Matt James is giving it another go with embattled Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell—but there's some ground rules.
During an appearance on The Pomp Podcast on May 25, Matt told all on the new foundation of their relationship, as they do a take two. He even revealed the ultimatum she gave him before they officially made up.
As Matt first explained of their history, "There were rough patches in our relationship and we actually broke up for a moment while the show was airing." It was a not-so-veiled reference to her social media scandal involving those old offensive pictures and host Chris Harrison.
The leading man, 29, went on, "Then, after the show aired and the finale happened, well, we're back together now." (In fact, he acknowledged that Rachael was in the room during the podcast recording, but she wasn't seen nor heard throughout the interview.)
He said they decided to give love another chance after making "a commitment" to each other "that we were going to work on the relationship."
"I wasn't really honoring that commitment that I made to working on the relationship," Matt shared. "It was just a come to Jesus talk with Rachael where she was like, ‘If you're going to make this work, let's do it. But, if you're not going to make it work, then I'm going to let you do your own thing.'"
He has realized "that's really all I needed" to get the ball rolling, saying, "It was an ultimatum... It was what I needed and it's been great."
As the former football player has expressed, he had his "eye" on Rachael from the very beginning of his Bachelor run. As he recalled, "You have this connection, and you're like, ‘I need to make sure this feeling is real,' and it's validated over the course of the one-on-one dates and these group dates that you're having."
Still, he had "an idea pretty early" on that the graphic designer was The One.
Matt, who is now considering moving in with the Southern belle, took a moment during the podcast to lay it on thick with his on-again girlfriend.
"The best thing about Rachael is her heart," he professed. "She's the most kind, caring person, understanding, I've ever met. Everything we've been through, everything she's been through, she's stuck right by my side. She's continued to have a positive attitude towards everything. It's one of the many things I love about her."
He joked that it's not all peachy, as he has a list of everything he doesn't like about her—one of them being that she combines both of their laundry loads in the dryer. The ABC Food Tours founder laughed, "I'm going to have to donate my shirts to Stuart Little because none of my stuff fits anymore," adding, "I like to give her a hard time about it."
Since their initial split, the pair have reunited in Orange County and Miami for some time together to soak up the sun.
Rachael admitted in February that her past controversial actions were inexcusable, saying in part, "They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist."
Now that Matt seems to have found his happily ever after, viewers will get to watch his cast-off, Katie Thurston, try to find her soulmate on TV. Her season of The Bachelorette premieres Monday, June 7, on ABC.