Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are the real deal. In a rare sit-down with Swift in support of being named TIME‘s Person of the Year, she opened up about her relationship status with the Kansas City Chiefs tight end, as well as the romantic whirlwind’s arts-and-crafts-based nexus event.
“This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt, and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been,” she said of her overall vibe. And? “Football is awesome, it turns out. I’ve been missing out my whole life.”
While Swift friend and collaborator Jack Antonoff may or may not have recently dropped some cryptic intel about Swift’s past romantic timelines and ghosts of Joe Alwyns past, she shared more details about what’s been going on behind the scenes with Kelce these past several months.
As it turns out, a gentle roasting really does wonders when it comes to winning the heart of a global superstar. “This all started when Travis very adorably put me on blast on his podcast, which I thought was metal as hell,” Swift said.
That blast would be the July 26 episode of Kelce’s New Heights podcast, which he co-hosts with brother Jason Kelce, a center for the Philadelphia Eagles. Usually, the siblings recap their games, rank Halloween candy, whatever. On that episode, however, Jason ribbed his brother about his status as a Swiftie and failed attempt to get the singer his digits.
Travis attended Swift’s Eras Tour when it came through Kansas City in early July, he said, and fell short of the endzone (in this case, backstage to meet Swift). “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,” Travis said on the pod. “So I was a little butt hurt I didn’t get to hand her one of the bracelets I made for her.”
Travis took a note from “You’re On Your Own Kid” and made the friendship bracelets, at least attempting to take the moment and taste it.
“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,” Travis said before lamenting that “she doesn’t meet anybody or at least she didn’t want to meet me, so I took it personal. But it was an unbelievable show.”
In a twist, Swift got the message, game recognized (attempted) game, and the two got in touch.
“We started hanging out right after that,” she told TIME. “So we actually had a significant amount of time that no one knew, which I’m grateful for, because we got to get to know each other. By the time I went to that first game, we were a couple. I think some people think that they saw our first date at that game? We would never be psychotic enough to hard launch a first date.”
Since then, however, things have certainly been launched harder than Swift herself into Kelce’s waiting arms (and face) after her show in Argentina. From Halloween costumes to the NFL fan-cam, it’s pretty much impossible to be ignorant of Swift and Kelce’s romance.
And, hey, about that fan cam: She has nothing to do with it. She’s just there.
“I don’t know how they know what suite I’m in,” she said. “There’s a camera, like, a half-mile away, and you don’t know where it is, and you have no idea when the camera is putting you in the broadcast, so I don’t know if I’m being shown 17 times or once.”
“I’m just there to support Travis,” she said. “I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads, and Chads.”
She knows all eyes are on her, and by extension Kelce. She’s a public person, he’s a public person, therefore their relationship is public too. That’s just how it goes.
“When you say a relationship is public, that means I’m going to see him do what he loves, we’re showing up for each other, other people are there and we don’t care,” she said. “The opposite of that is you have to go to an extreme amount of effort to make sure no one knows that you’re seeing someone. And we’re just proud of each other.”
Representatives for Taylor Swift did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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