There’s no time limit when you’re shooting your shot for love!
Kelsea Ballerini celebrated her boyfriend, Chase Stokes‘, birthday by sharing a screenshot of the first message she sent him on Instagram. While the message itself isn’t so risqué, the 1 a.m. timestamp is pretty buzzworthy.
During a night out in Nashville with her girls, one of her friends suggested that she follow the Outer Banks actor. She did, and when he returned the follow, she had no problem reaching out to him at 1:07 a.m.
“I was just like, ‘Why am I waiting for this guy to reach out to me? This is 2022.'” the 30-year-old singer tells Nylon about sliding into her now-man’s DMs. “Listen, I was living my best life. I have no shame in that game.”
From the direct message, the pair met up in Los Angeles, one day before their initial first date was scheduled, and then had a follow-up date the next day. The couple confirmed their relationship earlier this year and made their red carpet debut in April.
For Ballerini — who finalized her divorce from Morgan Wade in November 2022 — she says she listened to her heart when it came to finding love again.
“I really did [know] as soon as I met him,” she tells Nylon of the 31-year-old actor. “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.”
According to Ballerini, she and Stokes both have “golden-retriever energy” and their similarities are what make them the perfect fit.
“He is the first person I’ve been in a relationship with that I feel like is not my complete opposite,” she tells the magazine.
Ballerini and Stokes had a glammed-up date night on Tuesday in New York City for the Time100 Next event. The pair were photographed showing a little PDA, and they posted cheeky BTS photos from the black-tie affair on Instagram.
Ahead of the outing, Stokes took to Instagram to share a photo dump, featuring a loved-up pic of him and Ballerini. “Insert witty caption here,” he wrote.
In September, ET spoke to the couple at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards where Stokes dished about the pep talk he had to give himself before their first official date.
“Don’t screw this up! Don’t screw this up.’ Because I kind of knew before then, I was like, ‘Uh oh, I really like this girl,'” he told ET.
The “Penthouse” performer admitted at the time that she had nerves too — which she put on display in the pep talk video she shared on Instagram.
“Before we were supposed to go on our first date, we [actually] met the night before, so the edge was off a little bit,” Ballerini told ET. “But I was still nervous [on the date]. It was our first sitting across the table at dinner [date], you know?”
For more on Kelsea and Chase’s romance, check out the links below.