Jewel Talks Boyfriend, Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst: 'I Was Very Slow About Going Public'

The singer-songwriter has been with her athletic beau for nearly a year

Photo: Source: Jewel/Instagram

Having weathered a public split, Jewel appears to have put the pieces back together: She's in a relationship and finally opening up about her new beau.

"We've been together almost a year," the singer-songwriter says of football player boyfriend Charlie Whitehurst in the new issue of PEOPLE.

And while they've been dating for a considerable stretch, the Never Broken author – who is on her Picking Up the Pieces tour through May – says they made a point of keeping it under wraps in the beginning.

"I was very slow about going public," says Jewel. "We're not people to go out on 'the scene.'"

Indeed, the singer, 41, and the Indianapolis Colts quarterback, 33, kept their romance private until casually making it Instagram official in January, when Jewel posted a shot of herself with Whitehurst and Terminator star Robert Patrick at the Leonard Cohen Experience.

And Whitehurst has popped up a few times in her feed ever since: once while racing Porsches in Atlanta, then again on a tropical getaway to the British Virgin Islands.

Dating Whitehurst is the first time Jewel has taken a relationship public since she and rodeo cowboy ex Ty Murray announced their split in 2014.

Jewel and Murray, 46, have remained amicable since their divorce, as they continue to co-parent their son, 4½-year-old Kase.

And Jewel's focus in both her family life and career continues to be on her preschooler – especially when it came to planning her Picking Up the Pieces tour.

For more on Jewel, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

"My son comes with me on tour," she says. "But I changed how I tour, so I just tour Thursday, Friday and Saturday, sometimes Sunday. We go out on weekends, and that way he's able to stay in school. I have a year to figure out a job where I'm going to be more stable."

Adds Jewel: "I work very hard at making sure I'm putting my son at the forefront and not myself."

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