Why Travis Barker Is the Right One to Keep Up With Kourtney Kardashian

After more than a decade of hanging as buddies, all the small things about Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker's relationship added up to one big love. And now, everything's going amazing, sweetie.

By Sarah Grossbart Oct 18, 2021 2:30 PMTags
Watch: Inside Kourtney Kardashian & Travis Barker's Engagement

You know that thing people say, about how when you stop looking for someone is the exact moment that you'll find them?

There just may be something to it.

Because Kourtney Kardashian was 100 percent in that place in late 2019 when pal Larsa Pippen inquired if she was on the hunt for her next romantic partner. "I just don't feel like I need that," Kourtney explained of fully embracing her single status. "I'm content hanging out with my friends. I just feel like, I'm on a different vibe. I feel so content with just myself."

It was a concept she repeated roughly a year later when quizzed by sister Khloe Kardashian while filming Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Asked if she wanted a boyfriend, she insisted, "I don't. I really don't."

Kourtney had kept up with a few guys over the years: Most recently model Younes Bendjima, a potential fling with Luka Sabbat before that and, of course, the lord himself, Scott Disick, the father of her three kids. But for now, she said, "I'm feeling really content with my own way of life."

Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker: Romance Rewind

Just when you stop looking...

Because sometimes all the small things add up to one perfect romance, the sort that was somehow in front of your face the whole time. And by the time that Kardashians episode aired in March 2021, Kourtney, 42, had found everything she didn't know she needed in Travis Barker, the guy she'd always seen as just a really good pal.

But something in their decade-long friendship had shifted in late 2020, Kourtney suddenly realizing there was something more there with the 45-year-old Blink-182 drummer than just a solid neighbor and a good option for playdates with their joint brood of five.

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

"It was an instant connection and bond ever since they became romantically involved," a source close to the couple told E! News in July.

And as all the pieces began to snap into place, suddenly the talk about secret proposals, her hairstylist's cryptic post about people tying the knot in Las Vegas, you know, while the couple was in Sin City and the fact that Travis' 15-year-old daughter Alabama refers to Kourtney as her "stepmom" isn't just chatter.

Because some three months after that Instagram post had Kravis fans speculating they had done the damn thing, he went and did the damn thing and there was nothing secretive about it. 

Though a source says Kourtney had "no idea" her guy was going to propose when he suggested a day trip to their spot—the beachfront Rosewood Miramar hotel in Montecito, Calif.—she realized "the second" she saw the embarrassing display of roses he'd commissioned from Kardashian family florist Jeff Leatham.  

Down on one knee, massive oval diamond in hand, Travis "professed his love for her and thanked her for making him a better person," a source detailed to E! News. "It was super emotional and sentimental. Kourtney was so happy and was definitely emotional. She teared up and couldn't stop saying, 'I love you.'"

Naturally he'd invited most of her famous brood—Khloe, Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, mom Kris Jenner and her boyfriend Corey Gamble—plus his kids Alabama and Landon, 18, to join in on the celebration. Said the source, "They were all in on it and surprised them afterwards inside the hotel."

Which is fitting considering credit for the set-up just might go to Kim.

She was actually the one to first befriend the punk rocker back in 2006 when he'd enjoyed a brief fling with pal Paris Hilton. He'd developed a crush on then-closet organizer Kim that thankfully never went anywhere "because God knows when you hook up, s--t gets awkward," Travis told Us Weekly long before he realized just how uncomfortable things could have become.


And before long, Travis, who ended his marriage to Shanna Moakler that same year, was keeping up with all of the Kardashians.

The Calabasas home Kourt shares with sons Mason, 11, and Reign, 6, and daughter Penelope, 9, is just down the street from Travis' pad where he hosts Landon and Alabama, when they're not staying with mom Moakler. So there were plenty of opportunities for group hangs and casual dinners.

"They've been friends for years," an insider explained to E! News in 2019. "They've lived in the same neighborhood for a long time and they see each other at church and with their kids. They've hung out together many times and often get together with the kids to see movies or to get ice cream."

Every now and then they'd have to laugh off rumors they were more than just buds who enjoyed scoops of rocky road ("I mean, I love her to death. I love her family to death. But yeah, just friends," Travis told People in 2019), until suddenly last December it didn't seem all that funny.


"Travis has always had an eye for Kourtney," an insider explained to E! News at the time, noting that a shared "chemistry and flirtation has always been there."

For Kourtney, who's had her stretches of, let's say, frustration with Scott, a lot of that attraction revolved around Travis as a parent. "He's an amazing, hands-on dad, and Kourtney loves that about him," said the insider. "They love relaxing at home with their kids, and everyone gets along."

And for Travis, Kourtney's devotion to her brood of three is every bit as sexy as her vast collection of swimsuits.

"Up until now, I would, you know, date girls that didn't have kids, and I find it kind of hard," he explained during a March appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show. "I think they would have trouble understanding, 'Well, why don't you want to go to dinner every night with me?' or 'Why don't you want to see me every night?'"

Clicking with Kourtney, though, someone who's prioritized collecting her kids from school above all else, made him realize how easy the right relationship can be.

"And now, I'm spending time with a woman who's a great mom; who's, like, a great friend," he continued. "And I just, you don't have to worry about any of those things. It just comes natural. It's like a maturity thing."

Just months in to making the switch from friends to something more, the pairing was going well, the insider told E! News, "and they aren't putting pressure on it being super serious at this point."

Noam Galai/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS

But when you take years of friendship and mutual respect and add a sudden spark of chemistry, well, things can get very hot very quickly.

And after weeks of dinners in Malibu (they're basically regulars at Nobu), double dates with the equally steamy Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly, family getaways and trips to Disneyland and a few surprises that let Travis know she cares ("May we destroy each other completely," she wrote in one rather passionate note), Travis and Kourtney started barreling through the sorts of relationship milestones that typically only lead to one spot.

By March they were exchanging very public declarations of affection. In May Travis made it abundantly clear she was his one, dubbing Kourt "the love of my life." And in July, she had shared that she wanted to suck his blood. Fairly standard stuff, really.


But those close to the couple insists it's what is underneath all the heavy flirting and NSFW Insta posts that really doesn't suck.

"He is a great boyfriend and really treats her well," a Kourtney source revealed to E! News in March. "He showers her with gifts and compliments. She's enjoying it. It's very easy to date him because they have known each other for so long. He was always into her and it finally happened." 

Having built up years' worth of affection for one another, "They have a great foundation from being friends for so long," the source continued. "They have fun together. Their kids like each other and it's working for now. She's loving the attention and having Travis in her life in this new way."

And it's no small thing that not a single person in either of their orbits disapproves of the pairing. Momager Kris declared herself on Team Kravis during a June On-Air With Ryan Seacrest appearance. "Isn't it great?" she shared. "I know, it's the best."

And Travis' kids are also obsessed with the Poosh founder. "Their families mesh seamlessly," the source close to the pair told E! earlier this month. "Kourtney is so close with Travis's kids now and vice versa. They have become a family unit together and it's special."

Even Scott and Shanna have taken an as-long-as-they're-happy-we're-happy approach. "Scott has been around Travis on several occasions and thinks he's a great guy," an insider has said. "He's really happy for Kourtney and is not surprised they are dating."


Put simply, a source told E! News in the early months, "They are a really good match, and Kourtney's entire family already loves Travis."

Almost, almost as much as Kourtney loves Travis. "Kourtney is head over heels for Travis," a source told E! News in April. "They truly have a bond like no other. No one has seen her feel this way about a man in a very long time."

It's not just that she's talking about white dresses and forever-type-commitments. Theirs is one of those partnerships that simply works. "They have the best connection and communication, something that's very important to her," explained the Kourtney source. "They are still in the honeymoon phase, and it's going really well."

Which is why those close to them aren't all that surprised that they'll go on an actual honeymoon soon. (One that would see Travis boarding a plane, Kourtney helping him past that particular fear after he spent years avoiding the skies following his deadly 2008 crash.) 

"They never experienced love like this," another insider said. "Kourtney is the happiest. Travis adores her and treats her so well. It's very different than her other relationships and all positive."

(A version of this story originally published on July 31, 2021 at 6 a.m. PT)