Kelsea Ballerini Just Shared Her First DMs With Chase Stokes

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Kelsea Shared Her First DMs With Chase 🥺Craig Barritt - Getty Images

In the event that Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes dating simply wasn’t on your 2023 bingo card, rest assured: We’re also not sure how we got here. But what we *do* know is we’re not mad about it, considering how incredibly cute these two are on social media already. Speculation of Kelsea and Chase’s romance first came about after Chase posted a pic of himself and the country singer at a football game on Instagram, and the rest is history. Let’s get into all the deets about these two and their budding romance, shall we?

kelsea ballerini and chase stokes
Getty Images

January 13, 2023

Ah, the post that started it all! Chase took to Instagram to lowkey launch his and Kelsea’s relationship love of football in a photo dump that featured a sweet pic of them watching the college football national championship game between the University of Georgia and Texas Christian University. The whole thing sparked immediate dating rumors.

January 16, 2023

Another day, another way to subtly address the dating rumors on a different social media platform. This time, it was Kelsea who posted a cryptic TikTok that included a screenshot from the celebrity gossip account DeuxMoi about her and Chase.

“I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,” the singer began, with a screenshot that insinuated she and the actor were a PR stunt posted behind her. “Stop reading, stop reading. Stop looking,” she continued. “But what is happening, guys? What? What? What? No, let’s not do this, you know?”

“I’m about to break up with the internet 5 sure 😂” was the caption to the video. 👀

January 17, 2023

Chase actually addressed the relationship speculation IRL when he spoke with TMZ. The Outer Banks star called Kelsea a “sweet girl” and added, “We’re having a good time, and that’s all I’ll say.” In-ter-est-ing!

January 29, 2023

TMZ snapped some preeeeetty spicy images and video footage of Kelsea and Chase kissing, hugging, and holding hands at California’s LAX airport. The proof is in the pap pics, people!

February 8, 2023

During an interview with People tied to the premiere of Outer Banks season 3, Chase was asked about the pic he posted of himself and Kelsea and said they “have just been spending some time together.”

“Kelsea is a lovely, lovely girl. She’s great. We’re having a good time,” he added.

However, that VERY SAME DAY, Kelsea reposted a comment by someone who had written “@hichasestokes come get your girl” in another vid with a TikTok showing herself sitting up in bed while wearing eye patches and sipping out of a teacup. She smiled to the camera and casually leaned over to reveal what appeared to be Chase’s tattooed arm.

February 14, 2023

Kelsea dropped Rolling Up the Welcome Matan EP partially about her divorce from Morgan Evans—and on Valentine’s Day, no less. To show his support, Chase took to his Instagram Stories to congratulate the country singer’s project. “So proud of you, your heart & your beautiful soul. Congrats Kels ❤️,” he wrote alongside a v tender pic of himself and Kelsea.

kelsea ballerini and chase stokes

February 22, 2023

During a Call Her Daddy appearance, Kelsea revealed the coy way she and Chase first began talking: a DM slide. 😂

“I was ready to open back up,” the singer confessed to host Alex Cooper. “I just felt, why not? I’ve never really dated; I don’t know how it works. I’m like, ‘Let’s just put ourselves out there; let’s just vibe.’ And it’s been fun.”

The musician said she slid into Chase’s DMs after the two started following each other on Instagram. “I’ve never seen his show, but I just knew of him, and I just swan dove right on in.…His handle is ‘@hichasestokes’ and I said, ‘Hi, Chase Stokes.’” S’cute!

Kelsea also opened up about her ex Morgan and learning to put her own feelings first. “I’m not married to him anymore, and I don’t need to care about his feelings anymore,” she said. “And I mean that with all the respect in the world, but his journey is not mine anymore. And so I hope that he is protected from whatever he needs to be protected from seeing. I hope he has people in his life that help him do that. That is not my job.”

February 23, 2023

During the premiere of Outer Banks season 3, Chase shared a touching tribute on his Instagram Stories that featured Kelsea giving him a kiss.

The same day, Kelsea took to her Stories to promote the new season of Outer Banks herself. We love a supportive partner!

kelsea ballerini

March 2, 2023

The duo had a sweet date night at Madison Square Garden while they attended the New York Rangers game against the Ottawa Senators. During the event, the songstress and actor were even photographed sharing a kiss from their seats. Oop!

March 3, 2023

After months of social media posts that made their ’ship pretty damn clear, Chase finally *officially* confirmed his and Kelsea’s coupled-up status during an appearance on the Today show. When Sheinelle Jones asked Chase flat out if he was dating Kelsea Ballerini, he smiled and said, “Mmhmm,” officially confirming the romance!

When Jones mentioned Kelsea’s upcoming SNL appearance and asked if Chase was a fan, he answered like any good S.O. would, saying, “Absolutely I’m a fan. Yeah, who isn’t a fan?”

March 4, 2023

Kelsea was the musical performer during the March 4, 2023, episode of SNL and had the ultimate support system with her…aka Chase! Before the singer hopped onstage, the two fooled around and showed off their goofier sides:

And immediately following the show, the actor shared tributes to his girlfriend on his Instagram Story. In one of the pics, he was seen smiling next to the singer’s dressing room with the caption, “Well sh*t, that was special.” Kelsey herself also shared some behind-the-scenes content of the night and posted a carousel that included the cutest snapshots of herself and the actor.

March 7, 2023

Kelsea shuts down claims that she and Chase are a PR stunt with a simple Insta Story:

April 2, 2023

Chase and Kelsea go red carpet official at the CMT Awards and the photos are everything:

2023 cmt music awards arrivals
Hubert Vestil - Getty Images
2023 cmt music awards arrivals
Renee Dominguez - Getty Images
2023 cmt music awards – red carpet
John Shearer - Getty Images

June 20, 2023

After being dubbed a “golden retriever boyfriend,” Chase tells Entertainment Tonight, “I’ll take the job. I’ll take it. I’ve got a golden retriever, half a golden retriever, he’s a golden retriever/German shepherd. But yeah, adds up. I’ll take it.”

July 2, 2023

Kelsea celebrates the end of her tour with a cute pic of Chase (swipe!):

August 20, 2023

Kelsea drops a never-before-seen video of herself getting ready for her very first date with Chase. It’s all very cute, so prepare accordingly.

August 31, 2023

Kelsea plants a 🥺 kiss on Chase’s cheek while the celebs attend Variety and the Golden Globes’ Venice Film Festival party. Ahem, observe:

variety and golden globes party at venice film festival, presented by ilbe inside
Victor Boyko - Getty Images

The country singer looks full-on glamorous as she rocks an Yves Saint Laurent black gown complete with a matching scarf around her neck, while her actor boyfriend dons a four-button blazer jacket with black pants and a white shirt.

September 12, 2023

In a touching Instagram post, Chase wishes Kelsea a happy 30th birthday and gushes, “Dirty 30 looks pretty damn good on you ballerini. i love you ❤️.” Couldn’t be more obsessed if I tried!

September 12, 2023

The couple celebrates Kelsea’s birthday and has an iconic date night at the MTV VMAs and is photographed sharing a kiss on the red carpet in matching red ’fits. You know what they say: The couple that slays together stays together!

2023 mtv video music awards arrivals
Gilbert Flores - Getty Images
2023 mtv video music awards arrivals
Jamie McCarthy - Getty Images
2023 mtv video music awards arrivals
Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images


September 14, 2023

A few days after Kelsea’s birthday and VMAs festivities, she posts a behind-the-scenes photo dump on her Instagram grid. Of course, it features relatable moments—I’ve never felt more seen than when she’s literally emulating the 🧍♀️ emoji in front of that window—and includes a super-sweet pic with Chase:

The arm around his shoulder? The smiles? The shared experience of gazing at Chase’s phone screen, probably watching Kelsea’s ~iconic~ VMAs performance? Rating this moment 10,000/10, tysm. 🤌

September 16, 2023

The Insta posts just keep on coming, and I’m now realizing that both Chase and Kelsea are Virgos...interesting. 👀 The Rolling Up the Welcome Mat singer posted another photo dump, this time celebrating her beau’s birthday with a sweet tribute post. Throughout the carousel, we see sweet selfies, silly videos of the duo taking part in hilarious TikTok trends, and even their first-ever DM exchange (!!!).

The DM that kick-started their adorable relationship, you might ask? “Hiii Chase Stokes.” Honestly, Kelsea’s rizz is unparalleled because it prompted a response from the Outer Banks star aaand the rest is history!

October 24, 2023

Kelsea opens up about her sweet 'ship during her cover story for Nylon's It Girl Issue and gushes, “We are both very much so golden-retriever energy most of the time, but we both have a little bite in us, and we’re both incredibly driven. He is the first person I’ve been in a relationship with that I feel like is not my complete opposite.”

The musician also reflects on the early days of her relationship with the actor, which began with a first date in Los Angeles. “I really did [know] as soon as I met him,” she begins before adding, “And maybe that sounds like I’ve learned zero things, but I’ve always been a heart-first girl and the truth is it’s never led me astray. I’ve always been where I needed to be while I needed to be there.”

October 25, 2023

She's Barbie...and he's just Ken lol.

celebrity sightings in new york city october 25, 2023
Gilbert Carrasquillo - Getty Images

November 6, 2023

While at the CFDA Awards in New York City, Chase reveals that he legit cried while watching his girlfriend perform in her hometown for her Heartfirst Tour. “I’m still recouping my hearing from how loud it was…for her to go back to her hometown and to sell out an arena, like that stage—it was the coolest thing. I cried the whole time,” he confesses to People.

He also adds that, “Her mom was there and her sister was there, her family was there. It’s a magical moment when you see somebody who at 12 years old wanted to have this dream and then to go back to her hometown and do exactly what she set out to do—I mean there’s no way to be more proud.” 'Kay, did nawt expect to be out here crying this morning, but here we are!

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