Neilson Barnard/Getty, Rocco Spaziani/Archivio Spaziani/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Kelsea Ballerini; Chase Stokes
Kelsea Ballerini is “having fun” as she returns to dating again after her divorce — and that means sliding into Chase Stokes’ DMs!
After confirming that she is not single, the “Blindsided” singer, 29, revealed on Wednesday’s episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast that she’s enjoying the journey after never having dated before, and she’s “just vibing” with the 30-year-old Outer Banks star.
“I was ready to open back up,” Ballerini told host Alex Cooper. “I just felt, why not? I’ve never really dated; I don’t know how it works. I’m like, ‘Let’s just put ourselves out there; let’s just vibe.’ And it’s been fun.”
The star says she slid into Stokes’ DMs (“I’m not going to get on an app”) after the two began following each other on Instagram.
“I’ve never seen his show, but I just knew of him, and I just swan dove right on in,” Ballerini said.
When Cooper asked her what she said to the actor, the “Yeah Boy” singer shared that she kept it simple: “His handle is ‘@hichasestokes,’ and I said, ‘Hi, Chase Stokes.’ “
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Chase Stokes/instagram Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes
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Ballerini went on to explain that she approached the new relationship — which she said began in December — with a new perspective, after filing for a divorce from her husband of nearly five years, fellow country star Morgan Evans, last August.
“I think I’m finally an adult,” she said. “I think that just happened over the last couple of years, and I feel like what that means to me is I have opinions. I have a career that is a priority for me, to show up for myself and the people that I’ve aligned with along this journey. And I have aspirations and goals that are tied to no one, and those are all really important things.”
The “Miss Me More” hitmaker then added, “I have my s— together, you know what I mean?”
Asked earlier in the interview whether she was concerned about how Evans, 37, might feel seeing photos of her with Stokes, Ballerini said, “No, because I’m not married to him anymore and I don’t need to care about his feelings anymore.”
But, the country singer clarified, “And I mean that with all the respect in the world, but his journey is not mine anymore. I hope he is protected from whatever he needs to be protected from seeing — I hope he has people in his life that help him do that — [but] that is not my job.”
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Last month, the couple sparked romance rumors after Stokes posted a cuddly photo of them together at the college football national championship game, where they watched Georgia take on TCU at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
Shortly after, Ballerini subtly addressed the dating rumors with a cryptic TikTok that included a screenshot from the celebrity gossip account DeuxMoi, which featured anonymous tips about her and Stokes. The two were also spotted showing PDA at LAX airport.
Stokes spoke to PEOPLE for a recent issue featuring Outer Banks season 3, and said he and Ballerini “have just been spending some time together.”
He added, “Kelsea is a lovely, lovely girl. She’s great. We’re having a good time.”
For Ballerini, the relationship also comes with a learning curve. “I’m really relearning a lot about myself and how I show up in a relationship and how I show up for myself,” she said on Wednesday’s podcast episode. “And it’s been a really beautiful reawakening.”