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'The Bachelor' Finale: Matt James doesn't propose to Rachael Kirkconnel, tells her he loves her instead

Matt's journey as 'The Bachelor' has ended and he chose Rachael Kirkconnell as his potential wife by giving her the final rose
UPDATED MAR 16, 2021
Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James in the last episode of 'The Bachelor' Season 25 (ABC)
Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James in the last episode of 'The Bachelor' Season 25 (ABC)

Matt James-led Season 25 of 'The Bachelor' aired its final episode tonight. Rumors about Rachael Kirkconnell being his final choice at the end were finally confirmed and Matt was seen dumping Michelle Young, who managed to position herself as a fan-favorite with her sweet demeanor since the time she started her journey on the show. At the beginning of the finale episode, before the final two could meet Patty, Matt admitted that Michelle was everything he wanted in a wife and she ticked all boxes. 

But he was seen giving the final rose to Rachael who he had been attracted to since the very beginning. He remained calculated in his responses with the other women who confessed to being in love with him but he let his guard down with Rachael mid-season by being vocal about falling in love with her. So how exactly did he dump Michelle and proceeded to tell Rachael that she was who he wanted? Continue reading below to know all about it. 


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Matt James in 'The Bachelor' (ABC)

Matt and Michelle have one final date left where they rappel down a building and later on chat about the future. Everything looked perfect at the point but the evening portion of that date is where things go downhill. It's at this point where he tells Michelle that he had doubts about their future as a couple, breaking up with her. "My objective tonight was not to hurt Michelle but be honest with her. Here I am questioning was saying goodbye to her tonight was the right decision. I am just trying to stay afloat," Matt said. In a heart-to-heart with Chris Harrison, Matt said he had to make the decision because he loved Michelle but wasn't in love with her. 

Michelle Young in 'The Bachelor' (ABC)

But that's not where the drama ends. Matt spoke about his parents' not so ideal relationship and even though he knew that he wanted to be with Rachael, he didn't want to propose to her because he had begun to doubt the process after talking to his mother Patty and brother John who advised him to not rush into an engagement if he wasn't sure of it. With all those thoughts weighing heavy on him he canceled the full-day date with Rachael leaving her confused and dejected but he quickly gathers his thoughts and leaves a letter by her door asking her to meet him by the same river where they had their overnight date so that he can give her the answers she deserves.

Rachael Kirkconnell in 'The Bachelor' (ABC)

She lets him know that she was upset because he canceled the date but they quickly resolved their issues.

"I have seen what rushing into a proposal does to my family that is the reason I can't propose to you today. But that doesn't mean I want to lose you. I want to leave here with you and commit to you and the truth is I love you," Matt told Rachael. "I see you as my wife, as the mother of my kids, I do love you but I want to make sure that my love is enough," he said.

Even though he didn't propose marriage to her, Matt finally used his words to tell Rachael how he feels about her and they leave the show together to explore a relationship out in the real world.