Matt James‘ season of The Bachelor has come to an end, and he and his season pick, Rachael Kirkconnell, are no longer together. The news, though spoiled in the weeks leading up to the show’s finale, was shared on Monday, March 15, at the pre-taped episode of After the Final Rose.
The morning after the finale aired, Matt sat down for a virtual interview with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America. In addition to seeing Rachael for the first time since their split, which Matt said “hit [him] like a ton of bricks,” he was also asked about where his head is at post-show, specifically in regard to his dating life.
Strahan quoted Matt when he said “feelings don’t go away overnight,” and asked if he was leaving the door open for Rachael. However, Matt shared that he’s simply not ready to say anyone because he needs “time to process” after what has certainly been an emotional roller coaster.
“I think there’s a lot of work that needs to be done before I can think about being in a relationship with anybody. I need time to process everything that’s going on, and I want to respect Rachael and what she’s gotta do, as well,” Matt said.
Here’s what you need to know:
Rumors Are Circulating That Matt Is Dating Heather Martin Post-Show
Despite appearing to be super torn up over Rachael, rumors continue to circulate that Matt is dating another one of his Bachelor ladies — Heather Martin. Heather, who was first introduced to Bachelor Nation on Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor, was in attendance at this season’s Women Tell All special, but she was not filmed, nor did she get any air time, according to People. A good deal of speculation surrounding the burning question “why?” but no answers have been uncovered.
However, it seems as though some people believe that she was cut out of the show because she’s actually dating Matt. This article published by Bustle lays that out pretty good. But wait, there’s more.
As previously reported by Heavy, fans were quick to notice that Matt and Heather were both hanging out in the same town — San Clemente, California, earlier this month. Despite not being photographed together, their location really got people talking.
And, to make things even more complicated, Matt’s mother, Patty, commented on Heather’s new venture on Instagram — a clothing line.
“Love this and congratulations on making this happen,” Patty wrote.
And on the day of The Bachelor finale, Heather shared some pics of herself in Manhattan. Sure, everyone visits New York City, but the Big Apple is home to the one, the only, Matt James.
“Soooooo NYC? wonder if Matt took all of these,” one Instagram user commented on the photo set.
“Are you dating Matt?” questioned another.
“Say ‘hi’ to Matt for us,” added a third.
Rachael Released a Statement in Which She Said She Will ‘Always Be Hopeful’ About Her Future With Matt
Many Bachelor fans are hopeful that Matt and Rachael will find their way back to each other, and they aren’t the only ones with that hope. Rachael released a statement following the After the Final Rose special aired and expressed exactly that.
“I knew from the first night I met Matt that he was something special, and I was praying to share something exceptional between the two of us if that’s what was meant to be. While I never expected this outcome, I respect his decision completely. Of course I wish circumstances were different, but I still feel blessed for the time we did have together and the memories we made,” she captioned an Instagram post that consisted of several photos from the season.
“I got to fall in love, and I truly believe he was the love of my life. He will always hold a piece of my heart. I’ll always be hopeful and believe what’s meant to be will be,” she added.
Matt has yet to post on social media since the Bachelor finale aired.