Matt's new book, First Impressions: Off Screen Conversations with a Bachelor on Race, Family, and Forgiveness, was released on Tuesday, May 3, and the former The Bachelor star wrote about his fast-moving romance with Rachael on the show.
Matt revealed in an excerpt of his book obtained by Us Weekly that he wanted to spend all of his time with Rachael while taping the show's 25th season, which premiered in January 2021.
Matt also shared how he knew "early in the process" that he was going to pick Rachael as his winner, way ahead of the finale, which also featured his runner-up Michelle Young.
"In the beginning, she cut through the polished front I'd honed and into my nerdy side," Matt wrote of Rachael, according to Us.
"We debated who was the bigger fan of How to Train Your Dragon and Marvel movies. I observed her empathy from afar, noticed how her kindness extended beyond our time alone and to everyone else she encountered."
Matt was also apparently smitten with the Atlanta native's kind heart and family values.
"I listened to how she spoke about her family. Conversations deepened after that. I discussed the troubled legacy I felt I had been handed," Matt shared, referring to his father's absence from his life.
"I told her about my own reservations about falling in love, for fear of history repeating itself."
Matt wrote that Rachael "cared for my wounds" and "exposed hers in return," which enabled them to develop a sincere connection.
However, Matt said he wasn't thrilled with how he was portrayed on The Bachelor.
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In fact, Matt wrote that he "barely recognized" himself when watching the show's premiere on ABC.
"This had been billed as 'my' season, but it wasn't, not really at least," Matt wrote.
"I thought I was in the driver's seat. I didn't remember handing over ownership of my story; but watching the premiere, it was clear that I had. The producers would craft my story now."
Matt insisted he "deeply appreciated" the lineup of bachelorettes who had taken time out of their lives to meet him, open up on-camera and compete for his heart.
However, he couldn't handle the "blatantly inauthentic dramatic twists that waited around every corner," Us reported of Matt's writing.
Matt explained in First Impressions how he disliked those "stay tuned for..." teasers and the fact drama had been created "for drama's sake."
"I didn't appreciate just how mean-spirited people could get with one another. The calculated conflicts wore on me," Matt wrote.
Matt sent Michelle home before his final date with Rachael and ultimately gave his final rose to Rachael.
The pair briefly split in February 2021 when racially-ignorant and racially-insensitive photos from Rachael's past resurfaced online, including a 2018 image of Rachael attending an antebellum-themed "Old South" party at her Georgia college with sorority sisters.
Matt recalled seeing Rachael on Valentine's Day weekend that month.
"She didn't know about the context of the party when she chose to attend; it was just another college event in her mind," Matt wrote.
"She didn't offer her ignorance as an excuse. Just a fact -- she paired it with the facts of her remorse and regret. Tears streamed down both our faces. She apologized for the pain I felt."
Matt said he decided to forgive Rachael, but then they didn't speak for weeks until immediately before reuniting in March 2021 for the live The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special.
And the pair's dynamic onstage appeared tense and cold. Matt explained on After the Final Rose how he wanted to give Rachael some time to educate herself on racism in society and gain awareness.
"The entire conversation between us felt like it was in service of the viewers rather than each other. We caught people up. We remained noncommittal. We spoke in cold, curt sentences," Matt recalled in his book, adding how he had grown out a long beard to separate himself from his The Bachelor image and who the world wanted him to be.
"But when the cameras shut off, we strode hand in hand back to the green room. We both still felt the spark. We took the rare opportunity to speak face-to-face and agreed to keep working on us."
Matt admitted that he "took advantage" of his "undefined, gray space" with Rachael after the live special and "reconnected with former flings," including a woman named Grace in Miami, FL.
When Rachael found out, she felt betrayed and therefore gave Matt an ultimatum to date her -- and her alone -- or they'd be finished forever.
Matt recalled Rachael telling, "I know we're not together right now, but I thought we were building toward something. You need to decide if that is what you want or not. I won't be just another girl you're talking to."
Matt wasn't sure he'd ever see Rachael again after that argument, but he "pleaded, coaxed and convinced" her to meet up with him in Atlanta in April 2021.
The couple apparently hashed out their issues in a parking lot while sitting in Rachael's car.
"We talked for four hours in that car about all of the issues that had kept us apart -- her mistakes, my mistakes, insecurities, family drama, public perception, and everything else under the sun," Matt wrote.
"I decided to be better going forward. She had done self-work that I hadn't reciprocated. I promised her that I was all in. It was the best decision I could have made."
Matt suggested The Bachelor producers played no role in his reunion with Rachael or the rebuilding of their relationship amid the racism scandal. He even slammed the show for treating them poorly and seemingly not caring about their mental health.
Matt recently said his relationship with Rachael is thriving due to good communication, spending a lot of time with each other, getting to know each other on a deep level, and building trust.
The pair has seemingly been inseparable ever since they decided to give their relationship another shot.