before stepping out of the limo.

"I think a lot of people can just kind of relate to being in my shoes," she told hosts and former Bachelorettes Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin. "Being in your 20s, you are on the dating apps and you're trying to date around. But I think what I just really struggled with is it's so superficial. And you know, just kind of doing the same thing, and I was getting the same results and I just wasn't happy with that."

So, Abigail decided it was time for a change. She said she wanted to get out of her comfort zone, push herself and have conversations with a man she'd never had before. This included talking about her background and hearing loss. During the season premiere, Abigail shared she "was born completely deaf" and has a cochlear implant. As she explained, "There was just so many things that I just felt ready to finally talk about that I'd never been able to talk about before in past relationships."

photos
The Bachelor 2021: Meet the Women of Matt James' Season

And when she found out Matt was The Bachelor, it was a done deal. "I was not concerned, that, you know, was I going to be attracted to him?" Abigail recalled. "But I think there's just something about Matt that just comes across very genuine. You know, I've heard him speak a few times. And just how compassionate he is, I knew that he was going to be able to challenge me to have those conversations."

ABC/Craig Sjodin

During her first night, Abigail told Matt about her hearing loss and her close relationship with her sister, who is also deaf. "She kind of, like, paved the way," Abigail told Matt on night one. "So, I just kind of, like, followed in her footsteps."

On the podcast, Becca asked Abigail if she planned on bringing up her hearing loss that first night.

"I knew going into it that night that I wanted to talk about it just because, just going back to what my dating has been like, it's something that I normally don't say on a first date," Abigail replied. "You know, it is a huge part of who I am. But just kind of being a hidden disability, and you can't really see my cochlear implant when I wear my hair down, it is kind of a scary thing just to bring up to somebody on a first date 'cause you really don't know how they're going to take it."

Abigail acknowledged she'd been in "uncomfortable situations before" and that she's felt insecure in the past.

"When you're trying to be attracted to a guy, you know, airing your insecurities is not always the first thing that you want to do," she said. "But just going into this whole process, I was like, 'You know what? I'm going to go all out. I'm just going to lay it all out there and, you know, just see how he takes it: Is it something that he wants to learn more about? Is it something that he wants to see what a relationship with a deaf person would be like?'"

Matt and Abigail formed an instant connection. They shared a steamy kiss, and Matt gave her the first impression rose.

"It was something that I'd been so insecure about," she said, "and so to open up about it and to not only have him acknowledge it but to actually see it as a really attractive quality, it was just a really special moment, for sure. It just kind of came the full circle."

To see how Matt's journey to find love continues, fans can watch The Bachelor Monday nights on ABC.

Sign up for our weekly Bachelor Beat newsletter to get all of your Bachelor Nation updates!