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Rachael Kirkconnell Calls Matt James the ‘Love of My Life’ After He Dumps Her Over Scandal

Not exactly a fairy tale ending. Rachael Kirkconnell penned a note about her love for Matt James after he broke off their romance while season 25 of The Bachelor was still airing.

Related: The Bachelor After the Final Rose: Broken Engagements and More!

“Just when you think you found your way, life throws you onto a new path. it’s unpredictable, unexplainable, and things might not go the way you hoped for. while i certainly wish things turned out differently, i also believe there is a reason for everything. we may not be able to control situations thrown our way, but we can control how we deal with it, and i believe good can come out every circumstance,” the 24-year-old Georgia native began in a lengthy Instagram caption on Monday, March 15. “This was supposed to be a monumental season, and one of the biggest disappointments has been the overshadowing of these beautiful women and their stories. they are some of the strongest, most brilliant, most extraordinary women and i was lucky enough to have met them. you all deserve more, but i promise to always stand by and support each of you in any way i can.”

Viewers watched Matt, 29, declare his love for Rachael after sending home Michelle Young during Monday’s finale. While he didn’t propose, the twosome left Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania ready to start their lives together in November 2020. While the show was airing, however, Rachael made headlines for allegations of racism. She apologized for her past, including attending an “Old South”-themed party on a plantation in 2018, but Matt ended their relationship over the phone in February, per sources.

Rachael Kirkconnell Calls Matt James Love of My Life After Split
Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James Courtesy of Rachael Kirkconnell/Instagram; ABC/Craig Sjodin

“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,” Rachael wrote on Monday. “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. i got to fall in love, and i truly believe he was the love of my life.”

Related: Shortest 'Bachelor' Relationships

The graphic designer added that Matt will “always hold a piece” of her heart.

“I’ll always be hopeful and believe what’s meant to be will be,” she concluded. “At the least, i hope tonight sparks conversations and a level of understanding. i hope it opens your mind to unlearning bias, to educating yourself, and gives you the push to initiate change. there are so many actions you can take, but i believe it starts within the small corners of your life, and having these conversations with those around you. it can’t happen over night and will be a never-ending ride, but i encourage you to take the leap and make a difference. we can change the world, together. i love you all and here’s to new beginnings.”

Rachael Kirkconnell Calls Matt James Love of My Life After Split Instagram
Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James Courtesy of Rachael Kirkconnell/Instagram

While Matt has yet to publicly react to Rachael’s declaration, After the Final Rose host Emmanuel Acho sent support in the comments section, writing, “Appreciate your vulnerability and humility. Wishing you nothing but the best my friend.”

During Monday’s After the Final Rose, Matt cited his discussions with Rachael about her past as the reason for the split.

Related: Rachael Kirkconnell: A Guide to the Controversial Contestant’s Family

“It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “If you don’t understand that something like that is problematic in 2018, there’s a lot of me that you won’t understand. It’s as simple as that.”

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