The Way Chase Stokes Touches Kelsea Ballerini’s Face Shows He Thinks 'She’s The One'

kelsea ballerini chase stokes body language
Kelsea Ballerini And Chase Stokes' Body Languagegetty / taia leituala

Never say that sliding into someone’s DMs doesn’t work. After all, that’s how Kelsea Ballerini pulled Chase Stokes.

The country singer, 30, sent the Outer Banks actor, 31, a late-night Instagram message on December 1, 2022, and the rest was history. Just a few weeks later, Chase soft-launched their relationship on the app in January 2023. He posted a photo dump that included a cute pic of the back of their heads together while watching a football game.

Since then, these two have made plenty of red carpet appearances that have the world believing in love again. (So, if you’re looking for a sign to shoot your shot, this is it!) Since they're constantly photographed giggling and kissing, it's safe to say that Kelsea and Chase clearly can’t keep their hands off of each other.

To find out just what their adorable gestures and facial expressions reveal about the inner workings of their relationship, Women’s Health tapped Karen Donaldson, a communication, body language, and confidence expert and author of Speak Like You Breathe: 30 Lessons to Become a Naturally Confident Speaker for insight. Ahead, she analyzes the couple's body language and what it says about their bond:

Meet the Expert: Karen Donaldson is a communication, body language, and confidence expert and author of Speak Like You Breathe: 30 Lessons to Become a Naturally Confident Speaker.

Kelsea and Chase are equals in their relationship.

Chelsea (Kase?) was spotted walking fully in sync in New York City on March 5, 2023. In the paparazzi pic, both of them strut with their left foot forward, which shows "they're equals in the actual relationship," Donaldson says. "No one's leading anyone else."

That said, the way Chase's hand is on top of Kelsea's in their handhold can be viewed as a protective gesture, notes Donaldson. "He's just making sure that she's okay," she explains. And of course, their fingers are interlaced—as opposed to just cupping hands—increasing their skin-to-skin contact. When that happens, "it increases your feeling of trust," says Donaldson. Essentially, it's another way the couple uses physical touch to bond and feel connected.

When it comes to their facial expressions, Kelsea is flirting with the camera, doing a scrunched-up kissy face, yet she's still holding onto Chase and moving in sync with him. Meanwhile, Chase is smirking a bit at her. It's as if their combined expressions announce, "This is us and we're together" to the world, Donaldson says.

celebrity sightings in new york city march 05, 2023
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Chase is protective of Kelsea.

This pair loves a red carpet appearance almost as much as they appear to love each other in this candid snap! At the 2023 MTV Music Video Awards, the way Chase touches Kelsea's face shows that "he thinks she's special—she's the one," Donaldson says. In fact, when someone touches their partner's face when they kiss, it's them saying, "I care about you more than I can actually verbally say," she adds.

Chase also smiles down at Kelsea as he holds the small of her back, "a gesture of protection and affection," Donaldson says. (Like, if she was falling, he would literally catch her.) "This shows that he's a support system for her in the relationship," she explains. "He's literally ensuring her safety."

On Kelsea's part, you can tell that she's smiling back at him because her left cheek is raised. Still, she's leaning back a bit and her hand is in between them instead of around Chase's waist, signifying that while she's enjoying the moment, she's also a little bit shy.

2023 mtv video music awards arrivals
Jason Kempin - Getty Images

They have a deep connection.

Kelsea and Chase came in hot at the 2024 Country Music Television (CMT) Awards this past April. In this photo, Kelsea not only sits on Chase's lap, but she also leans into him, signifying a "deep connection," says Donaldson. "They don't want to be apart, no matter what they're doing." Despite them both focusing on the screen broadcasting the awards show, "there's a need for them to heighten any physical contact they can in any capacity," she adds.

As Kelsea sits on Chase's lap, she's also cupping his hand, a "warm and tender gesture," Donaldson says. "It just tells us that she has a deep level of care and love for him." And, of course, the fact that she's sitting between his legs suggests there's sexual chemistry between these two, and they're not afraid to show it.

2024 cmt music awards backstage
Christopher Polk - Getty Images

Chase and Kelsea are serious about each other.

The love birds hit the red carpet for a quick PDA sesh at the 2024 CMT Music Awards, too. Here, Chase's body language "speaks volumes," according to Donaldson. The way he subtly holds Kelsea's chin showcases that Chase wants her, but that their connection is more than lust. It's basically him saying "you're my person," Donaldson explains.

In terms of Kelsea's gestures, "there's a little bit of shyness" seen in the small gap in between them, since her arm is relaxed, but not pulling Chase in towards her. Despite Kelsea's public shyness, "it looks like she's present with him, she wants to be there with him," Donaldson adds. Plus, the fact that both their eyes are closed as the couple kiss signifies that they're completely absorbed in this moment together as if to say, "the only thing that matters is us," she says.

All in all, Kelsea and Chase are in a great spot in their 'ship. "No matter what they're doing, their intention is to be as physically close together as much as possible," Donaldson says, which shows that they're connected on not only a physical level, but also an emotional one.

2024 cmt music awards red carpet
Christopher Polk - Getty Images

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