Chip and Joanna Gaines: Chip Wasn’t the Only Potential Suitor ‘Drawn Like Moths to Flame’ After Spotting Joanna in a Tire Commercial

Before Chip and Joanna Gaines were a couple adored by millions of fans, he said he was a suitor among many hoping for the chance to woo her after spotting her in a regional tire commercial. And while they hit it off immediately upon their first meeting, something he didn’t do afterward almost got in the way of their happily ever after.

How long have they been together, and what was it about seeing Joanna in a television ad that profoundly impacted Chip? Plus, what almost prevented them from getting closer after their first date? Read on for more.

Chip Gaines, pictured kissing wife Joanna on the cheek at an event in 2021, said he wasn't her only potential suitor when they met
Chip and Joanna Gaines | Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Chip and Joanna Gaines have been together for more than 20 years

After meeting in 2001, Chip and Joanna married in Texas in 2003. Now, they share five kids — three sons and two daughters. After finding success with Fixer Upper on HGTV, they co-founded and co-own the Magnolia Network, a cable channel for lifestyle and DIY programs.

Joanna looked back on their two decades in a 2022 note on the Magnolia blog that explored the bittersweet joy of sending their oldest child, Drake, to college. “In our 20 years of marriage, Chip and I have experienced a little bit of all of it,” she shared.

Some relationships don’t withstand the ups and downs of many years together, but Chip once explained his commitment to Joanna has always been profound. So much so that he was determined to be with her before he even met her.

Chip Gaines said “every male in the central Texas region” wanted a chance to be a suitor for Joanna Gaines

While chatting with Drew Barrymore on The Drew Barrymore Show, Chip said he fell hard for Joanna when he saw her in a tire commercial. “Those eyes and those beautiful, voluptuous lips,” he sweetly recalled.

Chip joked that the combination of Joanna’s striking features with what she called an “aggressive” recitation of sales pitches had an irresistible effect on him. But he also said he wasn’t alone.

According to him, “every male in the central Texas region” saw that commercial and they were “drawn like moths to flame … trying to meet the beautiful and talented Joanna Stevens.”

But he had determination and a line prepared for the moment he finally encountered her. “Wait, wait, wait,” she recalled him saying in the tire shop where she worked. “You’re that girl on the commercial.”

Why Joanna Gaines didn’t call Chip Gaines or other suitors

Joanna told Barrymore she’s “traditional” and wanted to be pursued. So, she didn’t have many boyfriends before Chip because she was firmly opposed to calling first. This characteristic helped create three months of limbo after they initially went on a date and hit it off.

Chip thought they were “playing games,” so he finally reached out. He suggested they “quit jacking around,” which confused Joanna. So, he explained he’d been waiting for her to pick up the phone.

“She was like, ‘I’m not calling you,” he recalled.

“That’s probably why I never had any boyfriends,” Joanna noted, “because I would never call any.”

But, they said they cleared up the confusion, established they were both smitten, and went to a basketball game that night. And they’ve been together ever since.

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