By now, everybody knows that Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce are an item — but most people might be surprised at exactly how long their relationship has been going on.

In a new interview with Time in her 2023 Person of the Year Issue, Swift reveals that before she and Kelce went public, there was a period of time when they quietly dated without telling anyone outside their closest circles.

  • Kelce first mentioned Swift in a July episode of his New Heights podcast, telling his brother and fellow athlete Jason Kelce that he unsuccessfully tried to give Swift a friendship bracelet with his number on it at one of her Eras Tour shows.
  • Romance rumors buzzed around Swift and Kelce later that summer, but there was no proof they were dating — and neither party confirmed it.
  • It wasn't until Sept. 24 that they took their relationship public when Swift attended a Chiefs game.

Many fans thought that game was Swift and Kelce's first date — but they'd already been together for weeks by that point, she reveals in the new interview.

"By the time I went to that first game, we were a couple," the singer says. "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."

Looking back at the timeline, Swift puts their actual first date as sometime in the middle of summer, right after Kelce publicly mentioned trying (and failing) to pass along his number to her.

"This all started when Travis very adorably put me on blast on his podcast, which I thought was metal as hell," Swift continues. "We started hanging out right after that. So we actually had a significant amount of time no one knew, which I'm grateful for, because we got to get to know each other."

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The singer is no stranger to keeping a relationship largely private — her last known relationship, with actor Joe Alwyn, largely took place out of the spotlight — but Swift now says she's enjoying the benefits of being open with fans about who she's dating.

"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 reflects to Time. "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."

Pictures: Taylor Swift Watches Travis Kelce Score a Touchdown

Taylor Swift accepted NFL tight end Travis Kelce's invitation to attend his football game on Sunday (Sept. 24). His Kansas City Chiefs beat the Chicago Bears 41-10 in Kansas City. Swift was remarkably excited when Kelce scored a touchdown to make it 34-0.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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