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Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes' relationship timeline: from their first DM to full circle CMT appearance

The "IF YOU GO DOWN" singer and the Outer Banks actor marked their first anniversary in January

Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini attend the 2024 CMT Music Awards at Moody Center on April 07, 2024 in Austin, Texas© Getty
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
April 8, 2024
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It's been just over a year since Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes first sparked romance rumors, but they're still warming our hearts with each and every public appearance they make together.

Their official red carpet debut came at the 2023 CMT Awards, and a year later, they've melted our hearts all over again as they returned to the very same red carpet on April 7.

Below, take a look back at the very beginning of their romance, their latest outing together, and all the sweet moments in between.

WATCH: Kelsea Ballerini for Covergirl

January 2023

By early January of last year, Kelsea and Chase were ready to soft launch their relationship, and have fun with some of the internet rumors about their budding romance.

On the 9th, the two posed next to each other in a group picture taken at a Georgia vs TCU football game together in Los Angeles, which Raising Cane's CEO Todd Graves posted. Four days later, Chase shared a "lil recap" of his weekend to Instagram, and among the photos was one featuring Kelsea cuddling into his chest, taken from behind.

Later that month, the Outer Banks star broke his silence on the topic speaking to TMZ, though he simply said: "She's a sweet girl," and noted: "We're having a good time and that's all I'll say."

Throughout the rest of the month, they were spotted on a couple dates and outings together, hand in hand. 

kelsea ballerini chase stokes football game january 2023© Instagram
Kelsea and Chase were first pictured together in January 2023

February 2023

Chase publicly threw his support behind Chelsea after she released a short film, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, accompanied by a six-track EP, which detailed the end of her five-year marriage to Morgan Evans, from whom she split in 2022. 

Following the release, Chase shared a photo of them to his Instagram Stories, and wrote: "SO proud of you, your heart & your beautiful soul. Congrats kels."

MORE: Kelsea Ballerini hit by fan mid-concert, rushed offstage

Later that month, Kelsea confirmed her relationship status as not single during her appearance on Alex Cooper's Call Her Daddy podcast, during which she cheekily said: "Am I single. God. Um… nope."

It was during that episode that she revealed she first connected with Chase when she slid into his Instagram DMs. 

Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini attend the 2023 CMT Music Awards at Moody Center on April 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas© Getty
They made their red carpet debut at the 2023 CMT Awards

April 2023

After months of publicly supporting each other's projects, the two made their official red carpet debut at the CMT Awards, which Kelsea co-hosted alongside Kane Brown.

MORE: Kelsea Ballerini rocks incredible metallic bodysuit for CMA Fest 

Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes at the Shucked Premiere Party© Getty

June 2023

Chase continued to both gush over his girlfriend and support her while she was on tour. "She seriously is the best human being on planet Earth and she's so damn talented," he told Entertainment Tonight after being branded by the Internet Kelsea's "Golden Retriever boyfriend."

Shortly after, he posted a video to Instagram of him surprising her while she was on tour, and she commented: "Welp. turns out, I don't actually hate surprises. Best 24 hours. Ugh my heart."

Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes at the 2024 CMT Music Awards held at the Moody Center on April 7, 2024 in Austin, Texas© Getty
Chase never fails to publicly support Kelsea

August 2023

During an appearance on the Today Show, Kelsea gushed about her relationship with Chase, saying how happy she was and maintaining: "It's nice to feel so supported and seen. He's such a wonderful, wonderful human being."

Later that month, Kelsea shared on TikTok a sweet video she had sent her best friend ahead of her first date with Chase, in which she showed off her outfit, a floral mini dress with cowboy boots, and hyped herself up saying: "I can do this! I can do this! It's just a date."

View post on Instagram

September 2023

In honor of Kelsea's milestone 30th birthday, Chase shared a tribute in her honor, which now has over 1.4 million likes, and along with photos of them, wrote: "Dirty 30 looks pretty damn good on you Ballerini. I love you."

Photo shared by Kelsea Ballerini on Instagram January 2024 with her boyfriend Chase Stokes in honor of their first anniversary© Instagram
They celebrated their first anniversary in January

January 2024

On the 7th, they officially marked their first year as a couple. In honor of the milestone, Kelsea shared a round of photos of them on Instagram, and wrote: "A whole trip around the sun with my bestie. @hichasestokes thanks for making me write love songs."

He wrote back in the comments section: "I really really [love] you."

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