Kelsea Ballerini Says She Has 'No Shame' Sliding into Chase Stokes' DMs: 'I Was Living My Best Life'

The country music singer opened up in a 'NYLON' interview about the early days of her relationship with the TV star

<p>Ryan Pfluger/NYLON</p> Kelsea Ballerini in NYLON

Ryan Pfluger/NYLON

Kelsea Ballerini in NYLON's It Girl Issue

Kelsea Ballerini put her heart first when it came to meeting her boyfriend of nearly one year, Chase Stokes.

On Tuesday, the country music star, 30, appeared on the cover of NYLON's It Girl Issue and opened up in an interview about what the start of her relationship with the Outer Banks star, 31, was like and how she knew early on that she had found love.

After being candid about how she made the first move by sliding into the actor’s DMs on Instagram — and sharing a screenshot of the initial “hiii chase stokes” message, sent at 1:07 a.m., last month — she revealed to NYLON how it originally went down.

<p>Ryan Pfluger/NYLON</p> Kelsea Ballerini in NYLON

Ryan Pfluger/NYLON

Kelsea Ballerini in NYLON

Related: The Cutest Photos of Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes

“I was at a bar in Nashville with some friends from Charleston [where Outer Banks films], and they were like, ‘What about Chase?’” the singer-songwriter told the outlet, explaining that she followed him and he followed her back. “I was just like, ‘Why am I waiting for this guy to reach out to me? This is 2022.’”

So she did, and she’s aware of how the cheeky DM might’ve looked when she shared a screenshot of it publicly in honor of his birthday in September. “Bro, I know … Listen, I was living my best life. I have no shame in that game,” the CMA award winner said.

The “If You Go Down (I'm Goin' Down Too)” singer explained to the outlet that, shortly after her fateful message sent, the two planned their first date for when they were both going to be in Los Angeles in the coming weeks — and then rearranged their plans to see each other sooner. She said, "I was playing a birthday party for a friend of mine, but I got there and was like, ‘It’s kind of crazy that we’re finally in the same town and I’m not seeing you today...He was like, ‘Drop your pin.’ He just showed up at this party and yeah, it was great.”

<p>Ryan Pfluger/NYLON</p> Kelsea Ballerini on cover of 'NYLON'

Ryan Pfluger/NYLON

Kelsea Ballerini on cover of 'NYLON'

Related: Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes' Relationship Timeline

Ballerini also spoke about how she felt instantly connected to the TV star. “I really did [know] as soon as I met him,” she shared. “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. I’ve always been where I needed to be while I needed to be there.”

The Rolling Up the Welcome Mat artist added, “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.”

The “Half of my Hometown” artist first shared the story of how she and Stokes met on the Call Her Daddy podcast in February.

<p>John Shearer/Getty</p> Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini

John Shearer/Getty

Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini

Related: Kelsea Ballerini Wants to See Country 'Giving a Voice to New Artists' and as 'Inclusive' as Pop

“I've never seen his show, but I just knew of him, and I just swan dove right on in,” she told the podcast hosts at the time.

The Grammy nominee began her relationship with Stokes shortly after they connected online last December. She previously explained to Call Her Daddy that she went into the romance with a new perspective after filing for divorce from Morgan Evans last August after five years of marriage.

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Since then, both performers have shared in interviews and on social media what a happy couple they are.

Last month, Stokes celebrated Ballerini’s birthday with a heartfelt tribute to her on Instagram. “Dirty 30 looks pretty damn good on you ballerini. i love you ❤️,” he captioned a carousel of photos and videos of the couple.

“You really made 29 😍🥹🫶🫠,” the country singer replied. “I love you stokes.”

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