It’s only been two months since Chase Stokes confirmed his relationship with country singer Kelsea Ballerini, and already the new couple is the subject of breakup rumors – rumors that Ballerini is quick to shut down. In an Instagram Q&A with fans the weekend of April 30 (via People), Ballerini was asked by a fan if she and Stokes had split, to which she responded “nah,” along with a photo of the pair kissing.
Questions surrounding whether or not Ballerini and Stokes were dating ended when “Today” asked Stokes that very question during his March 3 appearance on the morning show, at which point he finally confirmed with an affirmative “Mm-hmm” and a smile. The pair made their red carpet debut a month later at the CMT Music Awards on April 2.
Speculation about the duo potentially dating began on Jan. 13 when the 30-year-old “Outer Banks” star shared an Instagram carousel that included a photo of him and the 29-year-old singer getting cozy at the College Football Playoff National Championship. While Ballerini’s face isn’t shown, Stokes tagged her in the snap. “Go vols 🙈,” she commented on the post.
The “Roses” singer touched on the dating rumors days later on Jan. 16, when she posted a TikTok featuring a screenshot of a post from gossip Instagram account DeuxMoi. In her video, Ballerini laughs and shakes her head at the post, which says she can’t be dating Stokes because she’s “too busy consistently asking out the manager of soho house nash when she comes in all the time after last call.”
“I know, I know, I know, I know, stop reading, stop looking,” Ballerini says. “But what is happening, guys? What is this? Let’s not do this.” Ballerini captioned the video, “I’m about to break up with the internet 5 sure 😂.”
The next day, Stokes addressed the rumors when a TMZ photographer ran into him and quizzed the actor about what exactly is going on between him and Ballerini. When the photographer said Stokes and Ballerini make the cutest couple, he responded, “Thank you.” When asked what drew him to the singer, Stokes said, “She’s a sweet girl. We’re having a good time, and that’s all I’ll say.” He stopped short of confirming the pair’s relationship status at the time, however.
Read ahead for every update from Stokes and Ballerini’s romance rumors leading up to their confirmation.
When Did Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini Start Dating?
Stokes and Ballerini kept fans on their toes for weeks with their many outings together and flirty interactions on social media as dating speculation swirled. On Jan. 26, TMZ shared a video of the pair holding hands at a restaurant in Nashville, further adding to dating speculation that’s been swirling around them. According to the outlet, the pair were spotted out on Jan. 24 at Nashville country music venue Robert’s Western World.
Several days later, the pair were spotted embracing at LAX. Still, in an interview with People, which was published on Feb. 8, Stokes declined to elaborate on the nature of his relationship with Ballerini at the time, insisting to the outlet that they’ve “just been spending some time together.” “Kelsea is a lovely, lovely girl,” he added. “She’s great. We’re having a good time.”
But on Feb. 13, Stokes added fuel to their dating rumors when he posted a photo of himself and Ballerini cozying up to each other in an elevator. “So proud of you, your heart, and your beautiful soul,” he wrote in the caption, going on to congratulate her for the release of her EP and short film, “Rolling Up the Welcome Mat.”
On the Feb. 22 episode of the “Call Her Daddy” podcast, Ballerini confirmed she’s not single anymore, but she wouldn’t reveal that Stokes was her new beau. “I’m just vibing,” Ballerini said, adding that her relationship with Stokes – which she said began after they started talking in December 2022 – has “been like a really beautiful reawakening.”
A few weeks before Stokes confirmed the new couple’s romance, he posted a photo on his Instagram Story on Feb. 23 of Ballerini kissing his cheek while the pair hugged sweetly. He captioned the snap, “imy❤️.” Then, on March 2, the two stars enjoyed their first big outing as a couple at a New York Rangers vs. the Ottawa Senators game at Madison Square Garden in NYC, where they were photographed sharing a kiss in the stands, per People.
Who Have Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini Previously Dated?
Stokes was most recently linked to his “Outer Banks” costar Madelyn Cline. The two first met in 2019 while making the show’s first season, but they reportedly split in November 2021 after more than a year of dating. They sparked reconciliation rumors in March 2022 when they posed hand in hand on set while filming the third season of their Netflix series. However, according to Stokes, the two have just remained good friends.
“A long time ago, we agreed to always put the work first. So I think going into this next chapter, we just wanted to equally honor that promise,” Stokes told People. “Truth be told, she’s an incredible actress. She’s a lovely human being. And I’m over the moon and just super proud of the work that we’ve done over the past three seasons. I’m always going to root for her.”
Ballerini, on the other hand, split from fellow country musician Morgan Evans in August 2022. She filed for divorce after nearly five years of marriage and later confirmed the news on her Instagram page. The former couple first met while hosting Australia’s Country Music Channel Awards in March 2016 and later got married in December 2017.