And while he managed to keep it together during the rose ceremony and in the immediate aftermath, the 31-year-old financial planner admits he sobbed out his heartbreak the following day.
“I was really surprised and I was in shock,” he says of leaving the mansion without a rose, despite having seemed a sure bet for the finale.
“I’m not much a crier but I did cry later at home, I just let it all out. At the time I think I was in so much shock that it just didn’t hit me, I was digesting it. But the next day I jumped in the ocean and let it all out which was good to do.”
James says he believes the reason Sophie sent him home that night was down to his failure in an expert-led compatibility test. But despite it all, he still believes his compatibility with Sophie was through the roof.
“I was looking around the room and I could only really see Apollo or Stu being more compatible (than me) with Sophie,” he says. “But she made a decision and I’m happy for her if she’s happy. I’m obviously gutted, but if it was meant to work out for us it would have.”
Since the show ended James says he has put a hold on dating again. And he’s still not certain he’s ready to move on with another woman too quickly.
“I think I’m still working through all of this and then once the show is over I can close the book and move on a bit,” he explains. “I’m open but I haven’t been looking. If it happens, it happens.”
WATCH: James and Sophie's hilarious single date (story continues after video)
And while a romance with Sophie wasn’t on the cards, James says he hopes that the pair can maintain a friendship in the aftermath of the series.
“I completely accept her decision and am at peace with it and I wish her much happiness,” he says. “More than anything I’d love to be best friends after this because we get on so well. I’d love to turn what we have into being best friends. I think she’s awesome.”