"It was a bit of a journey, but I think we are in a really good place," Rachael shared withExtra.
"I think we've had a lot of love come our way, but I like to think that even though people have been super, super nice, we just like to focus on each other and put all of that aside and let that outside noise stay a little more quiet these days. So it's been good though, we've been good."
Matt agreed and said, "I think we just needed our time. Like Rachael said, there has been a lot of love that's been thrown our way, but it's nice to be in our own lane doing our thing and spending a lot of time together."
Matt explained how it's always been important "to seek authenticity."
"That is what drew me to Rachael and to go at our own pace and not fall victim to other people's expectations. That's kind of what we continue to do, and it's working for us," Matt said.
For future stars of The Bachelor series, Matt advised them to be true to themselves, follow their heart and be authentic.
"You can only be fake and phony for so long, and we're all just creatures of habit," Matt said.
"So the sooner you realize who you are and how real it is, the easier it's going to be for all of the women to accept that and find what you're looking for."
Matt and Rachael previously opened up to People about the "difficult" time they went through when trying to reconcile and fix their relationship after their February breakup.
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"I will say that, you know, of course it was difficult in the moment, but just being able to step back and work on our relationship to assess," Rachael, 24, said in July.
"Taking a moment away from the spotlight's been really good for us. It's been a lot better."
Matt also said he's trying to emulate couples who have had successful relationships, such as Rachael's parents who have been happily married for decades.
Matt gave Rachael his final rose on The Bachelor 25 finale, which filmed in late 2020, but the couple split in February 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.
Rachael issued multiple apologies on social media, but Matt explained onThe Bachelor: After the Final Rose in March that he wanted to give Rachael some time to educate herself on racism in society and gain awareness.
Matt apparently needed to know that Rachael could support him and truly understand his perspective as a Black man in America.
But according to Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone, Matt could only stand his breakup from Rachael for about a month because he allegedly began texting and FaceTiming her every day following their ATFR appearance, saying he still loved her and wanted her back.
Matt and Rachael apparently reunited on April 4 in New York City to give their relationship another shot, and they proceeded to hang out in Los Angeles and Miami before becoming an official couple again.
"There were rough patches in our relationship," Matt acknowledged during the May 25 episode of "The Pomp Podcast," likely alluding to the fact he had been accused of trying to hook up with an old Miami-based flame named Grace shortly before flying Rachael to New York to see him in early April.
Matt explained there was a point in time when he "wasn't really honoring" the commitment he had made to Rachael to work on their relationship" but a "come-to-Jesus meeting" with the brunette beauty got the couple's romance back on the right track.
"[Rachael] was like, 'If you're going to make this work, then let's do it. But, if you're not going to make it work, then I'm going to let you do your own thing.' That's really all I needed," Matt recalled.
Matt added, "The best thing about Rachael is her heart. She's the most kind, caring, and understanding person I've ever met... Everything we've been through, everything she's been through, she's stuck right by my side. She's continued to have a positive attitude."
E! News reported in early June that Matt and Rachael had begun discussing the possibility of Rachael relocating from Georgia to New York City, where Matt currently resides, and moving in together.
"Matt and Rachael are in a really good place right now and are getting serious. They are inseparable and talk all day, every day," a source close to Matt told the website.
"They have been making many plans to see each other so not a huge chunk of time passes before their next visit... [Rachael] has always loved the city, so it would work out well."
The source added that Matt "is truly in love" with Rachael and they "have a special bond" and "really turned a leaf in their relationship."