Michael called Katie "extraordinary" and said he could picture himself being able to love her, and Katie in turn gushed in a confessional, "I think this could be the start of me falling in love with Michael, and it's so unexpected!"
But as the season progressed, Michael was shown missing his son like crazy.
Being a single father, Michael seemed a little upset when Greg Grippo received a one-on-one date before hometowns because he needed that reassurance from Katie.
Michael said he still wasn't sure how Katie would move into his life, which also includes the in-laws of his late wife, Laura.
But Katie promised the bachelor that she wouldn't force him into something they weren't ready for.
Katie also shared how she could picture a "dream" life with Michael A. and his son James and that she thought about what their future might look like every single day. Michael A. agreed that love is what mattered and he and Katie could figure everything else out later on.
Michael appeared to receive the validation he needed from Katie when she offered him the group date's only rose.
Will Michael be ready to introduce Katie to his son and take their relationship to the next level, or will he come down with a case of cold feet? Until viewers can find out what happens next in their relationship, let's learn a little bit about Michael right now.
Michael, a self-proclaimed "aspiring do-gooder," is also the founder of The L4 Project in Cleveland, OH.
The L4 Project is a socially-conscious clothing company that raises awareness of and provides financial resources to charities across the country. The charities receive 100 percent of the clothing-sale proceeds.
Michael took courses in Communication and Media Studies at Loyola University Chicago, where he graduated from in 2006.
Michael received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the university.
During his college years, Michael volunteered for Meals on Wheels as well as the Akron Boys and Girls Club.
Michael essentially spent his entire adult life with one woman
Michael was previously married to Laura Ritter-Allio, who died from breast cancer in January 2019 when their son James -- who is now four years old and is the center of Michael's universe -- was very young.
Michael had met Laura in college and they married in 2012. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 and died only two years later after a fierce battle in which the couple had traveled the country in search of a cure.
Michael wrote a beautiful, heartfelt message in remembrance of Laura on Instagram.
"For you were meant to move. Set sail into life's prevailing winds. Without fear of what you'll lose... Life's taken all you had to give. With little left for you to use... The love you possess never dies. As long as there's more love to give. Love you Pumpkin," he wrote in part.
Michael added the following hashtags to his post, "#grief #celebratelife #widowed #livelifelikelaura #thel4project #singledad #parenting #love #grateful #cancersucks #raisingjames #support #familyfirst #movingforward #legacy #rememberance."
Michael went on his first date five months after Laura's passing, and he admitted on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast hosted by Season 14 The Bachelorette star Becca Kufrin it was a strange experience since he and his late wife had been together for 16 years.
Becca noted on her podcast she's rooting for Michael to become the next The Bachelor star because he came across incredibly sweet and genuine in his interview.
Michael dished on his decision to compete for Katie's heart during his recent appearance on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast and said, "I never applied for this. It was never something I had in my plan whatsoever, and producers reached out to me."
"At first, all I really saw was downside risk, that's kind of how I think. But it was one of those things where 2019 was really difficult and 2020 was really difficult and it felt like the perfect time to bet on myself, take a risk, get outside of my box, and try to find some ways to grow and find love and that missing piece in my life that is really so vital."
Producers apparently reached out to Michael via Instagram in attempt to cast him on The Bachelorette.
"Crazy enough, I actually said 'no' to [the show] twice, not because I didn't believe in it. It was just, 'Is this how I want to go about finding that missing piece?' It's such an absurd idea, but it's sort of a really beautiful thing too," Michael said.
Michael recalled how his journey getting on the show was a bit "unorthodox" because he wanted a blessing from both his own parents as well as his in-laws.
"We all really leaned on each other and have kind of grown over the past three years. When producers reached out to me to be on this show with Katie and everything, I wanted to ask [my in-laws] first about their opinion. And so after going back and forth and trying to figure out the pros and cons and all of that, I went to my parents [for advice]," Michael recalled.
"I asked, 'Is this something I should do?' And we went back and forth a bunch. My parents have always been so incredibly supportive, they're really good people, and my mom and sister, I believe, they said, 'I hear everything you're saying, but every time you're talking about this, you're smiling.'"
Michael said he realized the idea of appearing on The Bachelorette gave him a little "pep in [his] step" because he had been "in a rut" before the show.
But he acknowledged his decision to go on The Bachelorette was not just his own.
"There's a lot of people who are affected with it in my world -- people that I really love and cherish, and so I did say that before I decided to go on the show, I wouldn't go on unless my in-laws have given me full approval," Michael shared.
"Basically, like, this is my out to do something that may make me feel uncomfortable but they were supportive, too. They understand that we've all been through some very crazy moments together."
Michael would love to end up with a woman who is compassionate, empathetic, resilient and not easily offended.
He hopes to find a witty woman with a funny bone and a self-deprecating sense of humor.
Michael is also turned on by a woman who has strong convictions and stands up against ignorance.
When it comes to dating, Michael tells women that he's a packaged deal with James and he wouldn't have it any other way.
Michael says his life is incredibly fulfilling but would love to find a woman to share it with. He says life is short and so he's ready for a partner who will make him a better person every day when they are together.
Katie dished out superlatives for her cast of guys, and Michael nearly swept the board!
During a June 7 appearance on Good Morning America, Katie gave Michael the following titles: "Best Date" and "Who Would Make the Best Father?"
Katie also named Michael "The Best Husband Material!"
Michael, however, lost out on "Best Kisser" and "Most Attractive" among a couple of others.
Michael has won more awards than just Katie's "best in cast" superlatives
Michael received the Crain's Cleveland 40 Under 40 Award in business in September 2020.
According to Michael's LinkedIn, Crain's 40 Under Forty honorees are making a difference in their companies and their communities and are committed to the future of Northeast Ohio. They range from professionals to entrepreneurs to community servants.
Michael was also the Ian Schwarber Scholarship Recipient awarded by Leadership Ohio. He was one of 36 "Leaders for the Class of 2020."
The Akron Chamber of Commerce also gave Michael the award for Akron Chamber's 30 for the Future in May 2019. The award apparently honors young professionals (ages 25-39) whose stellar contributions impact their industries and the Greater Akron Region.
In addition, Michael was the Keynote Speaker at Susan G. Komen Pink Tie Guys in March 2019. The event raised awareness and funds for breast cancer research and future drug-treatment developments.