Top-tier tight end Travis Kelce — better known in Philly as the brother of Eagles center Jason Kelce — is settling in nicely to another identity: Taylor Swift’s boyfriend.
After soft-launching for weeks, the two have fully taken their relationship public, sharing a passionate kiss backstage at one of Swift’s Eras Tour performances in Argentina. Swift has also been showing up at Kansas City Chiefs games to cheer on Kelce.
Now, Travis is opening up about all he’s learning about fame, music, and the pop star herself in a wide-ranging interview for the December-January issue of WSJ., the Wall Street Journal Magazine.
Though the article is primarily about Kelce as a family man and businessman, a disproportionate amount of space is dedicated to ironing out the specifics of Tayvis: when they started dating, what they like about each other, and how Mama Kelce really feels. It strikes a different tone than recent episodes of New Heights — the podcast Travis and Jason host — where they’ve taken to joking about the novelty of being in Swift’s orbit.
In case you’re only interested in Kelce’s budding romance with Swift (and not his investment portfolio), here’s a recap of every time he mentioned Tayvis in The Wall Street Journal interview.
Travis Kelce was a Swiftie before they started dating
Kelce makes clear that he identified as a Swiftie long before he attended the Eras Tour in Kansas City this summer.
His favorite album is 1989, Kelce told The Wall Street Journal, and “Blank Space” ranks among his favorite songs. “‘I could make a bad guy good for the weekend.’ That’s a helluva line!” he said, ever-so-slightly misquoting Swift’s lyric.
Kelce also said he’s been studying Swift’s lyrics now that they’ve begun dating, finding a new appreciation for the way Swift can turn a phrase.
“I’ve never been a man of words. Being around her, seeing how smart Taylor is … I’m learning every day,” Kelce said.
Taylor Swift’s inner circle played Cupid
The story of how Kelce shot his shot has been told the world over: He attempted to give Swift a friendship bracelet with his number on it, only to be blocked by security.
What we didn’t know? That there were secret agents on the inside helping him make a good first impression on Swift.
“There were definitely people she knew that knew who I was in her corner [who said]: ‘Yo! Did you know he was coming?” Kelce recounted. “I had someone playing Cupid.”
Kelce also may have planted a couple of Easter eggs here and there (a classic Taylor Swift move). When Swift performed at Arrowhead Stadium, the players’ locker room was her dressing room, Kelce said, and her younger cousins ended up taking photos in front of his locker.
He wasn’t nervous on their first date
Kelce told The Wall Street Journal that he wasn’t stressed about his first date with Swift, which was dinner in New York City. (He didn’t disclose when their first date actually happened, relax.)
“We had already kind of been talking,” Kelce said. “So I knew we could have a nice dinner and, like, a conversation, and what goes from there will go from there.”
Kelce said the nerves came later as NFL fans began to scrutinize Swift’s appearances at games, with some chalking it up as nothing more than a marketing ploy that was distracting from game play. (Kelce actually plays significantly better when Swift is in the stands, but this Swiftie digresses.)
The “biggest thing to me,” Kelce said, was “[making] sure I don’t say anything that would push Taylor away.”
Kelce and Swift share similar worldviews
The majority of The Wall Street Journal profile parses the extent of Kelce’s family-man-ness: He tears up while talking about friends he considers next of kin, and loves to reminisce about growing up in Cleveland as often as he can.
Swift, in some ways, is similar. She grew up an hour outside of Philadelphia in Wyomissing, a suburb of Reading, and regularly talks about her upbringing — Christmas tree farms, Eagles fandom, and all. Swift’s brother Austin manages music licensing for his sister, while their parents, Andrea and Scott, can be seen interacting with fans at just about every tour date.
“Her family does a lot of stuff in terms of the tour, the marketing, being around, so I think she has a lot of those values as well, which is right up my alley,” Kelce said.
Throughout the interview, Kelce repeatedly calls Swift “hilarious” and a “genius” that is constantly teaching him new things.
One of his friends also called the couple “two peas in a pod” while recounting how the pair performed a wine-drunk rendition of Wheatus “Teenage Dirtbag” during a kickback at Kelce’s house.
Kelce is learning to adjust to Swift’s level of fame
Travis Kelce was, of course, already football famous before he put his number on a friendship bracelet and hoped for the best. After winning Super Bowl LVII against his brother in February, Travis signed endorsement deals with companies ranging from Bud Light and Experian to COVID vaccine producer Pfizer.
None of that, however, matches Swift’s level of megawatt stardom, Kelce said. Paparazzi now follow him constantly around Kansas City, sparking rumors that he bought a new, more secluded $6 million dollar home in a gated community to protect his and Swift’s privacy.
“Obviously I’ve never dated anyone with that kind of aura about them … but at the same time I’m not running from any of it,” Kelce said. “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.”