Taylor Swift may have put Travis Kelce on the map (sorry, dads, Brads, and Chads), but it turns out the NFL star did have other loves before her.
Ahead, we break down all of the Kansas City Chiefs tight end’s known past relationships—which ultimately led him to his current romance with the pop superstar.
2016: Maya Benberry
Kelce has always been comfortable in the spotlight—so much so that he had his own reality dating show called Catching Kelce in 2016, on E!. Very à la The Bachelor, the pro football player literally dated 50 women—one per U.S. state—at once. Per Salon, Kelce often could not remember the women’s names, so he called them by their state! And when he sent them home, he asked them to please return to their state! Anyway, Kelce eventually ended up with Maya Benberry, of Kentucky.
He apparently made some comments about her being “arrogant,” and after a few months of post-show dating, the two announced their split.
Benberry, now a life coach, accused Kelce of cheating on her—claims people close to him have denied—and has since made several comments about his relationship with Swift.
“Taylor seems like such a fun girl with a beautiful spirit so I wish her the best of luck, but I wouldn’t be a girls’ girl if I didn’t advise her to be smart! I’m sure by now she has mastered the ability to see who is really there for her—and who is just using her,” she told Daily Mail UK last year.
2017-2022: Kayla Nicole
The Kansas City Chief tight end’s first big public relationship was with sports broadcaster and model Kayla Nicole.
The two dated on and off from May 2017 to 2022, and actually began dating when Kelce started flirting with Nicole via Instagram. “I was just stalking her and then finally on New Year’s, she gave in,” he told E! in 2022. “And, you know, New Year new me. She just shot her shot, jumped in my DMs, and the rest is history.”
Over the course of their relationship, the pair made various red-carpet appearances together and gushed about one another on interviews. Their 2022 breakup seemed to be amicable, and since then, Nicole has remained silent about their relationship and Kelce’s now high-profile romance with Swift. Eagle-eyed fans did notice, however, that she unfollowed Brittany Mahomes—wife of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes—on Instagram after she was seen out with the “Karma” singer.
2022: Zuri Hall
After splitting from Nicole, Kelce began dating entertainment host Zuri Hall. Romance rumors began when she was spotted in his VIP suite during one of his Chiefs games in October 2022.
The two were linked for a few months, but by January 2023, Kelce had declared himself single. “I’m in the free market right now,” he said on The Pivot podcast. “I’m out there just enjoying life, focused on my profession. Got my feet up outside of football.”
2023—: Taylor Swift
Kelce and Swift—the couple that, for the first time maybe ever, brought NFL fans and Swifties together—began dating in the summer of 2023. It all started when Kelce showed his interest in Swift by attending a concert of hers in Kansas City, Missouri, and trying to give her a friendship bracelet (a Swiftie accessory) with his phone number on it. While the athlete was not able to actually give the singer the bracelet, they did connect through mutual friends, and a whirlwind romance began.
Since, Kelce has supported Swift at her concerts around the world, Swift has supported Kelce at his NFL games (even influencing fans everywhere to watch football in full cherry-red Chiefs gear), and the two have voiced their love for one another in various candid interviews.
As Time’s 2023 Person of the Year, the Grammy winner opened up to the magazine about her supportive relationship with the NFL player. “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, addressing questions regarding how public their romance has been. “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.”