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So What's The Real Deal With Shep & Kathryn?

I know that the stars of Southern Charm are real people and not characters on a scripted TV show. I know this. But that doesn't make me and less eager to ship certain pairings and hope they end up together, like Shep Rose and Kathryn Dennis. It’s already been confirmed that the pair have been intimate more than once, so how many times did Shep and Kathryn hook up on Southern Charm anyway? Ever since they let the cat out of the bag this season, they’ve each been pretty candid about their romantic history together.

Though it doesn't look like it’s ever gone beyond a friends with benefits thing, it does seem like they’ve hooked up on and off over the past few years. According to Kathryn herself on the Southern Charm reunion, she and Shep have hooked up five times, but I’m inclined to believe the actual number may be slightly higher. Shep rattled off, "two, three…" right before Kathryn declared "five," so it's definitely possible that it’s been a casual thing that the two have allowed to happen on and off throughout their friendship. It also seems like that’s the way they intend to keep it, but you can't deny the chemistry between them, so is it really all that bad to root for them as a bona fide couple?

Although the non-couple claimed during the reunion to have hooked up no more than five times, Shep recently talked to Andy Cohen on his own on Watch What Happens Live and he had a different story, as these things tend to go. He admitted to having hooked up with the mother of two as many as seven times throughout the course of their friendship and once again admitted to hooking up shortly after the birth of her first child. He also revealed that recently, they met up at one of Shep’s bars and ended up hooking up again, so that number is likely steadily rising each time the two meet up. There could even be something more between them since they seemed like total couple material this season on Southern Charm.

On their respective Instagram accounts, it doesn't look like either Shep or Kathryn are currently dating anyone else, so at the very least, they’re both available in that respect. On the other hand, since they’ve kept their relationship in the friends with benefits zone throughout the years, they may prefer to keep it that way, even if they already seem like they’d make a great actual couple.

Even their Southern Charm co-stars and friends can see that there’s something special between Kathryn and Shep. Austen Kroll recently told People that although both Craig Conover and Shep are important to Kathryn, he could potentially see her building something more with Shep.

"I think that relationship-wise, Craig clearly does not know what the hell he’s doing, so I think that that will always remain a friendship," Austen said. "I think that for Shep, that requires him to actually want a relationship for that to even be a talking point. But I think that they’re both important to Kathryn. I think they’re both very important to her, and I think that she sees the good in Shep more than in he does."

There may not be wedding bells anytime soon, or even at all, but you can't deny the chemistry and just adorable interactions between Shep and Kathryn every time they’re on screen together. Maybe that’s because they’ve hooked up at least seven times. But call me a romantic — I like to hope it’s because there could be something more there.