Cassadee Pope is happier than ever. The singer is dating actor Sam Palladio, but is also finding plenty of contentment with her friendships, including those she is rediscovering all over again, after ending her ten-year relationship with Rian Dawson.
"I am super happy," Pope tells All Access. "I am in a place, with my friends, that I've never been in before. Being in a relationship for so long in the past, I didn't realize how much you lean on that one person and only confide in them. And, while that's amazing, I had a tendency of only having the one person.
"So, stripping him away and being left to take a look at my circle of friends and who I was connecting with, I realized that I really need to do some work to build back up my friendships and start really deep connections with people," she continues. "More than anything, I leaned on my friends, and it has really brought us closer. Some of them have been going through things more recently, and I was able to really be there for them, too, the way they were there for me. It's this amazing life transition, really, with friendships."
Pope and Palladio started dating earlier this year, after Pope reached out to him on Instagram. Now almost 29 years old, the alum of The Voice has found a new fulfillment in her romantic life that she didn't have in the past.
"I'm in an awesome relationship, and I'm super happy," says Pope. "It's a very adult, mature relationship. My last relationship started when I was 19, so it's really fun to date someone as an adult. Before Sam, I did date a little bit and put myself out there. It was really scary, but it was also fun! I found out a lot about myself, and now, I feel like I can pour so much more in to a relationship. It's just a really great place to be in, and the future is wide open."
Palladio is also, like Pope, a singer-songwriter, but the couple have yet to collaborate on much musically.
"We've written a little bit here and there," Pope tells PopCulture.com. "But it's hard with the distraction there. It's one thing to start as like, Maren [Morris] and Ryan Hurd; they started writing together before they got together. And I feel like they've got it down. Whereas we are just like, 'OK, let's take a break and go out to dinner.' And then we just never get back to the song. So we'll collaborate and sing together but the writing thing I think we still need to find our groove."
Pope just released her latest single, "One More Red Light." The song is available for download on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Getty images/C Flanigan