Lainey Wilson jokes that some people thought she had started dating Devlin "Duck" Hodges the night of the 2023 ACM Awards after seeing how they interacted with one another mid-show.

The funny thing is, the "Watermelon Moonshine" singer and former NFL quarterback had an even more casual moment planned for if she won an ACM.

Related: Song Secrets: Lainey Wilson Sings Her Truth With "Watermelon Mooshine" Lyrics

"We talked about doing a handshake," she tells Taste of Country Nights' Evan Paul, laughing. "Maybe next time we will."

They didn't quite shake hands after she won multiple ACM Awards on May 11, but there wasn't a caught-up-in-the-moment kiss, either. Instead, Wilson and Hodges kind of bro-hugged and back-patted if they did anything — we're pretty sure she just buzzed right by him on one occasion.

"Does it look awkward?" she asks. "It was one of those things where I was like, 'I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do with my hands. I don't know what to do with my face. Are we doing the handshake? Are we not?'"

"I'll be honest, I was like, 'What is happening in life right now.'"

The shock and Wilson's years-old strategy of not sharing her personal business made this moment unique. She and Hodges have actually been dating over two years, and she calls him one of the most important people in her life.

"He's so supportive. He high-fives me on the way out the door and on the way in the door," she shares. "That's just how it is. He's my biggest cheerleader."

The pair began thinking about announcing themselves as a couple a year ago, but Wilson wanted to wait.

"I'll be honest, as a female in country music, there's definitely times where you need folks to know you're here to show up and work and get down to business," she says. "I wanted to make sure it was about my music."

Now, she says, it feels OK to share her joy. That joy extends to her home. Prior to the show, Wilson revealed that she spent a little money on a piece of land outside of Nashville and hopes to build a barn with horses to make her new life as close as possible to the one she left behind in Louisiana a decade ago.

She stopped short of saying that Hodges shares that home or land with her, but cleared an even higher bar.

"If I'm gonna invite you to walk a country music awards show carpet, you have to be really, really special to me and really important in my life," she says. "And you have to not be going anywhere. So, yeah. he ain't going anywhere."

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