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‘The Bachelor’ Recap: Matt James Tells Rachael Kirkconnell He Has ‘Fallen in Love’ With Her During Fantasy Suites Week

A loaded week. Matt James confronted his father, admitted his feelings for Rachael and chose his final two women during the Monday, March 8, episode of The Bachelor.

Related: What We Know About Matt James' Family

Matt first sat down with his father for an emotional conversation about the demons he carried with him due to his dad’s absence in his life. Matt admitted he feared commitment because of his parents’ fraught marriage, which his dad encouraged him to let go of. However, Matt felt they needed to talk about it for the first time for him to work through his anxieties ahead of getting into a serious relationship.

The Bachelor 25x09 Recap
Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell on ‘The Bachelor’. ABC/Craig Sjodin

As Matt broke down in tears, his father apologized and vowed to try to do better. Matt, in turn, forgave his dad for not being around when he needed him. Matt also acknowledged that he didn’t have to follow in his father’s footsteps. The two left the exchange promising to work on their relationship.

Matt then headed into his date with Michelle. After enjoying a day at the spa, the pair talked about him feeling most comfortable with her family out of all the ones he met and her wanting to spend the rest of her life with him. She told him she loved him, and they spent the night together in the fantasy suite.

Related: Rachael Kirkconnell: A Guide to Her Family

Bri landed the next date, which involved hiking and camping in the woods. She told Matt she would accept a proposal from him on the spot, and she opened up about her own tense relationship with her dad. Bri then told Matt she was in love with him, and they stayed together in the fantasy suite. Bri later revealed that Matt said he was ready for an engagement.

The Bachelor 25x09 Recap
Matt James and Bri Springs on ‘The Bachelor’. ABC/Craig Sjodin

Rachael, meanwhile, got the final date of the week, causing her insecurities to pile up as she waited for time with Matt. She feared his connections with Bri and Michelle grew stronger and wondered if she needed to ask him if she should leave altogether. Rachael eventually pulled Matt aside from their ceramics class to ask if his feelings for her had changed. He told her he wanted to fully explore his other relationships so they could both be confident in the end if he chose her but reiterated that seeing her crash during their skydiving date the week before scared him into picturing life without her.

Related: Bachelor Nation Supports Matt After He Calls Out Franchise

“Where I’m at with you is I’ve fallen in love with you,” Matt told Rachael, to which she replied: “I’m head over heels for you. I’m completely in love with you.”

Rachael then felt sure of where she stood with Matt and said that she was ready for an engagement. After he opened up to her about his dad — something he did with all three women — she told Matt that she knew he would never walk away from his future family. They then spent the night together in the fantasy suite.

At the rose ceremony, Matt sent home Bri, explaining that it was just a feeling he had due to where his heart was leading him. She was sad but not angry and noted that it would be hard to see him move on with someone else.

Us editors discuss Colton Underwood’s coming out in this Here for the Right Reasons podcast highlight!

The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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