A woman on TikTok shared that she had a brief relationship with Matt James about a year before he stepped into his role as The Bachelor. She also shared that she was approached by ABC about being one of the contestants on the show.
The user, @ffion_ayre, wrote, “when u almost go on bachelor but met the loml instead.” The TikTok post then shows a lengthy conversation with James on Instagram that appears to begin in July 2019 and continues until at least September 2019. The video later shows an email from The Bachelor casting director Sandy Mehlman from August 2020.
“Hi Ffion, it was nice meeting you!” the email reads, in part. “If you are interested, please complete the attached application and email it back to me along with 10-15 recent pics and a short video by TUESDAY, 8/25. The sooner the better as we are running out of time.”
The TikTok ends with Ayre watching the season premiere of The Bachelor with her boyfriend.
There’s Nothing Scandalous About the TikTok Messages
There’s nothing racy about the conversation between James and Ayre. They discuss travel, concerts, soccer, and try to coordinate opportunities to meet up with each other for drinks. It’s unclear how long the relationship lasted, but there’s not much reason to believe it was ever anything serious.
James was already on Bachelor Nation’s radar in the latter half of 2019 after his best friend Tyler Cameron starred on The Bachelorette in the summer. James later got attention when he threw shade at Hannah Brown during the season finale. He was eventually named one of the contestants on Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette, although that appearance never came to fruition.
If there’s a revelation from the TikTok it’s that it appears as though ABC did what it could to try and find a woman from James’ past to bring on the show.
In October, ABC released a list of 43 women who were potential contestants on the upcoming season of The Bachelor and it included Madison Nelson, a woman James briefly dated in 2019. According to Reality Steve, Nelson was later cut from the cast. Evidently she wasn’t the only woman from James’ past who was considered.
Not Much Is Known About James’ Dating History
James has kept his dating history extraordinarily private — something that isn’t easy to do in the Bachelor franchise today. Even his best friend doesn’t know much about James’ previous relationships. Cameron told US Weekly that he’d only ever seen James kiss one girl before his friend left to film The Bachelor.
Maybe that’s why Cameron was quick to roast James when viewers on the Internet called out his open-eyed kissing technique.
In January, James said his dating life has been especially dry since he moved to New York City.
“My dating history in New York [was] slim to none because I was broke. Like, I didn’t have any money, so I couldn’t take anybody out on a date,” James said on Bachelor Happy Hour. “New York is expensive, so just by default, I wasn’t doing a lot of dating.”