Taylor Swift has been riding high in 2023, breaking records with her Eras tour and sweeping the boards at the VMAs. And now it seems like she’s embarking on a new Love Story.
Following her breakup from Joe Alwyn earlier this year and shortlived rebound with The 1975 frontman Matty Healy, the singer has been linked to NFL star Travis Kelce.
Is it true, though? He’s the Chiefs tight end, but is she up in the bleachers? Or is it all just folklore? In true Swiftie fashion, we conducted a forensic analysis of all of the clues.
July 7: Cruel Summer
Kelce first made a move on when he attended Swift’s Eras tour in Kansas City, Missouri, and tried to give the singer his phone number. The athlete had done his homework, too: he made a special friendship bracelet with his digits on it, knowing that exchanging bracelets at the concerts was a hugely popular activity among the Swiftie fandom.
However, Swift doesn’t meet with people prior to her shows, and so Kelce was unable to give her the gift.
“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,” he said during an episode of the New Heights podcast he hosts with his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce. “So, I was a little butthurt that I didn’t get to hand her one of the bracelets I made for her.”
August 31: Welcome to New York
In another episode of the podcast, Jason grilled his brother about how he spent his week off, and Kelce played coy about what he did or who he spent that time with.
“I think I was up in New York,” he said.
September 12: Sparks Fly
In a story published by The Messenger, an “insider” source close to both Swift and Kelce fueled the rumors that the pair are getting along famously.
“Taylor and Travis have been quietly hanging out,” they said. “She saw him when she was in NYC a few weeks ago.”
September 19: Bejeweled
As the rumors surrounding Swift and Kelce began to pick up speed, Page Six reported that the singer had been spotted wearing a teardrop-shaped opal pendant—corresponding with Kelce’s birthstone—on a night out. This might sound like a reach, but Swift is known for peppering her wardrobe with as many Easter eggs as her songs. Also? The necklace, made by jeweler Foundrae, is called the Forever & Always a Pair chain, sharing a title with a love song from Swift’s second album Fearless.
September 20: I Think He Knows
Kelce’s brother Jason seemingly confirmed the rumors during an on-air interview with sports radio station 94WIP.
“I don’t really know a lot about what’s happening with Travis’ love life… his business is his business,” he said. “Having said that, man, I think he’s doing great and I think it’s all 100 percent true.”
September 21: Blank Space?
A source close to Swift clarified that while she and Kelce have been casually hanging out, the singer is very much in her “fun girl era” and not looking to get serious with anybody right now.
“She and Travis have hung out twice, and it’s nothing serious. She thinks he is very charming, and they have been texting this last week,” they said. “He is a little embarrassed at how much attention they are getting, but he has told her he would love to continue seeing her.”
September 24: End Game
Swift attended a Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, and was photographed sitting in the stands and cheering on the team next to Kelce’s mother, Donna.
In a post-game interview, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes joked that he felt he had to do his part to make Kelce look good in front of his crush. “I heard that she was in the house… I felt a little bit of pressure,” he said. “I knew I had to get [the ball] to Trav… He does his own thing and just makes up a route and I throw it to him. I think he wanted to get in the end zone as much as all the Swifties wanted him to.”
Later that same evening, Swift and Kelce left the stadium together after the game, in a moment that was captured on video and has since blown up on TikTok:
And while the singer might no longer be in her Red era, she dressed for the occasion in a red-and-white Chiefs jacket to show her support for her new maybe-beau’s team. But this still doesn’t necessarily confirm the rumors.
“Taylor is very focused on work right now and hanging out with her girlfriends,” a source told People. “Travis invited her to the game, and of course she said ‘yes’… She just thought it was a fantastic way to spend Sunday.”
Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.