Kelsea Ballerini Shares How She Slid Into Chase Stokes’s DMs: ‘I Was Living My Best Life’

The singer and actor have been dating for less than a year, but have quickly become one of the internet’s favorite couples.
Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini

Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini.

Kelsea Ballerini is a big fan of shooting your shot through Instagram DMs. The country music star met her boyfriend, actor Chase Stokes, through social media, and the power couple have quickly become one of Hollywood’s favorite and most-followed relationships.

The 30-year-old has never really kept the story of how she and the Outer Banks star met a secret, but in an adorable post celebrating his 31st birthday last month, she included a screenshot of the simple flirty conversation from when she slid into his direct messages at 1 a.m. last December.

“hiii Chase Stokes,” she sent, and he responded, “Hey there how u doin,” to which Ballerini replied “i’m kels, nice to meet you,” with a soft smiling blushing emoji and the rest is history.

“happy birthday, my sweet virgo. @hichasestokes,” she captioned the Sept. 16 carousel featuring lots of sweet and silly photos of the two.

“rate the anxiety during the two hours before he answered you because i can FEEL THAT😂🥰💛,” one fan commented.

“I think we’re all glad you sent that dm🙌🏻,” another noted.

“Love that you showed how you shot your shot and got what you got 😍❤️,” someone else chimed.

“I was at a bar in Nashville with some friends and they were like, ‘What about Chase?’” she recently explained to Nylon about how it all began, and added that the two were following each other on Instagram before she sent the first message. “I was just like, ‘Why am I waiting for this guy to reach out to me? This is 2022.‘ Listen, I was living my best life. I have no shame in that game.”

The Tennessee native is featured on the cover of Nylon’s 2023 It Girl Issue. She spoke to the publication about all things music, going through a public divorce, celebrating a new decade and wrapping up her 20s. Ballerini got married to fellow country singer Morgan Evans when she was 24, and the two got divorced last year.

“I really did [know] as soon as I met [Stokes], 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,” she said. “I’ve always been where I needed to be while I needed to be there. 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.

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.