Flirty friends or something more? Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini nearly broke the internet after they cozied up at the College Football Playoff National Championship earlier this month, but they have not made their relationship official — yet.
“Chase and Kelsea have been flirting back and forth since meeting through friends at the College Football National Championship Game in L.A., but they’re not together,” a source exclusively reveals in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “Something may happen down the line, but it was just innocent on both sides.”
The Outer Banks star, 30, posted a “recap” Instagram carousel of photos on January 13. In his photo dump, he cuddled with the “Peter Pan” songstress, 29, while watching the January 8 college football playoffs between the Georgia Bulldogs and the TCU Horned Frogs. Although the backs of the duo’s heads were only visible in the snap, Stokes tagged Ballerini’s account.
“Go vols 🙈,” the Tennessee native commented on the Tell Me Your Secrets alum’s post, referring to the University of Tennessee’s own team.
Two days earlier, Stokes had subtly replied to an Instagram carousel on Ballerini’s page. “Could you please add piping hot sake to the list on slide 8 please with a side of burnt finger tips?” he commented, referring to a photo of the country singer sipping on hot tea.
Ballerini, who finalized her divorce from ex-husband Morgan Evans last year, continued to fuel the dating rumors when she posted her own photo dump hours later on January 13. In one solo pic of herself, she wore a Knoxville baseball cap — and tagged Stokes’ account.
“I like dat hat ma’am,” the actor replied.
Despite several flirty social media exchanges, the twosome played coy about their romantic status.
“She’s a sweet girl,” Stokes — who previously dated his Outer Banks costar Madelyn Cline between April 2020 to November 2021— gushed to TMZ earlier this month. “We’re having a good time and that’s all I’ll say.”
Ballerini, for her part, reacted to the speculation via TikTok several days later. “I know, I know, I know,” she said in her social media video. “Stop reading, stop reading. Stop looking. But what is happening, guys. What? Let’s not do this.”
The duo later stepped out together at Robert’s Western World bar in Nashville on Tuesday, January 24. In footage obtained by TMZ, Stokes can be seen whispering in the “Miss Me More” singer’s ear before grabbing her hand.
While the Maryland native and Ballerini have not further addressed their relationship status, the insider can see an official romance blossoming down the line.
“They both think the other is very attractive, so you never know,” the source told Us.
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