Joanna Gaines Didn’t React the Way Chip Expected When He Said ‘I Love You’

Chip and Joanna Gaines aren’t shy about their love and admiration for each other. However, during their early years of dating, they didn’t see eye-to-eye on the right time to say, ‘I love you.’ Here’s what happened when Chip first declared his love for Joanna.   

How Chip and Joanna Gaines met

Chip and Joanna Gaines | Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic

Chip first saw Joanna in a picture in her father’s automotive store. “Her dad made the mistake of putting a pic of the family behind the counter at his shop,” said Chip according to Pop Sugar. “I knew I’d marry her one day just by the picture on the wall.”

During an interview with Harry Connick Jr., Chip says he was so enthralled with Joanna he visited the store almost weekly to get his car fixed. Joanna says she bumped into Chip one day while she was walking outside.

“I worked for my dad for like 10 years at his automotive store,” says Joanna. “And there was a guy up front, and all the guys said, ‘Go look up front. There’s this really handsome guy.’ And of course, I never was going to do it, but I thought, ‘Well, why not?’ So, I walk through the showroom and I see this guy who isn’t Chip, and I’m like, ‘Oh, he’s really cute, but now what?’ I didn’t know what to do, so I kept walking through the showroom, and I walk outside. And as I was walking outside, Chip comes in to pick up his roommate, and the rest is history.”

How Joanna Gaines responded when Chip Gaines said he loved her

Roughly five months after they started dating, Chip was ready to reveal how he really feels about Joanna. Unfortunately, Joanna didn’t respond the way Chip expected. In the book What Make a Marriage Last, Joanna told Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas she was trying to protect herself because she didn’t want to get hurt.

“We were playing basketball, and as he was leaving, he said, ‘I love you, Joanna.’ And I said, ‘Thank you.’ Chip said, ‘Thank you? That’s nice!’ And I’m not going to say, ‘I love you’ back. I’m not just going to give that away. I held everything so tight. I didn’t want to get hurt.”

Chip joked that Joanna was like a “cyborg.” She took a while to warm up to him and fall in love. Chip wasn’t thrilled with her response, so he decided to leave. “Yeah, that’s the way cyborgs respond to ‘I love you,’” says Chip in an interview with Us Weekly. “She said, ‘thank you’ and I was like, ‘I am so freaking sick of this,’ and I grabbed my basketball and I walked home like a 4-year-old.”

Chip Gaines decided to play games with Joanna

Chip said he still felt the same about Joanna, but he decided to play games with her. He admits he didn’t call her for a few months so he could “shake things up.” However, Chip’s game didn’t work because Joanna didn’t call him to see what happened. She simply moved on with her life. “She would never call me! said Chip. “So, then I would call her and say, ‘Didn’t we have this great date? Why don’t you ever call me?’ And she’d say, ‘If you’re waiting for me to call, you’re going to wait until the cows come home.’”

Joanna says she was so hard on Chip because her father taught her not to call boys. “My dad taught me, ‘You don’t call the boy!’”

Read more: Joanna Gaines Almost Didn’t Go on a Second Date with Chip Gaines for 2 Reasons

Follow Sheiresa @SheiresaNgo