Pop Culture

Travis Kelce’s Secret to Dating Taylor Swift: “Make Sure I Don’t Say Anything That Would Push Taylor Away”

In late October, Travis Kelce, whose various jobs include tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, and spokesperson for several brands, drove writer J.R. Moehringer around Kansas City in his custom Rolls-Royce Ghost, the ceiling of which is festooned with little LED stars. “Make a wish,” Kelce tells Moehringer, author of a new WSJ. Magazine profile of Kelce, “Dreams come true.”

Asked if he really just said that, Kelce responds, “How do you think I manifest it all?”

While speaking with Moehringer (who collaborated with Prince Harry on his bombshell memoir, Spare), Kelce shared rare on-the-record details of his relationship with Swift. Despite admitting to the world on his podcast with brother Jason Kelce that he’d shot his shot trying (and failing) to get backstage and give Swift a friendship bracelet with his phone number on it, he said Swift’s team came through on his behalf.

“There were definitely people she knew that knew who I was, in her corner [who said]: Yo! Did you know he was coming? I had somebody playing Cupid.” Later, Swift herself reached out, to his surprise. “She told me exactly what was going on and how I got lucky enough to get her to reach out.”

It also didn’t hurt, he said, that some of Swift’s extended family appeared to be fans. “She’ll probably hate me for saying this, but…when she came to Arrowhead, they gave her the big locker room as a dressing room, and her little cousins were taking pictures…in front of my locker.”

They began chatting, and then had a date in New York. Here’s where Kelce goes quiet on details, taking a page from Swift’s own playbook of controlling her personal narrative.

“That was the biggest thing to me: make sure I don’t say anything that would push Taylor away,” he said.

“Obviously I’ve never dated anyone with that kind of aura about them…. I’ve never dealt with it,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m not running away from any of it…. The scrutiny she gets, how much she has a magnifying glass on her, every single day, paparazzi outside her house, outside every restaurant she goes to, after every flight she gets off, and she’s just living, enjoying life. When she acts like that I better not be the one acting all strange.”

His family was also careful to play it cool when discussing the nascent relationship, aware of Swift’s long-running reputation for privacy. Travis’s mother, Donna Kelce, who witnessed Swift’s “seemingly ranch” in person and has hung out with the singer in the Chiefs VIP suite multiple times, played it less cool, saying, “I can tell you this, he’s happier than I’ve seen him in a long time…. God bless him, he shot for the stars!”

Travis thinks Swift is “hilarious” and a “genius.” Even if he wasn’t the subject of lyrical shout-outs like “the guy on the Chiefs, coming straight home to me,” the dude is a certified Swiftie. His era? 1989. It is his birth year, after all.

“‘Blank Space’ was one I wanted to hear live for sure,” he said. “‘I could make a bad guy good for the weekend.’ That’s a helluva line!”

And he appears to be bringing a dose of levity to Swift’s life. He has a goofy demeanor in interviews, and has been known to very earnestly rank Halloween candy with his brother on a recent episode of their podcast, and the WSJ. piece reveals that one of the many nicknames his long-time friends call him is “Big Yeti.” His ringtone is Chris Farley in Tommy Boy shrieking “for the love of god!” and he mentioned introducing Swift to his favorite comedies. The two apparently dueted Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” at a group hang, though the memory is iffy, he said, because “there was some wine involved, for sure.” Kelce and Swift’s much-photographed NYC exploits included a surprise trip to Saturday Night Live and hand-holding jaunts through the streets: They’re having fun together. 

Swift is currently on the international leg of her Eras Tour, and Kelce popped down to Argentina to catch a show a week ago, where the two hard-launched their relationship with that on-stage shoutout and a backstage (yet out in the open) post-show kiss. Swift is currently in Brazil, where extreme temperatures forced a show postponement for the planned Saturday concert, and a 23-year-old fan, Ana Clara Benvenides Machado, died after collapsing at Friday’s show. Swift had reportedly been planning to attend Monday’s football game between Travis’ Chiefs and big brother Jason’s Eagles, potentially even with both Kelce and Swift’s parents in the suite as well, but she will instead be in Brazil playing the rescheduled date.

The duo’s ocean-hopping, attention-grabbing whirlwind of a relationship continues in earnest, with Kelce seeming unable to not gush about the singer. 

“I’ve never been a man of words,” he told WSJ.. “Being around her, seeing how smart Taylor is, has been fucking mind-blowing. I’m learning every day.”

Representatives for Taylor Swift did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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