‘The Bachelor’ Finale Spoilers: Matt James Explains Why He Broke Up with Rachael Kirkconnell

The latest season of The Bachelor had a shocking conclusion and now Matt James is opening up to explain why it had to end the way it did.

Matt gave his final rose to Rachael Kirkconnell, but decided not to propose because he didn’t feel he was ready to take that step in their relationship.

After the season had wrapped, photos from Rachael‘s past surfaced and showed that she had attended an Antebellum party in 2018. At first, Matt was sticking by her side, but he couldn’t continue their relationship after Rachael expressed that she didn’t understand why people were offended by the images.

“It was as tough as you can imagine, and it’s heartbreaking,” Matt told After the Final Rose host Emmanuel Acho. “If you don’t understand why something like that is problematic in 2018, there’s a lot of me that you won’t understand. It’s as simple as that. … And I wasn’t okay, because it was in that moment and the conversation that I had that Rachael might not understand what it means to be Black in America.”

Matt said that he ended their relationship so Rachael can take time to grow as a person, but that he couldn’t be with her while she does that.

“As Rachael acknowledged in her apology, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. I have to take a step back and allow her to put in that work,” he said. “And I’m looking forward to seeing her put in that work.”

Later on in the episode, Matt and Rachael came face-to-face for the first time since their breakup.

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