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Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes’ relationship is as sweet as a country love song.
In January 2023, the singer and Outer Banks actor sparked dating rumors after Stokes posted a cuddly photo of them at the Georgia vs. TCU game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
After teasing their relationship in a handful of interviews, they eventually went public with their romance on the 2023 CMT Awards red carpet.
Prior to dating Stokes, Ballerini was married to Morgan Evans for nearly five years before she filed for divorce in August 2022. Meanwhile, Stokes was previously linked to his Outer Banks costar Madelyn Cline. The actors, who play boyfriend and girlfriend on the Netflix series, dated for over a year before announcing their breakup in November 2021.
Here’s a breakdown of Ballerini and Stokes’ relationship timeline.
January 9, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes attend a football game together
Ballerini and Stokes first stepped out together as they attended the Georgia vs. TCU game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The two were seen standing next to each other in a group photo shared by Todd Graves. The photo also included Stokes’ Outer Banks costars Jonathan Daviss and Austin North as well as Dylan Sprouse and Zack Bia, the latter of which was previously connected to Stokes’ ex Cline.
January 13, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes cuddle up for an Instagram photo
On Jan. 13, Stokes seemingly “soft launched” his relationship with Ballerini as he posted a photo of them cuddled up at the football game in a carousel of photos captioned, “lil recap.”
The image shows a blonde girl tagged as Ballerini leaning her head into his chest as they look over the football field. In a nod to her own hometown team, the country star commented, “go vols 🙈” on the post.
January 16, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini subtly addresses Chase Stokes dating rumors on TikTok
Shortly after Stokes posted the photo with Ballerini, dating rumors began to circulate, which Ballerini subtly addressed on TikTok.
She spoke in the video over a screenshot from the celebrity gossip account DeuxMoi that featured anonymous tips about Ballerini and Stokes, plus the manager of Soho House Nashville.
“But what is happening you guys? What? What? No. Let’s not do this, you know?” she said before sighing and blowing a raspberry.
January 17, 2023: Chase Stokes opens up about Kelsea Ballerini
During an interview with TMZ, Stokes broke his silence on Ballerini, saying, “She’s a sweet girl.” Though he refrained from commenting on their relationship status, he added, “We’re having a good time and that’s all I’ll say.”
January 24, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes have a date night in Nashville
In late January, the two stepped out together again in Nashville. In a video obtained by TMZ, the two could be seen holding hands during a date at Robert’s Western World. Onlookers told the publication the two were seen enjoying each other’s company as they shared an appetizer.
January 28, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes show PDA at the LAX airport
A few days after their Nashville outing, the two were seen in Los Angeles as they showed PDA at the LAX airport. In photos obtained by TMZ, the two shared a hug and held hands as they parted ways at the airport.
February 8, 2023: Chase Stokes opens up about Kelsea Ballerini to PEOPLE
While speaking to PEOPLE about the upcoming season of Outer Banks, Stokes briefly opened up about his rumored relationship with Ballerini, insisting that the two “have just been spending some time together.”
He added, “Kelsea is a lovely, lovely girl. She’s great. We’re having a good time.”
Later that day, Ballerini shared a TikTok of Stokes in her bed. The clip only revealed his arm — but fans quickly confirmed that it was the actor by his tattoos.
February 14, 2023: Chase Stokes congratulates Kelsea Ballerini on her short film
On Valentine’s Day, Ballerini released a heartbreaking short film in which she contemplates the demise of her marriage as she struggles to voice her thoughts with a romantic partner. The short film was accompanied by a 6-track EP titled Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, which further details her split from ex-husband Evans.
Following the release, Stokes showed his support for Ballerini, sharing a photo of them smiling on his Instagram Story. “SO proud of you, your heart & your beautiful soul. Congrats kels,” he captioned the post with a heart emoji.
February 16, 2023: Chase Stokes is “so excited” for Kelsea Ballerini’s Saturday Night Live performance
Just hours before Stokes attended the Los Angeles premiere of Outer Banks season 3, Ballerini announced that she’d booked SNL as a musical guest.
“I mean she’s the best,” Stokes told Entertainment Tonight when asked about his girlfriend’s big news. “I’m so excited for her and everything happening in her career right now.”
February 21, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini reveals she’s not single
During a preview of an upcoming episode of the podcast Call Her Daddy, Ballerini opened up about her divorce and how she’s navigating dating. “I’ve never really dated! I don’t know how it works,” she said in the clip.
Amid her romance rumors with Stokes, Ballerini also discussed her current relationship status. “Am I single?” she said with a laugh in the trailer. “Am I single. God. Um… nope.”
February 22, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini says she met Chase Stokes by sliding into his DMs
In her Call Her Daddy podcast interview, which was released on Feb. 22, the singer revealed for the first time how she met Stokes. After the two started following each other on Instagram, she admitted that she decided to slide into his DMs.
“I’ve never seen his show, but I just knew of him, and I just swan dove right on in,” Ballerini said. When Cooper asked her what she said to the actor, Ballerini shared that she kept it simple: “His handle is ‘@hichasestokes,’ and I said, ‘Hi, Chase Stokes.’ ”
On their newfound romance, the singer added that she’s “just vibing” with the Outer Banks star. “I was ready to open back up,” Ballerini said of dating again after her divorce. “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.”
February 23, 2023: Chase Stokes shares a cute photo of Kelsea Ballerini kissing him on the cheek
Stokes posted a sweet snap to his Instagram Story of him and Ballerini. In the picture, the actor smiled with his eyes closed as the country singer wrapped her arms around him and kissed him on the cheek.
March 2, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes share a kiss at New York Rangers game
The duo had a date night at Madison Square Garden in N.Y.C. as they attended the New York Rangers game against the Ottawa Senators. During the game, the two were photographed sharing a kiss from their seats.
March 3, 2023: Chase Stokes says he’s a fan of Kelsea Ballerini
Following the couple’s date night, Stokes appeared on the Today show where he was asked about Ballerini. After co-host Sheinelle Jones pointed out that that star will be serving as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live over the weekend to Stokes, she asked him if he was a fan of the Rolling Up the Welcome Mat artist.
“Absolutely, I’m a fan,” he said. “Who isn’t a fan?”
Jones then addressed viewers at home, telling them, “For those of you who don’t know, they’re dating,” before she called Stokes and Ballerini “a beautiful couple.”
“Thank you,” Stokes said.
March 4, 2023: Chase Stokes supports Kelsea Ballerini at SNL
As Ballerini took the stage as the musical guest on SNL, Stokes cheered her on from backstage. Following the show, the actor shared tributes to Ballerini on his Instagram Story. In the first image, he smiled next to Ballerini’s dressing room, writing “Well s—. That was special” with a heart emoji. In the second image, he smiled sweetly at the singer, writing, “QUEEN s—. @kelseaballerini you did the f—— d— thing.”
March 2023: Chase Stokes hits the road with Kelsea Ballerini
In March, fans captured Stokes singing along in the crowd at several of Ballerini’s concerts. The two also posted a handful of photos of them together on their Instagram accounts, including one of them holding hands backstage. During one concert, a fan captured Ballerini changing to lyrics to one of her songs to include a mention of Stokes’ Outer Banks character John B.
April 2, 2023: Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini make their red carpet debut as a couple
On April 2, Stokes and Ballerini walked their first red carpet as a couple as they attended the CMT Awards, where the country singer co-hosted alongside Kane Brown. The two were all smiles as they hugged it out on the red carpet.
May 10, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini calls Chase Stokes “cute”
On Instagram, Stokes posted a blurry selfie of the couple looking very cozy. And in the comments, Ballerini wrote: “you cute.”
Stokes later commented on one of Ballerini’s Instagram photo dumps.
“I really ❤️ u,” he wrote.
Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini visit her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee
The couple traveled to Knoxville, where the country star showed Stokes around her high school and took him to her favorite local restaurant — Litton’s.
“A heart fillin 24 hours at home,” Ballerini wrote on Instagram.
June 17, 2023: Chase Stokes says he’ll “take the job” of being Kelsea Ballerini’s “golden retriever” boyfriend
According to Urban Dictionary, a “golden retriever” boyfriend is defined as “a significant other that is easygoing and makes it fairly simple to maintain a happy and fulfilling relationship.”
Stokes talked to Entertainment Tonight about being dubbed Ballerini’s “golden retriever” boyfriend by the internet.
“I’ll take the job, I’ll take it,” he said. “She seriously is the best human being on planet Earth and she’s so damn talented.”
June 24, 2023: Chase Stokes surprises Kelsea Ballerini on tour
Stokes flew from Charleston, South Carolina — where Outer Banks films — to Seattle to surprise Ballerini on tour.
The “Yeah Boy” singer posted a video of their sweet reunion on Instagram. Shocked to see her boyfriend waiting for her at the airport, Ballerini can be seen jumping into Stokes’ arms before giving him a long kiss.
“Welp. turns out, i don’t actually hate surprises. best 24 hours. ugh my heart,” Ballerini commented on Stokes’ own Instagram post, which included photos from the airport surprise.
July 10, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini says her relationship with Chase Stokes has been “great”
Ballerini and Stokes have hit the six-month mark, and the “Mountain With a View” singer told Stylecaster that their relationship has been “great” thus far.
“We’re very similar. We’re both Labrador Retrievers in human form. It doesn’t take much conversation to be on the same page, which is nice,” Ballerini added.
August 11, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini says she feels “supported and seen” in her relationship with Chase Stokes
During an interview on TODAY, Ballerini expressed her gratitude for Stokes.
“I’m so happy,” she said. “It’s nice to feel so supported and seen. He’s such a wonderful, wonderful human being.”
August 19, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini shares video from moments before her first date with Chase Stokes
In a video sent to her best friend, Ballerini documented the moments before her first date with Stokes. She was full of first-date jitters as she showed off her outfit — a dress and cowboy boots — and gave herself a pep talk.
“I can do this! I can do this! It’s just a date,” she said to herself in a mirror. “You just go and you eat food and you talk about things that you do. Okay.”
August 31, 2023: Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes attend Venice Film Festival party
While attending Variety and the Golden Globes’ Venice Film Festival party with her Outer Banks’ boyfriend, Ballerini planted a kiss on Stokes’ cheek as he displayed a beaming smile to the camera.
The country singer looked glamorous as she rocked a Yves Saint Laurent black gown with a matching scarf around her neck. She kept her shoulder-length blonde locks behind her ears and accessorized her look with thin dangly earrings and a black clutch bag.
Matching with his lady, Stokes also wore a black outfit that consisted of a four-button blazer jacket with black pants and a white shirt. He wore a pair of glasses and loafers to finish the look.
September 12, 2023: Chase Stokes celebrates Kelsea Ballerini’s 30th birthday on Instagram
In a heartfelt Instagram post shared on Sept. 12, Stokes wished Ballerini a happy 30th birthday. “dirty 30 looks pretty damn good on you ballerini. i love you ❤️,” he captioned the post, which included a gallery of photos of the couple.
September 12, 2023: Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini share a kiss at the MTV VMAs
Shortly after celebrating Ballerini’s birthday on Instagram, Stokes and the country singer had a date night at the MTV VMAs. The couple was photographed sharing a kiss on the red carpet while wearing coordinating red outfits.
November 8, 2023: Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini attend the CMA Awards
The couple walked the red carpet together at the 57th annual CMA Awards. Ballerini dazzled in a ballerina-pink Christian Siriano gown, while Stokes looked dapper in a suit.
Two days prior, the country star played a sold-out show in her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.
“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,” Stokes told PEOPLE.