Hayden Panettiere and Brian Hickerson were first linked in August when they were seen grabbing dinner together in Los Angeles
Hayden Panettiere holds hands with boyfriend Brian Hickerson as she visits family in Florida.
Credit: Splash News

Hayden Panettiere and her boyfriend Brian Hickerson are taking their relationship to the next level.

The actress and Hickerson were spotted holding hands during an afternoon stroll in Florida, where they visited her family, according to E! News.

The two were dressed casually for the outing, with Panettiere wearing jeans, black boots and a layered shirt, while Hickerson wore ripped black jeans and a black shirt.

Panettiere and Hickerson, an aspiring actor originally from South Carolina, were first linked in August when they were seen grabbing dinner together in Los Angeles shortly after reports circulated that the actress and Wladimir Klitschko had split.

At the time, a source told PEOPLE their relationship is nothing serious just yet.

“He is hot, but Hayden is in the midst of making decisions about what she wants to do next and needs a break from routine,” the source said. “She’s a young, beautiful girl who is allowed to have a good time. That’s what she’s doing.”

A second source also told PEOPLE the actress isn’t looking to settle down, but rather is enjoying some downtime since her CMT series Nashville concluded after six seasons.

“She’s a mom and when there’s a break she would be crazy not to let loose and have fun,” the source said. “Don’t expect another heavy relationship now. She still cares for Wlad and loves her daughter.”

But while it seems Panettiere and Hickerson are going strong, for now, the source said Klitschko may not be totally out of the picture.

The two “break up and get back together frequently,” said the source at the time.

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“Don’t assume Wlad is out of the picture because they aren’t seen together,” the source added. “They respect each other and are still very attracted [to each other]. Don’t rule this romance out.”

Panettiere, 28, and Klitschko, 42, share 3½-year-old daughter Kaya. The actress started dating the Ukrainian boxing champ in 2009; they split temporarily in 2011. They later rekindled their on-again, off-again romance and got engaged in 2013, though they never tied the knot.