❝You are where you are, right?❞— Rafael reassuring Jane
Rafael was born in Italy and adopted by Elena and Emilio Solano, the latter being a cold, critical and distant man. They brought him to America and raised him as their own until Elena left when Rafael was just 4 years old, to be raised by Emilio along with his sister, Luisa. Rafael is attempting to find his place in the world and, as he has recently come to understand better that he is longing for the security of a true family. A step on the way has been discovering that Elena and Emilio are not his biological parents – he was born in Italy. His journey now will be one of finding out who he is and what he wants, once he knows.
After talking with his sister, Luisa, to work up the nerve, Rafael is finally ready to accept that he has wanted to end his marriage to Petra for a year. When Petra, unbeknownst to Rafael, uses his last chance of having a baby, he is understandably upset but also confused about the big life choice he had just made to divorce, and what his future will now hold when there is a child involved. Because chances are slim, Rafael finds his desires have shifted to him really wanting to have children, so when Jane turns out to be carrying his child he hopes against hope that she will want to keep the baby, which she ends up doing.
Amidst the weirdness and confusion of the situation, Rafael decides to give his marriage another chance, but definitively ends it soon afterwards, as he figures out that Petra cheated on him with his college roommate, Zaz. Rafael is surprised to find himself drawn to Jane Villanueva, after initially stating he thought of her more as a sister and his feelings build to a point where he wants to have a relationship with Jane – and very quickly also a serious future together.
During this epic shift in his life, Rafael works through the obstacles in his father's perception of his potential and gains more and more responsibility with The Marbella. The confluence of his father's murder, his mother's reappearance and Jane rejecting his impromptu proposal, overwhelms Rafael. He is lost, does not know what to focus on or how to move forward and decides to break up with Jane, whom he feels he can't give everything that he feels she deserves..
After focusing on one thing – the future of The Marbella and Emilio Solano's legacy – Rafael finds some clarity and lays to rest the notion that Emilio was anything other than the distant, cold excuse of a father that he was. Rafael decides to forego his father's business empire, save for The Marbella, and focus on what he wants – at this point, it is winning Jane back.
After the birth of Mateo, Rafael panics at learning of Mateo's abduction by Sin Rostro and does everything he can to get him back, including working with Michael Cordero. After Sin Rostro arranges a trade for Mateo with Michael, Rafael tells Michael he wants him to be Mateo's godfather – a decision which is later fraught by Rafael and Michael's ongoing competition for Jane's affections. Rafael returns to focusing on his newborn son and winning Jane's heart, while, unbeknownst to him, his ex-wife Petra is complicating matters by self-impregnating with Rafael's hitherto lost second 'sample.'
Suddenly having to deal with caring for the now mother-to-be of his unborn child, changes the dynamic between him and Jane, puts Petra in-between them and further complicates a possible reunion of Jane and Rafael. When Rafael learns that Jane not only has chosen Michael but also declares that she has fallen out of love with Rafael, he is both heartbroken and worried for Mateo's safety given Michael's profession and Michael's previous conduct as a detective. The tension and Michael's fear of losing Jane leads to Michael having an aggressive reaction toward Rafael – which has Jane rejecting Michael in spite of her feelings for him.
Jane attempts to mend fences with Rafael, who is hurt by her deferential, blinded attitude when it comes to Michael, but Rafael chooses to focus on successful co-parenting of Mateo and this is their first step toward reconciliation. When Rafael starts dating Jill from Mateo's mommy group, he is surprised at Jane's jealousy, but she maintains that it's fine for her. Rafael, however, eventually realizes that he can't continue seeing Jill when Jane is the one he loves. Rafael also attends his first Villanueva thanksgiving celebration, remarking that this is what he's always most wanted – to feel part of a real family.
He and Jane decide to go out on a real date, but it is cut short by the revelation that Rafael did turn Michael in. Jane is furious – but so is Rafael. The two attempt couples counseling to find a way to be in the same room, for Mateo's sake. Jane's assertion is that Rafael uses the money to do what he wants. Rafael breaks and tells her he turned Michael in because Michael let Nadine go; Nadine who now works for the woman who killed his father. Jane realizes that she's been blinded by her feelings for Michael to his actions and finally apologizes to Rafael. At this time, Rafael is also rocked by seeing his mother for the second time, unexpectedly, when she is called in to testify in the Mutter investigation. She tries to talk with him, but he is still profoundly wounded by the revelation that she took money to abandon him and refuses to talk. Simultaneously, Luisa, as part of the investigation, reveals that she's been in contact with Rose — Sin Rostro, who kidnapped Mateo, and he is furious and feels betrayed by his sister.
Petra's stressed by her mother, which shows at a doctor's appointment and Rafael asks her to tell the truth. Petra confesses everything — everything — that's happened with Magda and what she's done. Rafael gets a new understanding of Petra as having been raised as a soldier to be commanded by her Magda. Rafael promises her to help get rid of Magda for good. He starts spending more time with Petra, now that he knows she is honest and confides in her about his mother. Petra encourages Rafael to give his mother a chance to explain and he reluctantly does. She turns out to be Mutter and has sought out Rafael to get leverage on Sin Rostro. Michael realizes this and runs to warn Rafael, finding him unconscious in his home. Rafael is horrified at the thought that his mother is a drug lord, a competitor of Sin Rostro and that his father was involved with Mutter's criminal activities as well. Despite the tidal wave of hurt having washed over Rafael, he retains his sanity and Petra supports him, telling him that he's not his parents. Rafael and Petra bond and get closer and decide on what they want to name the twins.
Rafael and Petra work together to keep an important account for the hotel and Rafael cements how Petra isn't the person she was when they were married — cold and calculating. They share a moment where Rafael kisses her, but Petra stops the kiss, asking if he's over Jane which Rafael can't confirm. After helping the police with catching Rose, and she dies in the process, Luisa tries to make amends with Rafael and start to rebuilt trust, but Rafael is hesitant. After Jane announces to Rafael that she has reunited with Michael, Rafael is heartbroken. He tries to feel better by trying to get together with Petra, but she rejects him as she doesn't want to be his Jane-rebound. Jane tries to make Rafael and Michael get along, which is a hard sell with Rafael who doesn't trust Michael around Mateo after what happened with Nadine. Rafael agrees to try and make it work with co-parenting between the three of them.
Rafael starts hooking up with random women to quell his heartbreak but simultaneously works with Michael to ensure that Derek, his newly acquainted half-brother is not working with Mutter. When Petra goes into labor, Jane is with her and Michael tries to get Rafael to the hospital but they're stuck in a massive traffic jam on the freeway. Eventually, Michael breaks all kinds of laws when he sees how upset Rafael is and gets them out of the holding pattern. Rafael sadly misses the birth of his twin girls but is there right after to meet them for the first time and he is overjoyed. Despite their engagement, Rafael gets along better with Jane and Michael. He tries to help Petra, who is not spending time with the twins, feel comfortable with motherhood. When the Villanueva house is flooded, Rafael puts up the family at The Marbella. Jane and Michael want to buy a house that's situated 45 min. away from Rafael and he's uncomfortable with the idea that it'll mean less time together for him and Mateo.
Rafael spends more time with his half-brother, still trying to figure out whether he can trust him. After spending time working with Michael and the Miami PD to find this out, Rafael hires a private company to illegally search Derek's boat. Rafael finally becomes convinced that Derek is telling the truth, but Derek turns out to have been aware that Rafael was checking up on him and sets Rafael up to unknowingly commit insider-trading while drunk. Rafael uses the money he earned to buy the competing Fairwick Hotel. Meanwhile, Mateo calls Michael 'dada' in front of Rafael and he is hurt, which leads him to realize that he wants 3 days/week with Mateo, instead of just two, so he can be sure that he is a big part of Mateo's life. Jane and Rafael agree that they need a formal custody agreement and decide to use a mediator to help make it more amicable. Meanwhile, Petra confronts Rafael when she learns that the twins' trust fund is smaller than Mateo's and Rafael admits that it's because he doesn't trust Petra after everything she's put him through over the years.
Derek reports Rafael to the FBI for insider trading and Rafael doesn't know what to do. He attends an awkward Easter celebration hosted by Petra with the Villanuevas, Rogelio, and Michael, but worry looms over him. Jane finally talks to him about what's going on and she is shocked to discover what Derek's done to Rafael. Rafael takes advice from Petra who comes up with a plan to trick Derek, but he is not fooled and it falls through. Rafael then takes Jane's advice and they learn that Derek was working against Mutter, who is found trapped at the Fairwick Hotel and finally arrested. Mateo celebrates his first birthday, but gets a fever and has to go to the hospital. While there, Jane and Rafael bond over having managed their first year as his parents. Rafael feels the sting of his heartache as he remembers a time when he and Jane were reconciling. As Jane's wedding rolls around, Rafael vacillates over whether to tell Jane how he feels about her. Luisa returns from rehab and advices Rafael against it, as they start talking again. Rafael imagines telling Jane in his mind but ultimately decides not to, because of how happy she is and he loves her too much to ruin that. At the ceremony, Rafael sits in the audience, pained, as he watches Jane marry someone else. Afterward, Rafael propositions Petra, not knowing that Anežka has swapped hers and Petra's identities. Anežka happily agrees and they have sex.
After seeing Jane walk down the aisle and marry someone else, Rafael has the chance to feel closure on his romance with her and finally get to move on. After Michael is shot, Rafael cares for Mateo and protects him 24-7, while Jane's in the hospital. After sleeping with Anežka (whom Rafael believes to be Petra) he tells her that he didn't feel anything and they shouldn't start a relationship. Hurt, Anežka plots with Magda to destroy Rafael. Having let go of the romance of his and Jane's relationship, Rafael takes some new stances in his role as Mateo's father, resulting is their co-parenting becoming more balanced. Luisa has gone missing after being kidnapped by Rose and is gone for two months, leaving Rafael worried about his sister. Once she returns, he is relieved but alert to Luisa's emotional condition and whether she's telling the truth about Rose. Luisa brings with her the news that Rose killed Derek Ruvelle and Rafael's mother, Elena Di Nola. Rafael says Elena isn't dead and Michael immediately orders a check on Elena's cell, where she's found dying, likely from poison, saying "my son" and holding a bible.
Rafael has to talk with Dennis Chambers, who's investigating Elena's murder, and doesn't really want to dwell on yet another murder of someone who was supposed to be family but wasn't part of his life. However, Luisa is there to support him, although he still seems unsure of what he thinks of her. Despite having mostly an adversarial relationship thus far (on Rogelio's part), Rogelio suddenly tries to ask Rafael for a favor — going on a date with Amanda Elaine. Rafael's offended that Rogelio would only talk to him to ask a favor and something so gratuitous and he declines. "Petra" (Anežka) suddenly comes to Rafael wanting to sell her share of the hotel and gives him 48 hours to come up with the money to buy her out. Rafael talks to Jane about something not seeming right with Petra and Jane promises to investigate at dinner with "Petra" and Scott. Rafael reluctantly agrees to the date with Amanda when Jane asks him. Luisa comes to Rafael, saying she feels like she might drink and that she probably shouldn't be alone. Rafael asks Rogelio, in turn, to stay with Luisa. Rogelio learns who Rafael is from spending time with Luisa and apologizes to Rafael for not seeing him until now. Rogelio and Rafael spend some time together as a family. "Petra" (Anežka) threatens to expose Rafael's cover-up of Emilio's financial mess back when Emilio was killed which will send him to prison and she gives him 24 hours to sell his shares of the hotel and give her permission to sell hers, too. Jane tells Rafael that she doesn't think "Petra" is actually Petra.
Jane and Rafael talk about it in his office and decide that it can't be real that Anežka paralyzed Petra and is posing as her. However, they keep vacillating, so Rafael and Michael set up a nanny cam in a bear in "Petra's" suite to check if it's really Petra and not Anežka. Rafael watches the footage late into the night but finds nothing. He works on getting Rogelio an audition for an American film, as he knows the producers, one of them a friend named Claire he knows from university. Rafael also offers Michael to work out at The Marbella gym, as Michael's getting in shape for his physical before returning to work. They meet up there, but Michael gets insecure about Rafael's fitness and starts making rude comments to him. Michael later accuses Rafael of trying to sleep with a married woman and sets their progress back. Rogelio tricks Rafael into talking with Michael as the four of them - including Mateo - drive together. Rogelio has to leave for his audition, but the guys fight and Mateo is lost for 14 seconds. In the aftermath, Michael admits why he was acting up and apologizes to Rafael, who in turn apologizes to Michael for not considering that Jane was engaged when she and Rafael fell in love. Picking up Rogelio after his audition, Michael realizes that the clues Elena left are numbers. Rafael and Rogelio realize it's a bank account. Petra reveals to Rafael that she was paralyzed and that she wants Rafael out of the hotel for good.
Petra is so hurt that Rafael didn't realize he was around Anežka the whole time, and by what he said about her as a mother, that she is throwing Rafael out at the end of the following week. Rafael apologizes and tries to plead with Petra because of their kids, but Petra's staunch. Meanwhile, Rafael runs into Jane at the hotel and meets Catalina for the first time. They hit it off famously, but Jane feels insecure about Catalina's life in comparison to her own and tries to shut it down. Rafael's annoyed at Jane's interference because he really likes Cat. After sorting things, Cat shows up at Rafael's door and they start seeing each other. Rafael makes a plan with Scott to get Petra to give him back his shares and agree to not blackmail Rafael anymore, leaving Rafael owing Scott a favor.
When Michael decodes Mutter's message in the bible, Rafael is led down the road to discover that his parents are not his biological parents – and also that the Solano family's valuable art collection was stolen by Emilio, from a convent in Italy. Rafael is shocked to learn this from the Nun who agreed to steal the art in exchange for money for poor children. Wanting to make amends for the horrendous Solano errors, Rafael confides in Michael and Jane that he covered up his father's cooked books, which Rafael discovered when Emilio was murdered. Temporarily hurt at the thought of losing what he thought were his family's belongings, Rafael comes to terms with how holding on to things won't change how horrible his family actually was to him, despite the fact that it rips the small semblance of a foundation that he has out from under him. He decides to turn himself into the police, even if it means that he has to serve a prison sentence for hiding the art, to set a good example for Mateo, Ellie, and Anna. Cat calls Jane, telling her that Rafael's not doing well and Jane visits him, trying to get him to talk about what's hurting him. Rafael confides in her that he's not the son of Elena and Emilio.
- Michael – You don't have to make your decision right now
- Rafael – I've already decided. I wanna set a good example for Mateo. So I have to stop this completely insane and corrupt cycle that is the Solano family
- ―Rafael's turning himself in
Rafael gets a DNA test, which confirms he is not related to the Solanos. Meanwhile, Petra accuses him of working with Scott and, focused on his own plight, Rafael continues to demean Petra, condescendingly telling her that she's being paranoid, despite her assertion actually being true. Going through Emilio's records, Rafael discovers that Emilio had an addendum to his will drawn up, which stipulates his fortune will only be inherited by his biological children. This makes Rafael even more sure that Emilio knew Rafael wasn't his biological son, and that's why Emilio was emotionally abusive toward Rafael, but not Luisa. Petra poses as Anežka and learns that Scott and Rafael did work together and she confronts Rafael with the knowledge, threatening him. Rafael also learns from Jane that Cat is actually married, but she swears she's getting a divorce and that it's over, although Rafael and Jane discuss how they both aren't sure they trust her.
Rafael decides to end things with Cat, which he tells Jane, but Cat finds out beforehand from Petra, who offers her money to keep Rafael out of the hotel so Petra can search his apartment. During a trip to a sweat lodge, Rafael passes out and ends up becoming emotional, revealing his newly discovered parentage. Cat is kind and there for him, and later reveals something personal about herself as well. Because of this, she tells him the truth about her arrangement with Petra and Rafael discovers that Petra has been surveilling him. He realizes that Petra isn't out to get him, but in fact, suffering from PTSD following her paralysis. Rafael asks Catalina to leave as he doesn't find her trustworthy and has so much going on, so he tells her that's not what he wants in his life at this moment. Rafael also gets a psychologist for Petra.
When Anežka and Scott blackmail Petra with their copy of the addendum, Rafael tells Petra they can't blackmail him if he probates the addendum. He promises Petra he won't as she doesn't feel like she can be a single mother with the twins, as they still aren't used to her and cry around her. When Jane tells Rafael that Mateo is copying their movements at the moment, is stirs Rafael and he decides that he wants a clean slate after all the mess his family's put him through, so that his children won't have the same experiences of lying parents that he did and that he won't become his father. Petra manages a night with the girls without him and supports his decision. Rafael comes to pick up Mateo the moment Jane gets the phone call that Michael has died and she breaks down screaming. Rafael runs to her and holds her as she screams in pain.
3 years later
After serving 9 months in prison, Rafael has a more zen outlook on life, specifically his work with the Marbella, which he has largely left to Petra. He and Jane have become incredibly close, Jane citing him as her best friend and both are working intensely on bettering Mateo's schooling, where he has trouble with impulse control. Rafael suggests that Mateo start karate to channel his energy, with positive results. Rafael has also been in a relationship for a year, with Abbey Whitman, who owns a greeting card company, is very nice and seems relaxed. He starts getting a little more involved with the re-branded hotel. Unfortunately, this coincides with the discovery of Scott's remains on the hotel's beach.
Rafael decides to fully step back into the business of the hotel. He offers Jane the position of Lounge Manager and suggests a memorial for Scott to get ahead of any potential bad press following the discovery of Scott's corpse, which works out well. He promises Jane not to let her get stuck at the hotel and she, in turn, tells him that he needs to get back to the hotel, and not to worry about some of his bad past choices informing who he is now, which Rafael takes to heart. Abbey expresses a desire to move in together, but Rafael has doubts and confides in Petra about it. He decides to move in with Abbey, but a drunk Petra tells him that he should end it because he clearly doesn't want to move in. Rafael decides to end the relationship altogether, but Abbey found the card he wrote saying he would, so she is hurt and decides to get revenge on Petra by sending Scott's "burn book" to Det. Chambers.
- “You're his hero”
- —Alex to Rafael, about Mateo[src]
Jane and Petra's competitiveness put Rafael in the middle when they run against each other for Room Mom at their kids' school. Eventually, they cede that it's more about their rivalry than actually being Room Mom, and in a surprise turn, Rafael is elected as the new Room Mom. Before this Rafael abstains from voting but tells Petra that him always choosing Jane is not the case anymore. Rafael comforts Petra about the girls' dragon drawing of her, saying it's because she's a protector and that's how he sees her. Jane and Rafael get an aide for Mateo, who insists on getting to know Mateo without preconceptions and they get answers to their worries about Mateo: the aide, Alex, assures them Mateo has not been negatively affected by either Michael's death nor Rafael's time away in jail. Alex tells Rafael that Rafael is Mateo's hero and Rafael is incredibly relieved and moved to tears, feeling he has realised his dream of being a good father to his children. Rafael and Petra get closer and, though they are hesitant at the possible consequences, they sleep together.
- “Good. My family will never feel completely safe until Rose is locked up for good”
- —Rafael, to Elvis Yeager
After Jane accidentally finds Petra naked in the closet, she later tells Rafael that Petra might be into him, as it took her years to get over him. When Rafael and Petra try to help Jane get back on the dating scene, Petra flirts with Rafael and he's into it. It turns out that Petra's trying to make Chuck jealous, so Rafael agrees to flirt with her but gets disappointed that it's all for show. He later talks to Jane when she calls, freaked out on her first date, and Rafael helps and supports her. It's clear that Rafael has feelings for Petra and is sad when Chuck shows up at her door and they reconcile. Luisa announces she's coming to town and Rafael tells Jane, who says she'll keep Mateo until Luisa leaves, which is their general agreement where Luisa's concerned. Raf's annoyed that Luisa didn't give notice and apologizes to Jane, but she tells him it's alright.
Rafael's friend Elvis Yeager that he hired for the Marbella turns out not to be an ex-con Raf met in prison, but actually, a PI who's helping Rafael safeguard against Sin Rostro. They bug the room Luisa's meant to stay in for that purpose. Luisa kinda pushes to meet Raf's kids, but he holds back until Elvis is going to search Luisa's room and Raf stalls by saying they can have a real talk about her meeting the kids. Simultaneously, Rafael is having trouble keeping his feelings for Petra under wraps. He is really proud of their girls, who are taking a test for a Gifted and Talented Program, but gets jealous when the girls are affectionate with Chuck. Despite Petra not telling the smart twins, Raf learns that they figured out that Chuck is Petra's boyfriend. When Petra has to allow Anežka to return to the U.S. Raf is concerned and faces off with Chuck over knowing what it was like with Anežka around, a veritable pissing contest. Raf also goes with Mateo and the Villanuevas to see Jane on a panel at the Miami Book Fair.
Jane notices Rafael longingly glance at Petra and Rafael reveals to her that he has feelings for Petra. Jane cautions that she doesn't want Petra to get hurt and that Rafael should be sure before starting something with her. As Rafael helps Petra with Anežka, she asks him if he has feelings for her and he denies it, thinking of what Jane said. Having overheard Jane and Alba talk, Mateo's worried that his Bisa will be taken away, so Rafael and Jane talk to him about it at the penthouse, telling him not to worry about Alba. The following morning, Raf seems to have been wrestling with what to do and finally decides to call Petra and tell her the truth. He gets her voicemail and tells her that he has feelings for her. She agrees to try again and leaves Chuck, but worries that Rafael still truly (and always) loves Jane and she ends their relationship. Rafael is hurt, but he and Jane share many moments, both with each other and Mateo, as Jane's feelings for Rafael have resurfaced. Although he doesn't know, Rafael doesn't seem to regard Jane only with the feelings of friendship, a possibility of more evident in his actions.
Rafael meets Jane for the first time, after hours at the Golden Harbour Yacht Club. She makes him a grilled cheese sandwich, they talk for hours about life, hopes, and dreams, and he kisses her.
Rafael meets Petra Andel at a board meeting called by his father, Emilio, to announce that Petra's fiancé, Lachlan Moore, will become CEO of the company. Rafael sets his sights on Petra as revenge.
Rafael and Petra marry.
Petra and Rafael are pregnant and they are having a boy. On a vacation together at the future property of The Marbella, Petra is trying to knit a hat for the baby which is dubbed 'the frisbee' by Rafael as he deems it too large for a baby's head. Rafael considers buying the property, which he thinks has potential.
Petra later suffers a miscarriage.
Rafael gets cancer and while in treatment, has a talk with his sister, Luisa, who encourages him to find a way he could change is life to feel better. Rafael subsequently realizes what his life really is and falls out of love with Petra.
Rafael's mother abandoned the family the day after Rafael's 4th birthday in 1988. Well, allegedly the family as she has recently been outed as the crime lord Mutter. Rafael did not see her again until they met up for the first time since, in 2015. Elena told Rafael that she took 10 million dollars from Emilio Solano in exchange for staying away from Rafael and Rafael refused to speak with her again. However, Petra recently convinced him to give it another chance, after which he was drugged and sedated by her. Michael and Rafael proceeded to work together to find out as much as possible about Mutter, which ended up finally having her arrested. She was murdered by Sin Rostro while in prison, leaving a clue to a bank account which led to the reveal that she adopted Rafael from Italy and was not his biological mother.
Rafael's father was murdered by Sin Rostro and, though initially focusing on furthering his father's business legacy, Rafael came to terms with his true feelings about Emilio Solano: he was not a good father, and he never put family first – something Rafael himself cares most about. Rafael, therefore, decides to forego the Marquis Hotel Group and only keep The Marbella.
While Emilio was alive, both in flashbacks and episodes, he is condescending and cold toward Rafael, treating him with little respect and refusing to see the potential and change in his son, who also suffered through cancer.
Throughout their childhood with an emotionally unavailable father and absent mothers, it appears from the Pilot onwards that Rafael and Luisa have formed a very close-knit bond, in lieu of any other emotional connection in their life. Luisa supported Rafael through his illness and Rafael supported Luisa's career as a doctor when she was unable to practice otherwise, due to a history of alcoholism.
Rafael is mainly focused on the hotel and proving himself in business in Season 1, whereas Luisa is emotionally adrift, seeking connection and stability in a very direct way. Rafael's priorities completely shift just before Mateo is born and he is now focused on being a good parent and may eventually focus more on family life. Luisa, however, is still searching for comfort and home, and so the two continue to be divided in their character, though united by shared experiences and blood.
- Main article: Jane and Rafael
Jane and Rafael are the co-parents of Mateo Solano Villanueva. They started a whirlwind romance in Season 1, weathering very serious challenges – such as the re-introduction of Rafael's mother, Elena Di Nola, when Jane had the amnio to make certain that the baby was okay, Petra's constant scheming, Sin Rostro's crimes in The Marbella, Luisa's relationship with Sin Rostro and Rafael's father's death – with strength and character.
When it got too overwhelming for Rafael to feel as alone and abandoned as he did, he broke up with Jane. In Season 2, Jane chose Michael over Rafael. Then chose Mateo over any romance, after an altercation between Michael and Rafael caused Mateo to be harmed. Jane and Rafael slowly reconnected after this and started anew – only to drift apart again on the revelation of Rafael's lies and contribution to Michael's firing. Jane then found understanding for Rafael's actions, and together, through it all, they have managed to always put Mateo first. In 2020, three years after Michael's death, they've been successfully co-parenting and are best friends.
After having been dating on/off, Rafael realizes that Jane is his one-true-love, and he proposes to her which she happily accepts.
- Main article: Petra and Rafael
Rafael meets Petra Andel at a board meeting called by his father, Emilio, to announce that Petra's fiancé, Lachlan Moore, will become CEO of the company. Petra leaves Lachlan for Rafael and they marry. Petra is pregnant with a boy but has a miscarriage. In 2014, Rafael divorces Petra after finding out she cheated on him with his college roommate, Roman Zazo. In 2015, Petra acquires and inseminates herself with a surprising another sample of Rafael's, in the hopes that there might be a chance for the two to reconcile. After Rafael makes it clear that they have no future, they slowly develop a friendship and successfully co-parent. In 2020, Rafael finds himself having feelings for Petra. They get together, only to break up because Petra believes that Rafael still has feelings for Jane. Petra and Rafael are still close friends and successful co-parents to the twins.
Two years after Rafael went prison, he starts dating Abbey. Abbey is fine with Rafael keeping close with his exes, Jane and Petra, in order to maintain the family. When Abbey starts talking about moving in with Rafael, Rafael starts questioning their relationship, which Abbey overhears. As a result of that, Abbey and Rafael end their relationship.
- Rafael has been married once: to Petra, for 4 years.
- He has proposed to Jane and they are getting married.
- Rafael's mother left him the day after his 4th birthday.
- Rafael's favorite song is Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi.
- Rafael's interests include football, American football, soccer, stocks and real estate.
- Rafael tells Jane that he was lost back when he met her and up until he got diagnosed with cancer.
- Petra and Rafael were going to have a baby in 2011 but lost him due to a miscarriage. It was a boy.
- They later have twin daughters named Anna and Ellie.
- Rafael has only been to church twice his whole life.
- Rafael finds out that he's was not born in America, but in Italy.
- Rafael finds out that Elena and Emilio are not his biological parents and is therefore, biologically, not a Solano.
Notes and references