Everything We Know About Matt James’ Journey To Love On The Bachelor

Finding love on The Bachelor is never an easy process, and for Matt James, at one point it felt like an impossible task. In Matt’s original season promo, he admitted he was ready to fall in love, but the following teaser showed him looking super stressed and telling host Chris Harrison that he wasn’t handling the pressure of the show well.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight published in December 2020, Harrison hinted that Matt’s stress — aside from having to pick between dozens of drop dead gorgeous girls who are all interested in him romantically — came from things that didn’t have to do with the show at all. “There’s just stuff in his past, in is family,” Harrison said. “We all have baggage that has made us who we are. There is baggage that has made Matt the man he is. He’s a great man, but there are things that he’s going to have to get past, some hurdles he will have to clear, before he can find that happily ever after.”

Harrison added that the process completely stripped Matt down emotionally as he learned how he truly felt about finding love and what it meant for him. In his debut as the Bachelor on Jan. 4, 2021, Matt shared more insight with Harrison about why he was so nervous to even start the show in the first place. Keep reading to find out everything we know about Matt James’ journey to love on The Bachelor.

Matt James felt a huge responsibility as the first Black Bachelor

Aside from the internal pressure he felt about finally being ready to settle down romantically, Matt James opened up to Chris Harrison about why he felt a huge responsibility as not just the Bachelor, but as the first Black man to hold the position. “My mom is white and my dad is Black, and I experience what it was like to be a product of interracial marriage,” Matt started (via People). “And it’s tough because you’ve got people who have certain views, old-school views on what a relationship and what love looks like.”

“And you’ve got people who are cheering for you to find love. And then you’ve got people who are cheering for you to end up with a specific person, a specific person of a specific race,” he continued. “That’s something that kept me up at night. It’s like, I don’t want to piss off Black people, I don’t want to piss off white people, but I’m both of those,” he explained.

Even though he admitted to being nervous, Matt seemed to be an open book during his premiere. He even mentioned to contestant Kristin Hopkins during some one-on-one time that he felt “a load of responsibility” in his position. However, it seems like whatever drama and self-realization he faced during filming, Matt came out on the other side with true love.

Matt James admitted he found love on 'The Bachelor'

In an early January 2021 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Matt James shared that he did indeed experience love on The Bachelor. “Love to me looked different before I got to Nemacolin because of what I experienced up to that point,” Matt told ET‘s Lauren Zima. Nemacolin is the upscale golf resort in Pennsylvania where Matt’s season of the Bachelor was filmed — a far cry from the usual mansion used for filming in the hills of Los Angeles. “And yes, I guess I’d say I haven’t experienced love until I got out there,” he continued.

In his season premiere, viewers saw Matt reflect on the lack of positive romantic relationships he had in his life because his parents split when he was young. The North Carolina native told Chris Harrison that he felt being raised by a single mother affected his ability to give and receive love, which could definitely be a part of the struggles Harrison mentioned that Matt needed to overcome in order to find love. 

“That was huge,” Matt said of his upbringing. “That was kind of a crutch coming into this. Like, I don’t want to force something. I don’t want to put myself in a situation to hurt somebody or be hurt, and that was a realization I came to in quarantine. You’re never going to be more so or less so ready to experience this. You just gotta go into it, and I’m glad I did.”

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