Joanna Gaines’ Parents Thought Chip Was a ‘Risky Bet’

Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have been married since 2003 and they still seem deeply in love. Here’s what Joanna said about why her parents thought Chip was a “risky bet.”

On the first date, Joanna decided Chip wasn’t the man she was going to marry

Chip and Joanna Gaines |Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic
Chip and Joanna Gaines |Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic

Chip didn’t make a great impression on Joanna. In the book What Makes a Marriage Last by Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, Joanna said she looked at Chip and decided right away this was not the man she was going to marry. When asked if she had a “pitter-patter” when she was on her first date with Chip, Joanna said she did. However, there were also some thoughts going through her head that didn’t seem to be in Chip’s favor.

“I never told him this until later, but on that first date as he was talking, everything kind of went away and I just saw his mouth moving,” said Joanna. “And I remember having this internal dialogue: ‘This is the guy I’m going to marry? Nope, it’s not.’ He’s a talker and you always wanted a quiet guy.’”

Why Joanna Gaines’ parents thought Chip Gaines was ‘risky’

Joanna’s parents were hesitant about Chip. They thought he was very different and that he might be a ladies’ man. “They thought he might be a risky bet because he was outside the box,” said Joanna. She agrees Chip is charming, but she told her parents he’s nice to everyone. “He was a bit of a playboy and a charmer,” said Joanna. “But I told them it wasn’t a male-female thing—that Chip genuinely loves people. They said, ‘Well, just make sure he’s not a sweet-talker.”

Chip said he used to be a ‘salesman.’ He didn’t deny he was a charmer back in the day. He agreed with Joanna that he did know how to persuade people. “I’d always been a salesman,” said Chip. “Even before studying marketing in college. I was the type of guy who could sell ice cream to Eskimos.

Another reservation Joanna’s parents had was about Chip’s line of work. They didn’t think purchasing and flipping homes was a real job. “Her dad would take me on these cute little dates,” Chip said. “And he would say to me, ‘So I was just thinking about you. How’s the job hunt going?’ And I was like, ‘I’m not hunting. I’ve got a job.’”

Marriage and children weren’t on Chip Gaines’ mind at first

Although many people in Chip and Joanna’s town got married at a young age, he says that wasn’t top of mind when he was in his twenties. “When we started dating, I was 27 or 28 and not a mature person,” said Chip in Donahue and Thomas’ book. “Back then, marriage and kids were not on my radar, even though this was a conservative part of Texas, where some people got married straight out of high school.”

As we know now, Chip and Joanna eventually got married and had five children. Joanna was initially hesitant to pursue a relationship with Chip, but she later realized he is the man for her. “This is the guy!” she told Donahue and Thomas. “And I kind of held on to that last one. I’d never had that instinct before.”

Read more: Joanna Gaines Says Chip Has an ‘Incredible Ability’

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