'The Bachelor' 's Rachael Kirkconnell Is in a 'Good Place' with Matt James: It Was 'a Journey'

Matt James told PEOPLE in April that he was "pursuing" a relationship with Rachael Kirkconnell after they announced their split on TV

Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell have reached a "good place" in their relationship.

During an interview with Extra, the Bachelor Nation couple — who recently rekindled their relationship — opened up about their romance, revealing that these days they like to just "focus on each other."

"It was a bit of a journey," Kirkconnell, 24, said of getting back on track. "But I think we're in a really good place. 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."

While James and Kirkconnell are happy, the former Bachelor, 29, shared that the pair needed "time" to reach where they are now.

"We needed our time... There has been a lot of love thrown our way," he said, echoing similar sentiments as Kirkconnell. "It's been nice to be in our own lane, doing our thing and spending a lot of time together."

James also stressed: "The importance has always been to seek authenticity... and 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."

Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James attend the 2021 Sports Humanitarian Awards on July 12, 2021 in New York City
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

James and Kirkconnell fell in love during his Bachelor season, which aired earlier this year. During the After the Final Rose special in March, the couple revealed that they split following backlash Kirkconnell received over her past racially insensitive actions resurfacing.

The pair sparked reconciliation rumors after being spotted out together in Los Angeles and New York City. James then confirmed to PEOPLE in April that he's "pursuing" a relationship with Kirkconnell.

James and Kirkconnell recently told PEOPLE how they were able to overcome the challenging chapter in their relationship.

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"Of course it was difficult in the moment, but just being able to step back and work on our relationship to assess. Taking a moment away from the spotlight's been really good for us," Kirkconnell said. "It's been a lot better."

James said that he's aiming to "emulate" relationships that he feels "are prospering."

"I think that I look to people who have been where I'm trying to get to," he continued. "Rachael's parents have been in a relationship for a long time. They've been married for probably about as long as I've been alive."

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