Tracy Allison Brit Taylor and Adam Chaffins
Soon after her 2017 divorce from her unfaithful husband, Brit Taylor fell into somewhat of a depression, made worse by a relentless voice in her head. It was a voice filled with uncertainty and fear, a voice of self-loathing and self-doubt, a voice that was telling her quite loudly that she would never love again.
"I just thought I was unlovable," the 31-year-old admits. "I kept saying to myself that once anyone gets to know you, they will leave you too."
But soon, these lies were hushed by the love of 32-year-old Adam Chaffins.
"He was the first person to reach out and check on me with a sincere heart after the divorce asking me if I was OK and asking me if I needed anything," Taylor recounts to PEOPLE just days following her and Chaffins' romantic Valentine's Day engagement. "He is the best guy. I have been so quick to friend-zone all the good guys and this time I was like, 'Nope, I'm not going to do that again.'"
Serving as a strong foundation to build on is the fact that both Taylor and Chaffins grew up just over the mountain from one another in East Kentucky. They also both made the choice to move to Nashville to make their musical dreams a reality.
"We both get each other and our history and our backgrounds," explains Taylor, who moved to Nashville when she was just 17 years old. "We also both value marriage and family. We also have the same values and understanding and mindset about leaving home and chasing a dream."
Tracy Allison Brit Taylor and Adam Chaffins
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In 2015, Taylor and Chaffins found themselves running in the same musical circles in Nashville and became quick friends. In fact, Chaffins actually played a few shows with Taylor when she was a member of the country band Triple Run. But it wasn't until Chaffins' gave Taylor a call on Valentine's Day of 2018 that things started to turn in a whole new direction.
"I remember that we both were dreading Valentine's Day because we were alone, but at least we were together," remembers Taylor, who released her debut album Real Me in 2020, along with her debut single "Waking Up Ain't Easy."
"He had been hinting [at marriage] from our first Christmas together," says Taylor with a laugh. "I was like, 'Easy buddy, take it slow!' Be patient with me."
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And he was, waiting till the exact right moment when he knew both were ready to take the next step in their relationship. But Taylor never thought he would ask her live, in front of all of their fans, on a Valentine's Day livestream event.
"You can see the surprise on my face," she laughs of the recorded proposal that showed the moment Chaffins pulled the Olivia Terrell-designed engagement ring out of the guitar case that sat beside him. "It's just really cool he was able to capture the surprise, and it was really cool to share with our family, because both my mom and his mom didn't know. And since we haven't seen family a lot due to COVID-19 … it was just super cool."
Tracy Allison Brit Taylor's engagement ring
And while the two now plan to have a small, intimate wedding "whenever the time feels right," Taylor admits that the little voice in her head still trying to keep love at bay still materializes every once in a while.
"Those thoughts don't magically disappear," says Taylor, who looks forward to the day that her and Chaffins might record a project together. "Those thoughts can creep up on you when you least expect them, and you have to be aware of the things you hear yourself saying in your mind. And when those sorts of thought creep in, you need to be open with your partner and discuss it."
She takes a long, deep breath.
"I decided in my head that all relationships are hard, and a pain, and a struggle, but with Adam, it just hasn't been that way," she concludes. "Adam has been so helpful and reassuring through it all. He has been a big part in the healing and helping me to trust again."
And with every ounce of healing comes the realization that the pain that Taylor once went through … ultimately led her to this moment of complete and utter bliss.
"It all makes perfect sense now," she says quietly. "I've become a person that is more compassionate and more understanding because of what I have gone through. Actually, what both of us have been through. We have both been through quite a bit of heartache. But now, we know what unconditional love looks like."