“A lot of time has passed, Rachael still feels something for Matt and vice versa,” the source reveals. “They were a good match and you can’t just shut feelings off that easily. Matt still cares for Rachael.”
The 29-year-old gave his final rose to Kirkconnell, 24, and they ended season 25 of the ABC dating series as a couple. However, they revealed their split during the After the Final Rose special amid the Georgia native’s racism scandal. Kirkconnell was accused of bullying a fellow high school student for “liking black guys” several years before appearing on the reality series. Photos of her attending an “old South” plantation-themed party in 2018 also resurfaced at the time. A separate source confirmed to Life & Style that the couple was “no longer together” on March 8.
“Matt and Rachael had a connection on the show, that was very evident,” the insider adds. “The antebellum ball scandal was at a fever pitch and the awkward final ceremony and Matt’s breakup was a result of all that. There was a ton of pressure on Matt and he did what he felt was right at the time.”
Prior to the news of their split, Kirkconnell issued an apology statement about her past actions. “At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them,” she wrote in February. “My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or OK in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”
The former flames first sparked reconciliation rumors in early April when they were spotted together in New York. However, Kirkconnell allegedly discovered that the North Carolina native was “talking to another girl” during the trip, Us Weekly reported.
“He flew her to NYC. They’ve been working on their relationship privately over the past few months and taking the next steps to get back together,” an insider revealed to the outlet. “She’s very emotional right now because she was very hopeful that things were going to work out. She’s still trying to process this.”
Since then, the pair appeared to have been in Atlanta at the same time on April 15. Most recently, Reality Steve reported on Friday, April 23, that the exes have spent “all week” together in California. He also shared a candid snapshot of the pair at Bear Flag Fish Co in Newport Beach.