Matt James and Rachel Kirkconnell have overcome major odds in their brief relationship. The Season 25 Bachelor couple dealt with major backlash after Kirkconnell’s history with racial issues came into question, including the resurfacing of photos from her attending at 2018 antebellum party.

After taking some time apart, the couple reunited. Now, they are ready to take the next step.

Matt James calls Rachel Kirkconnell his best friend

The battles the couple have had to overcome have been worth it. In fact, James says it has made them stronger. He spoke about their bond in a recent interview with the HollywoodLife Podcast

“You share so much with that person and you spend that much time together that bonds stronger than just a passive relationship,” he said. “I think that most people who are in a healthy relationship would say that their best friend is their significant other, because hat’s the person you’re calling to confide in, you’re sharing how your day went, and you’re hearing how their day went.”

The couple may be moving in together soon

James is super busy with work and as a result, spends much of his time at “home” with Kirkconnel. They may be making her home more permanent. 

“I’m technically without a home at the moment. Work requires me to be in New York once a week, but I think I’m actually going to be relocating to another state TBD…” he said. “ We are definitely staying tuned for this one!

He added, “We just like to live in the moment. We don’t let other people’s expectations of our relationship determine how we act and what we do and what we post and it’s been healthy for us. We spend so much time together. That’s really the key to getting to know somebody… listening. And when you’re with somebody, as often as we are, you get to learn so much about them, that it only strengthens the relationship.”

After controversial time on The Bachelor, James appeared as a contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.