Kelsea Ballerini Shares DMs That Launched Her & Chase Stokes’ Romance

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Chase Stokes Officially Confirms He’s Dating Kelsea Ballerini

Kelsea Ballerini demonstrates how you shoot your shot!

The country star paid tribute to boyfriend Chase Stokes for his 31st birthday Sept. 16, sharing a slew of couples pics on Instagram as well as a curious extra image: A screenshot of the DMs that launched their romance.

On Dec. 1, 2022 at 1:07 a.m., Kelsea wrote to Chase in a private Instagram message, “hiii chase stokes.” He responded more than two hours later, at 3:17 a.m., “Hey there how u doin.” Later that morning, at 11:38 a.m., the singer wrote to him, “i’m kels, nice to meet you,” adding a blushing smiling face. Chase liked the DM.

Kelsea, 30, captioned her Instagram post, “Happy birthday, my sweet virgo. @hichasestokes.”

Chase commented, “My human,” adding a red heart emoji.

The singer had revealed on the Call Her Daddy podcast in February that she and the actor began communicating in December 2022—four months after she announced her split from husband Morgan Evans after almost five years of marriage.

“I slid into his DMs,” she said. “I was just like, ‘I’m not gonna get on an app.’ And honestly, he shoots in Charleston and my manager lives there and he put the bug in my ear. He was like, ‘You know who’s really cute? When you’re ready. Chase.’ And I was like, ‘You’re so right.'”

She continued, “I’ve never seen the show but I just knew of him and yeah, I followed him and he followed me and I just swan dove right on in. His handle is @hichasestokes and I said, ‘Hi Chase Stokes.'”

This is not the first glimpse into the early days of the pair’s relationship. In August, Kelsea shared a Tiktok containing a never-before-seen throwback video of herself preparing for her first date with Chase.

The two sparked romance rumors in January when they were photographed looking cozy at a football game. In February, Chase shared a pic of the two showing some PDA and the following month, confirmed on Today that he is dating Kelsea. The couple made their red carpet debut as a couple at the 2023 CMT Music Awards in April. Earlier this week, the actor accompanied Kelsea to the 2023 MTV VMAs.

Look back at Kelsea and Chase’s road to romance below:

Instagram / Kelsea Ballerini

Shooting Her Shot

In December 2022, Kelsea slid into Chase’s DMs, and a romance blossomed shortly thereafter. The singer shared this screenshot on her boyfriend’s 31st birthday on Sept. 16, 2023.

Instagram / Kelsea Ballerini

Dig In

A couple which crushes sandwiches together…

Instagram / Kelsea Ballerini

Couple’s Selfie

Kelsea shared this pic on Chase’s 31st birthday Sept. 16, 2023.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for MTV

The two appear together at the 2023 event.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for MTV

PDA Alert

The two share a kiss at the 2023 MTV VMAs.

Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

A Black Tie Affair

Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes dressed to the nines when they attended designer Giorgio Armani’s “One Night Only” event on Sept. 2 in Venice, Italy. 

The singer-songwriter and the Outer Banks star shared images of their getaway on Instagram, including snaps from a cooking class and lounging at the beach.

Instagram / Kelsea Ballerini

All Smiles

Kelsea shared this behind-the-scenes look from the event,

Instagram/Kelsea Ballerini

Birthday Love

To commemorate Ballerini’s 30th birthday on Sept. 12, Stokes posted a carousel of photos and videos of the three-time Grammy nominee. 

“dirty 30 looks pretty damn good on you ballerini,” Stokes captioned the series. “i love you.”

Photo by Kristy Sparow/Variety via Getty Images

Ciao Bella

The couple only had eyes for one another at a Venice Film Festival event in August 2023. 

Instagram/Kelsea Ballerini

First Date Nerves

Ballerini posted a throwback to the beginning of her relationship with Stokes on Aug. 19, sharing a clip on TikTok of herself preparing for their first official date. 

“Happy weekend,” she captioned the post, “heres a video i sent to my best friend before my first date with chase #howdoidothis #rollingupthewelcomemat.”

Set to her song “How Do I Do This,” which is about going on a first date after many years, Ballerini models her outfit in the video.

“Here’s the look, with the boots” Kelsea says while checking herself out in a full-length mirror. Turning around to showcase her half-up, half-down hairstyle, she adds, “We’ve got the hair clip, because we’re trying to be a cool girl.”

She continues speaking to an unnamed friend, explaining, “He’s picking me up and we’re going to a sushi place and I’ll call you tomorrow and for a full update.”

Taking a deep breath and raising one arm and finger in the air, she finally says, “I can do this. I can do this.” And, after doing a little dance, she proclaims, “It’s just a date. You just go and you just eat food and you talk about things that you do, OK?”

Gotham/GC Images

NYC Date Night

The two were spotted on a summer date in NYC, where she performed on TODAY.

“It’s just nice to feel so supported and seen,” Ballerini said on the show of Stokes, “and, yeah, he’s such a wonderful, wonderful human being.”

Instagram/Chase Stokes

The Sweetest Surprise

Stokes shocked Ballerini when he unexpectedly greeted her at the airport in July, with both stars posting video and photos from their adorable reunion. 

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Armani beauty

PDA Alert

The two attend Armani Beauty’s ACQUA DI GIO and Gen A celebration in Malibu, Calif., in July 2023.


Hometown Visit

In May 2023, Stokes joined Ballerini on a trip to her hometown of Knoxville, Tenn.

Nina Westervelt/Variety via Getty Images

Broadway Baby

The twosome attended the premiere party for the Broadway musical Shucked at Capitale in April 2023.

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for CMT

Red Carpet Debut

The pair officially stepped out as a couple at the 2023 CMT Music Awards in April 2023.

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for CMT

Award Show PDA

The two showcased their love on the red carpet.

Instagram PDA

In February 2023, Stokes shared a pic of himself and Ballerini showing some PDA.


Romance Rumors

The two first sparked romance rumors in January after they were photographed looking cozy at a football game.

So, how did their relationship begin? Ballerini slide into Stokes’ DMs. 

“He shoots in Charleston and my manager lives there and he put the bug in my ear,” the “Heartfirst” singer revealed on the Call Her Daddy podcast. “I’ve never seen the show but I just knew of him and I followed him and he followed me and I just swan dove right on in. His handle is @hichasestokes and I said, ‘Hi Chase Stokes.'”

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