Matt James is happy with where his life stands following his headline-making stint on The Bachelor.
The most recent lead on ABC’s premiere dating show has been living in New York City with his roommate, fellow Bachelor Nation alum Tyler Cameron, and dating Rachael Kirkconnell, the woman he chose at the end of his journey to find love on The Bachelor. Now in Los Angeles competing on the current season of Dancing with the Stars, James has been able to cultivate a balance between living a public and private life, choosing to focus much of his energy on giving back.
For the most recent episode of In The Know’s pop culture interview series We Should Talk, Matt James opened up about life after The Bachelor, where his love of service work comes from, the importance of fitness in his life and more.
Listen to Matt James’ full episode of We Should Talk here, and keep reading for highlights from the interview.
On life after The Bachelor: “A lot of people like to focus on the negative and how hard it’s been, but that stuff’s really draining. I’m so blessed. I really don’t have anything to complain about. I’m just fortunate to be in the position I am: In a relationship with someone I’m in love with, being able to do things I wouldn’t have been able to do if I hadn’t gone on and went through everything I did. It’s been challenging, but there are more blessings than anything, and I always try to find the good in any situation — and there’s a lot to be thankful for. That’s kinda how I process it. I’m not bitter about anything. I’m actually excited about what the future holds and just looking forward and not looking back.”
On his latest community project: “With everything that’s gone on with COVID, we’ve had a chance to refocus our mission, and it was interesting because … when everything shut down, you’re not going to your local spots anymore. You’re having to retrain how you think about your schedule, how you think about food — and I had to do the same thing. I relocated down to Florida with Tyler [Cameron], and one of the first things that we did was we actually ordered a hydroponic farm stand. We started growing our own food. I was skeptical at first because I don’t have a green thumb … but the Farmstand makes it easy, and I was blown away with how simple the process was with growing our own food, harvesting it, how it tasted and how quickly it happened. Me and Tyler started having the conversation around, if most people have access to water and electricity and [there’s] scarcity of space in the city, why shouldn’t we bring something like this to our students in New York? The families could benefit from having access for the first time to fresh, healthy, non-pesticide foods!”
On navigating the balance between public and private life with Rachael Kirkconnell: “What I’d seen is that people who have gone on the show try to continue living their life like they’re on a show. These are conversations that I have with Rachael frequently, and she understands. It’s just reminding each other, like, we aren’t on a TV show anymore. This is real life, and we don’t have to do things to try to please an audience or America. I’m trying to empower her to be the best woman she can be and accomplish her goals and be there and support each other, and that’s really the only responsibility we have to each other and not to anybody else. That’s how we go about our relationship, just not trying to continue to act like we’re on a show and do this and that for everybody. You want to share your relationship with everyone who is invested in it, but ultimately, you have to make decisions for yourself, because when things get hard, you and your significant other are the only person who is there for each other — not the person who is tuned in.”
On learning from his friend Tyler Cameron: “You learn from other people. My roommate [Tyler] having been on the show, I just take a lot of the lessons he had to go through and continues to have to go through and just apply them to my life. He’s one of the most positive people I know and always has the best outlook on life, where he’s at and opportunities. When you surround yourself with people like that, that’s contagious. I feel like that’s a big reason why I have such an optimistic outlook on what the future holds, for my relationship and for just everything going forward.”
On advice he received from Chris Harrison: “When I was on The Bachelor, Chris Harrison shared a very interesting anecdote that stuck with me and is some of the best advice I got — or just the best philosophy from his experience of seeing people coming through the franchise: The show doesn’t change who you are, it just amplifies who you are. … You’re still the same person, it just amplifies what you’re able to do and provide to the world in some capacity. For me, it’s been able to amplify or accelerate the things that I want to do in the community with my non-profit and the service work that I have in mind … and this partnership with Lettuce Grow and putting hydroponic farm stands in classrooms across the country.”
Watch In The Know’s full interview with Matt James below, and find out more about his partnership with Lettuce Grow here.
If you enjoyed this article, check out In The Know’s recent interview with former ‘Bachelorette’ star Tayshia Adams!
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