So… Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, huh?
As tempting as it is, we're not going to start this piece with a football pun or timely lyric; no “Swift to the end zone" or “she's cheer captain and in the bleachers” kinda thing. However, there's definitely something going on between Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, as evidenced by the pics that started it all: Swift cheering her heart out at a Chiefs game and the two driving off in a getaway car (sorry, we couldn't resist that one) with Kelce resplendent in a 1989-themed 'fit.
A professional athlete is a bit of a dating departure for Swift, who has primarily been linked to musicians and actors in the past. But this potential new relationship has been brewing for awhile, so perhaps Swift is now in her football era. Or is Kelce in his muse era? Both could be true — especially given that their entire rumored relationship started with a friendship bracelet. Below, get all the details on Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce's dating rumor and relationship timeline.
November 20, 2023: Kelce opens up about how his relationship with Swift began.
It feels like we've gotten to watch every single moment of the Swift and Kelce relationship as it unfolds, but in truth, there's a lot we don't know. However, Kelce is opening up about how the two actually met, and apparently he had someone “playing Cupid” to help him get in touch with Swift.
“There were definitely people she knew that knew who I was, in her corner [who said]: Yo! Did you know he was coming? I had somebody playing Cupid," Kelce told the WSJ magazine in a candid new interview. According to Kelce, Swift eventually got in touch with him directly. “She told me exactly what was going on and how I got lucky enough to get her to reach out." (We would love to have heard that phone call or seen that text convo!)
They talked for awhile before meeting in person. “When I met her in New York, we had already kind of been talking, so I knew we could have a nice dinner and, like, a conversation, and what goes from there will go from there," Kelce recounted. Clearly that initial meeting went well, given it led to that kiss in Buenos Aires and all the rest. “Everybody around me [was] telling me: ‘Don’t f**k this up!' And me sitting here saying, ‘Yeah, got it.’”
Kelce isn't intimidated by Swift's mega-, mega-fame or the laser-focus attention on them, though he has had to adapt to it. “I’ve never dealt with it, but at the same time, I’m not running away from any of it,” he shared. “The scrutiny she gets, how much she has a magnifying glass on her, every single day, paparazzi outside her house, outside every restaurant she goes to, after every flight she gets off, and she’s just living, enjoying life. When she acts like that I better not be the one acting all strange.”
Though Kelce said he has tried to keep their relationship relatively private, he said Swift is “hilarious” and “a genius” who writes “catchy jingles” and impresses him with her skills. “I've never been a man of words,” he shared. “Being around her, seeing how smart Taylor is, has been f**king mind-blowing. I'm learning every day.” The two have also bonded over their family-centric values. “Everybody knows I'm a family guy,” Kelce explained. “Her team is her family. Her family does a lot of stuff in terms of the tour, the marketing, being around, so I think she has a lot of those values as well, which is right up my alley.”
Kelce's family clearly approves of Swift. His mom, Donna Kelce, told WSJ that her son is “happier than I've seen him in a long time” as of late. “God bless him, he shot for the stars!”
November 19, 2023: Kelce's teammate Patrick Mahomes says Swift is “not a distraction.”
Travis Kelce's parents aren't the only ones close to the football star who have given Taylor Swift their seal of approval. His teammate and friend Patrick Mahomes also thinks highly of the musician and says her relationship with Kelce is “not a distraction” for the team.
"I've been lucky enough to meet Taylor and see how good of a person she is," Mahomes shared in a new interview with ESPN. "I think you can understand why it's not become a distraction or anything like that because everybody cares about being the best they can be every day."
According to Mahomes, he and Kelce have become almost like “brothers” while playing for the Chiefs. “His family and my family have almost become one family because of the relationship that we have and how we kind of became just brothers on the football field and off the football field as well,” he explained of his friend. "He doesn't try to be this Travis Kelce Saturday Night Live guy, he just wants to be the guy who comes to play football every single day."
Mahome's wife Brittany and Swift have also become friends; she has joined Swift and pals like Sophie Turner and Blake Lively for dinners in New York City and the two have a secret handshake that they do on game day. In the interview, Mahomes also alluded to attending a concert in Europe after the season is over, which certainly sounds like a trip to the Eras Tour!
But Mahomes believes that the conversation around Swift and Kelce's relationship is coming from the outside world, not the people involved in it. “People see the whole Taylor Swift and Travis [thing] and they make it a huge deal because it is a huge deal,” he said. "I think it becomes a bigger deal to the fan bases than it does to the guys who are actually in the building."
November 15, 2023: Swift and Kelce's parents are reportedly set to meet.
Meeting the parents is a huge step, but it looks like Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are ready for such a step. While Swift may have met the Kelces and her boyfriend has hung out with her dad Scott in Argentina, their parents haven't crossed paths yet — until now. According to ET, Ed and Donna Kelce and Scott and Andrea Swift are set to meet, where else, but at Kelce's upcoming football game.
As noted by the outlet, the Kelces and the Swifts will reportedly connect for the first time at the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles game on Monday, November 20; Travis, who plays for the Chiefs, will take on his older brother Jason, who plays for the Eagles. Apparently Scott Swift is a huge Eagles fan, but his daughter's boyfriend might be changing that. "Got him over to the good side, baby," Travis said on his podcast New Heights after Scott was seen in a Chiefs lanyard. "Just one by one, getting all the good ones to come on over."
We already know that Swift has won over the Kelce parents; in October, Ed Kelce called the singer “a very, very sweet, very charming, down-to-earth young woman.” We also know that anytime Swift shows up at a Chiefs game, viewership is way up, so if the Swifts and the Kelces are there together, will anyone actually be watching the game?
November 11, 2023: Swift changes “Karma” lyrics for Kelce and we get our first publicly recorded kiss.
Welcome to the latest episode of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce Take Over the World. Last episode, we left off with the Kansas City Chiefs tight end traveling to Argentina on his bye week to spend some time with his famous superstar girlfriend. (See the update below if you missed it).
Kelce successfully traveled over five thousand miles south to reunite with Swift, and it was an eventful journey, to say the least. On Saturday night, Kelce attended Swift’s Eras concert stop in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, and the superstar made sure to pay back the effort of the long trek with a not-so-subtle lyric change. To close off the show on a high note, Swift sings her 2022 hit “Karma” from Midnights, and she decided to add a little bit of a twist for the night, belting, "Karma is the guy on the Chiefs, coming straight home to me” instead of “Karma is the guy on the screen, coming straight home to me” for the special night. (You can see a clip from the concert here.)
Swift’s lyric change was, of course, met with much roaring and screaming from the crowd, who were left fawning for the couple. Thanks to concert-goers, we also got a glimpse at Kelce’s own reaction to the lyric change. Kelce, who was watching the concert next to Swift’s father, Scott Kingsley Swift, got the good old “did you hear that” pat on the shoulder from his quasi-in-law and immediately proceeded to cover his face from embarrassment but not before we could all see the massive, delighted grin on his face. (See the full reaction here.)
As if things couldn’t get more rom-com-y, upon finishing the concert, Swift briefly waved to fans before full-on running straight to Kelce to kiss him for everyone to see before the two headed backstage together. (See that moment here.)
As noted by The Mirror, the couple also reportedly spent the night before the show together at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires. Since Swift’s Friday night show was postponed due to the weather, the couple reportedly went for dinner together alongside Swift’s father and were spotted leaving the restaurant holding hands. All in all, a pretty successful bye week for Kelce we’d say.
November 10, 2023: Kelce travels to Buenos Aires to support Swift on her South American Eras Tour leg.
As speculated last month, the NFL star is, in fact, spending his bye week in Argentina to support his rumored girlfriend. Us Weekly reports that Kelce was spotted arriving in Buenos Aires on Friday, November 10.
On the November 8 episode of his podcast New Heights, Kelce slyly hinted that he might be traveling to Argentina to see Swift during his time off. When his brother Jason asked whether he had bye week plans, the Chiefs tight end replied, "Not really. I might just say f*ck it and just go somewhere nice, I don't know… My skin's getting real pale, so I gotta go somewhere sunny… Closer to the equator." His brother tried to pry, asking, “South of the equator?" But Kelce only laughed in response. Our geography buffs reading this are already aware: Buenos Aires, Argentina, is definitely south of the equator.
Swift is set to play her second night at Buenos Aires' River Plate Stadium on 11/10 before taking a few days off before her next South American tour stop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 11/18. Will we be getting South American couple shots of Kelce and Swift gallivanting around the continent? Only time will tell. Isn't long distance so…romantic?
October 30, 2023: Kelce dances to 2 Swift songs; reports say their romance is “getting serious.”
Things are (allegedly) really heating up between the pop superstar and the pro football player — even beyond Sunday games and New York City date nights. According to a source, Swift and Kelce's relationship is leveling up. “It's quickly turning more serious,” a source told People of the pair. “They share a strong work ethic and have a huge appreciation for life and their careers, strong family bond and values.” Before you start planning their wedding, however, remember that this info comes from an unnamed source, not Swift, Kelce, or their reps, so it's best to take any speculation about their relationship status at face value.
That being said, Kelce did subtly shout out his reported girlfriend in the cutest way at Game 1 of the 2023 World Series. As noted by Billboard, the athlete was spotted dancing to Swift's 1989 hit “Shake It Off” during the game. He was also spotted recording a video of himself singing and dancing along to “Love Story” at a bar, with fans speculating that he was sending the video to Swift herself. (It's pretty cute.) This all tracks, given that the above source told People that part of Kelce's charm is his happy-go-lucky attitude; they called him “sweet, goofy and just a blast to be around.” Judging from these clips, we'd have to agree.
October 24, 2023: Swift earns high praise from Kelce's dad.
Now Swift can count both Donna and Ed Kelce as fans. Travis's dad Ed Kelce told People that he approves of his son's musician girlfriend, calling her “a very, very sweet, very charming, down-to-earth young woman." Aww! Ed also called her “very smart” and was instantly impressed.
According to Ed, he noticed something special about Swift upon their first meeting and it stuck with him. “We're sitting in the suite, she gets up and in the front room, she gets up to go get a drink or something and she starts picking up empty bottles, cans, plates that are scattered around," he explained. "Because in the suites everybody gets stuff and you empty it down wherever you can. And I'm just thinking, I don't think she got the diva memo. She didn't get the spoiled musician. She doesn't know how to pull that off. And that really to me said a whole lot.”
Travis Kelce himself is obviously impressed by Swift, too, especially when he's on the field. In a new episode of his podcast New Heights, which he hosts with his fellow athlete brother Jason, Kelce said that it's “good” when Swift is in the stands, given that he doubles his average yardage when she's in attendance.
“When T. Swift is at the game, you’re averaging 99 yards,” Jason told his brother. “And when you’re left with only your friends and remaining family there, you are at 46.5 yards a game.” Kelce acknowledged that he's aware of this marked difference, and so is his coach, Andy Reid. “Kelce is getting better with time,” Reid shared over the weekend, as noted by Page Six. “Taylor can stay around all she wants." We hope she does.
October 23, 2023: Swift is photographed kissing Kelce for the first time.
Okay, on the cheek! But still! Model and entrepreneur Chariah Gordon, girlfriend of Kelce's teammate Mecole Hardman Jr., shared a few pics from after the game to her Instagram, including an adorable shot of herself and Swift — but one photo in particular made us do a double-take. The two couples were snapped posing together, with Swift reaching up to kiss Kelce on the cheek. In the pic, her eyes are closed and her hand rests on his chest. Also adorable? The pair's matching red outfits, with Kelce in a plaid shirt and Swift in her Chiefs gear, pleated skirt, and Nikes, complete with a red Swoosh. We've seen Swift and Kelce holding hands and some suspicious lipstick smudges near his mouth, but this is the first actual kiss between the two captured on camera. It's a love story, baby, just say yes!
October 22, 2023: Swift attends a Chiefs game and the pair leave hand-in-hand.
Swift was back in action on October 22, cheering on Kelce at Arrowhead Stadium in his home base of Kansas City. Like a true fan, Swift wore a bright red vintage Chiefs sweatshirt and matching red lipstick; she spent the game cheering, dancing, and by all accounts, having an incredible time. Some eagle-eyed fans noticed that Swift was wearing a beaded friendship bracelet with the number “87” on it, a reference to Kelce's jersey number.
Swift also appears to have a secret handshake with her new friend Brittany Mahomes, wife of Kelce's teammate Patrick Mahomes. As noted by People, Swift was in the Mahomes family box for the game and spent time with Brittany and her children, Sterling and Patrick. The two did their handshake a few times throughout the game, ending with a hip bump. (You'll remember that Mahomes was in attendance for the NYC dinner with Swift, Blake Lively, and Sophie Turner.)
After the game, which ended in a 31-17 Chiefs victory, Swift and Kelce left the stadium together hand-in-hand. The pair are clearly soaking in every moment together before Swift jets off on the international leg of her Eras tour — which starts on November 9 in Buenos Aires, Argentina — and they're looking very cute and happy doing it. (Oh, and yes, Kelce knows he and Swift sometimes have “weird hand-holding poses.”)
October 19, 2023: Kelce plans to visit Swift on her international tour dates.
While Swift is currently on a short break from her Eras World Tour dates, she'll be back in action come November — and Kelce, despite his own busy schedule, will reportedly be with her as much as possible. According to ET, the musician and the athlete are ready to do the long-distance thing.
“Travis and Taylor are all in. The two are very into each other and are enjoying their time together but are also planning for the future,” a source told the outlet. “Taylor starts her international tour in November, and Travis is planning to be there to spend time with her.” Kelce has a bye week when Swift is playing three shows in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and he reportedly plans to travel to see her during his time off. “Travis and Taylor are very serious about their careers, and the two bond over that and want to show support for each other whenever they can.” Awww.
And while rumors swirled that the new couple were already set to move in together, it turns out that there was some truth to the house-hunting gossip. TMZ reports that it was Kelce who was looking for a new, more private home away from the prying eyes of curious onlookers, and he reportedly purchased a $6 million mansion in Kansas City.
October 14-15, 2023: Swift and Kelce spend the weekend together in NYC.
After lying low for a few weeks, Swift and Kelce were back in a big way for a PDA-heavy weekend in New York City and the Internet could not deal. First, they were seen holding hands and getting cozy en route to dinner at Nobu, then again after Swift's surprise appearance to introduce Ice Spice on Saturday Night Live. (Kelce also popped up in a skit.) Swift wore a long coat and black-on-black Versace corset top and trousers while Kelce opted for leather pants and a patterned jacket.
The pair were snapped at Catch Steak for the SNL afterparty looking very much like a couple. “They do seem in love," an insider who was at the restaurant told Page Six. "She seemed really excited around him, and giddy and happy like a schoolgirl… They are in their own world.”
“Taylor and Travis were there all night and they were so smiley, they were so happy,” another source told People. “They were so talkative. They were really fun. They talked to every single person in the room that talked to them.” According to the source, they also weren't shy about showing each other affection. At one point, the source said Kelce “takes both her hands and puts them on his shoulder, so they're face to face, and then he takes both his hands and grabs her waist. They're leaning in, they're kissing each other." (Fans also noticed that Swift's lipstick looked smudged and Kelce appeared to have a touch of red on his face in paparazzi pics.)
Another source told ET that Kelce was “protective” of Swift. “At one point, he actually told her security guard that he could step aside, like he'd take it from here,” they said. One Catch Steak guest took a sneaky video of the two cuddling and swaying together. On the morning of October 15, Kelce was snapped leaving Swift's Tribeca apartment, and the two were seen out and about together again that evening. (She was noticeably not wearing lipstick… hmm.) It certainly looks like this is A Thing, and TBH, we're into it.
October 2, 2024: Swift gets Donna Kelce's Instagram stamp of approval.
Swift got the coveted Donna Kelce stamp of approval on Instagram on October 2, when Kelce's proud mom shared a video of herself and the musician at the Jets game, where Swift puts her arm around Donna and gives her a little squeeze. “Travis Kelce's biggest fans,” reads the video, which was also shared by the official Sunday Night Football Instagram account. “Oh Thanksgiving is totally happening,” wrote one commenter.
The Swift effect continues to boost NFL ratings in a massive way. The Chiefs vs. Jets game on October 1, which Swift attended with a bunch of her famous friends, earned 27 million viewers, peaking with more than 29 million viewers during the second quarter. According to Deadline, this was up 22% from last year. Deadline also reports that this game in particular saw an increase in female viewership, particularly girls ages 12 to 17, rising “53% from the season average for the first three games of the season.” Among women ages 18 to 24, viewership was up 24% and up by 34% for women over 35. Might as well rename it the Swiftie Bowl.
October 1, 2023: Swift brings all of her friends to watch Kelce play.
The Chiefs played the Jets at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday, October 1, and Taylor Swift wasn't the only superstar in the VIP suite cheering on Kelce and his team. She brought a plethora of her pals along with her, including besties Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Sophie Turner, Hugh Jackman, Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski, and Eras Tour opener Sabrina Carpenter. Kelce's mom Donna and Brittany Mahomes, wife of Kelce's teammate Patrick Mahomes, were also in the star-studded suite. (Brittany Mahomes joined Swift, Lively, and Turner for dinner in New York on September 30.)
Swift, wearing a black top and denim shorts with knee-high black boots, was again an enthusiastic cheerleader for her rumored boyfriend and his team. However, the two did not depart in Kelce's “getaway car” this time; TMZ reports they left the stadium separately, though we don't know if they met up later.
The Swift effect has come for the NFL, and ratings are sky high. “I think the ratings are going to go even higher every single week for the Chiefs games, which is hard because they were already one of the best teams in the league,” NFL analyst JJ Watt told People. According to Fox Sports, the September 24 game where Swift made her first appearance gained over 24.3 million viewers — the “most watched telecast of the week on any network.”
September 27, 2023: New cozy photos of Swift and Kelce circulate.
Started with a friendship bracelet and now we're here. New photos of Swift and Kelce at the aforementioned post-game party began circulating on September 27. Someone at the event snuck a few quick snaps of the musician and athlete together, and Swift is pictured with an arm around Kelce while talking to another attendee. That's about all the pictures suggest — they have a bit of motion blur and are taken at an awkward angle likely due to the secrecy — but hey, it's something.
September 27, 2023: Kelce talks about Swift on his podcast.
Kelce directly addressed Swift's appearance at his game on his podcast New Heights after some prodding from his brother and co-host Jason Kelce. “Shoutout to Taylor for pulling up, that was pretty ballsy!" the athlete said. He then praised Swift for being a good hang. “I just thought it was awesome how everybody in the suite had nothing but great things to say about her, the friends and family. She looked amazing. Everyone was talking about her in great light.”
After his brother teased him about Swift “putting [him] on the map,” Kelce said the event was a “game I will remember” for more reasons than one, and couldn't resist making a song lyric joke. “Then we just slid off in the getaway car at the end," he said.
The athlete did open up a bit about the frenzy around their potential pairing, but he said he'll be keeping a bit more quiet in the future. “I know I brought all this attention to me. I did the whole friendship bracelet thing and told everyone how butt hurt I was I didn’t get to meet Taylor,” he explained. “I think what’s real is that it is my personal life and I want to respect both of our lives. I’m enjoying life and I sure as hell enjoyed this weekend."
September 26, 2023: Kelce's ex-girlfriend warns Swift, calls him a “cheater.”
Kelce's ex-girlfriend Maya Benberry, who dated the athlete for a few months after winning his dating show Catching Kelce in 2016, had some, um, advice for Swift. “Only time will tell but like the saying always goes, once a cheater, always a cheater,” Benberry told the Daily Mail.
“Taylor seems like such a fun girl with a beautiful spirit, so I wish her the best of luck, but I wouldn’t be a girls’ girl if I didn’t advise her to be smart!” Benberry shared. "I’m sure by now she has mastered the ability to see who is really there for her — and who is just using her.”
However, a source shot down Benberry's claims to Page Six, saying that she and Kelce barely spent time together; the athlete then went on to date Kayla Nicole from 2017 to 2022. “They dated literally less than three months, and they were contractually obligated to not announce their breakup,” the source shared. “So when she says, ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater,’ she doesn’t even know what she’s talking about. This is very much a 15-minutes-of-fame type of a moment for her.”
September 26, 2023: A source says the two are “having fun."
Swift's appearance at the game was a pretty big deal, but a source told PEOPLE that the singer and the athlete are still in the early stages of getting to know each other. "They're having fun," the source shared. "This was Taylor's first time meeting his mom and dad, and everyone was enjoying themselves. She was super chill and low-key hanging out with his friends and family." According to the source, there's “no pressure” with the two at the moment.
September 25, 2023: Swift and Kelce have reportedly hung out “in a very private setting."
Given Swift's rapport with Kelce's mom and the rumored couple's apparent body language, it seemed as though the Chiefs game wasn't their first meeting. According to TMZ, Swift and Kelce had actually hung out “several times" prior to the high-profile event “in a very private setting.” A source told the outlet that Swift and Kelce have hung out a few times over the past few months, though the September 24 game was her first time meeting Donna.
September 24, 2023: Swift and Kelce leave the game together.
As if Swift's appearance at the game wasn't newsworthy enough, the duo were snapped leaving the game together, with Kelce dressed in Kid Super's 1989 Bedroom Painting outfit — a potential nod to Swift's forthcoming re-record? According to ET, Kelce then rented out an entire restaurant in Kansas City for himself, Swift, and his friends and family. “Travis bought out the restaurant for his family and team. Taylor arrived, wearing a denim dress, and was seen snacking, having some cocktails and dancing alongside Travis,” a source shared. "The two were very affectionate with one another but kept things fun and lighthearted. Travis' teammates also showed up to the after-party, as well as his mom and dad, Donna and Ed. The party lasted until 2 a.m."
September 24, 2023: Swift accepts Kelce's invite.
Not only was Swift present at the Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium, she was there with Kelce's mom, Donna — and she was dressed all in red. Swift looked like she was having the time of her life at the game, cheering on Kelce and his teammates from a private suite. Esquire notes that she was even seen screaming “Let's f*cking go!” after Kelce scored a touchdown.
September 22, 2023: Kelce invites Swift to a game.
The football star extended an invite to Swift, encouraging her to come see him do his thing. “I told her that I’ve seen her rock a stage in Arrowhead and she might have to come see me rock the stage at Arrowhead,” Kelce said on The Pat McAfee Show.
“It's hilarious how much traction this has gotten. It's like a game in school called Telephone," Kelce said of the dating rumors. “No one really knows what's going on.” He did, however, allude to something going on, saying, “We'll see what happens in the future.”
September 16, 2023: ESPN winks at the dating rumors.
On an episode of SportsCenter, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter gave a clever wink to the many Swift/Kelce rumors, referencing a handful of Swift song titles alongside his report. “Clearly, Travis Kelce, at this point in time, is trying to Shake It Off and get back out there. He knows how much he's needed and that he's The Man,” Schefter said. “It was a little bit of a Cruel Summer for Travis Kelce with that knee injury but he can see the Daylight, Kevin. He looks like he's Ready For It.”
September 12, 2023: A source says Swift and Kelce are “hanging out.”
We don't know for sure if Swift ever got Kelce's friendship bracelet, but The Messenger reported that the two had indeed managed to connect. "Taylor and Travis have been quietly hanging out," a source told the publication. “She saw him when she was in NYC a few weeks ago.”
July 2023: Travis Kelce is spotted at the Eras Tour.
Kelce was in the audience for one of the Eras Tour shows in Kansas City, MO, and even made a friendship bracelet for the musician, but the beads didn't reference her lyrics — it had his phone number on it. "I was disappointed that she doesn’t talk before or after her shows because she has to save her voice for the 44 songs that she sings," the athlete shared on a previous episode of his podcast New Heights. "If you’re up on Taylor Swift concerts, there are friendship bracelets, and I received a bunch of them being there, but I wanted to give Taylor Swift one with my number on it… She doesn't meet anybody, or at least she didn't want to meet me, so I took it personal." Though Kelce unfortunately couldn't get the bracelet to her at the show, the two clearly managed to connect elsewhere.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue
Looking for more relationship timelines? Check these out: