Chip and Joanna Gaines are reminiscing about the early days of their relationship.
The couple recently spoke to People in celebration of their 20th wedding anniversary, telling the story of how they met. Chip explained that seeing Joanna in a commercial for her dad’s auto shop in Waco, Texas, led him to start “hanging out at her dad’s place of business incessantly.”
Joanna joked he kept finding something wrong with his car that needed to be fixed. After a week of talking outside the auto shop, Joanna agreed to go on a date.
“Right off the bat, you were smitten,” Chip told Joanna.
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“Starstruck. Right off the bat,” Joanna explained. “I was always attracted to quiet guys, to the guy that you didn’t know what he was thinking. When Chip and I went on our first date, he didn’t stop talking. In my mind, I was like, ‘OK, this isn’t going to work.
“Because he is not quiet, he’s not mysterious. He’s very just out there. … Then, I heard this voice say, ‘This is who you’re going to marry.’ Call it God, call it whatever. ‘This is the man you’re going to marry.'”
One of the things that attracted Joanna to Chip during that first date was, while he was talkative, he also proved himself a good listener. She explained there is a distinction between “people who hear and listen,” and that Chip was a great listener.
Chip was shocked to hear his wife thought about marrying him on their first date, asking her for clarification more than once. At one point, she admitted to “seeing him talking” but not being able to hear what he was saying anymore.
“I’m arguing with my inner self, saying, ‘This is not the person,’” she recalled.
“Were you really?” Chip asked. “Was it like severe desperation? You were kind of arguing? Sad.”
The next few months in their relationship didn’t go as smoothly. Joanna canceled their second date due to a back injury and started to dodge Chip’s calls.
“I could tell she was totally smitten,” he says. “But then, as she refused to call back, I was like, ‘What is going on with this girl? I’m done with these games.’ She didn’t realize that we were in a game. She didn’t realize that all of this anxiety and anguish had occurred all these months.”
Eventually, Joanna agreed to a second date, and a year later the two were engaged. After a short engagement, the couple were married in May 2003.
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Since getting married, the couple has taken the world by storm, starting out on HGTV with their hit show “Fixer Upper.” Their show was such a big hit, it spawned spin-offs, including “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home” and “Fixer Upper: Behind the Design.”
In November 2018, the couple announced they were parting ways with HGTV and starting their own network in line with Discovery, Magnolia.
Aside from their professional accomplishments, the couple has also expanded their family since getting married, welcoming five children: Drake, 18, Ella, 16, Duke, 14, Emmie, 12, and Crew, 4. Joanna has spoken previously about the importance of being there for her kids and letting them know they can come to her with anything.
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“The older I’ve gotten, I’ve realized the more humanity these kids can see in me, the more we’re going to connect,” she told People in November 2022. “I want them to see the highs and lows, so when they’re feeling anxieties about school or relationships, they know it’s a safe place for them to come to me.”