Charlie White's Girlfriend Is Fine with People Thinking He's Dating Meryl Davis

"My girlfriend is a former ice dancer, so she gets it," White tells PEOPLE

Photo: AKM-GSI

If fans have learned one thing so far about Charlie White since he joined Dancing with the Stars, it’s that – to many people’s dismay – he and fellow competitor Meryl Davis are not an item.

In fact, White, 26, who won the gold medal with Davis at the Sochi Winter Olympics, has been in a five-year relationship with Tanith Belbin, 29, which he acknowledged publicly on Monday night’s show.

Part of what keeps the low-key courtship such a success amid seemingly endless chatter that Davis and White are dating is Belbin’s history as a former ice dancer, herself.

“She gets it,” White told PEOPLE backstage on Monday, shortly after learning he’d advanced to another week in the competition. “She won the silver medal in 2006 with her partner Ben Agosto, and people were always like, ‘Are you guys dating?’ It’s just something you get as dancers. [Her understanding] makes my life so much easier.”

White expressed no shock that people suspected he and Davis were partners both on and off the ice.

“It’s tough because we always presented ourselves as a package and we didn’t really talk much about our personal lives because we just didn’t care to,” he explained. “And I think people were hopeful [that we were a couple] because on the ice we were able to portray people who are in relationships, and then people want to believe. We take it as a compliment.”

Belbin not only cheered her beau on during the Olympics, but she’s been great to have on hand during the DWTS experience as well.

“She’s impressed, I think,” White told reporters. “She knows where I’m starting from. Each week, she’s seen just how much work goes into getting the frame and getting the steps and she’s just been the most supportive. It means the world to me.”

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