The Fixer Upper star spills on her first date with her husband in the summer issue of Magnolia Journal, which hits newsstands on May 8

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Chip and Joanna Gaines may be relationship goals now — but according to Joanna, her husband almost didn’t get a second date. 

The mom of five, 42, says that “it wasn’t love at first sight” when she met Chip, 45. She opens up about the early days of their relationship in the summer issue of Magnolia Journal, which hits newsstands on May 8. (Magnolia Journal is published by Meredith, PEOPLE’s parent company.)

PEOPLE got a sneak peek at the new cover — which features the designer barefoot and windswept in a floral dress — and the inside scoop on how falling in love with her handyman hubby was a slow and steady process.  

“It wasn’t love at first sight for Chip and me. For one thing, I was typically attracted to guys who were more on the quiet side,” the Fixer Upper alum wrote in an essay she penned for the magazine titled “Slow Yes.”

Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Journal
Billy Jack Brawner for Magnolia Journal
| Credit: Billy Jack Brawner for Magnolia Journal

“Based on our first date, it was clear that Chip was anything but quiet,” she recalls, noting that he “was all over the place,” talking about all the companies he dreamed of starting, houses he planned on flipping and risks he was looking forward to taking. 

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Chip and Joanna Gaines
| Credit: Getty Images

Leaving the date, “I was wondering if he was just a bit crazy,” Joanna writes in the issue, which explores the theme of risk-taking. “In my mind, I somewhat instinctively checked his penchant for risk and chatty nature as two reasons we probably wouldn’t go on a second date.”

But luckily, she decided to give him another chance, noting that she couldn’t help but be intrigued by the way he saw the world. 

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Chip (L) and Joanna Gaines

“All the ideas and dreams he held for himself were anything but ordinary, and he talked about the world around him through the lens of untapped potential,” she writes. “When Chip did eventually stop talking, if only to take a breath, I found myself wanting to fill the silence with plans and dreams of my own.” 

Back then, Joanna says, she had half-baked dreams and ideas that she figured she would never accomplish because she didn’t see herself as a risk-taker. But in meeting Chip, she saw that she had untapped potential — and that together they could build something extraordinary. 

RELATED VIDEO: Chip and Joanna Gaines Reveal New Show on Forthcoming TV Network: It's About 'Chasing Big Dreams'

“This near-stranger had drawn out a side of me that I didn’t yet know existed,” she recalls. “My gut told me there was something there worth waiting for. Our lives have beat to this same rhythm ever since.” 

The pair married in 2003 — two years after their first meeting — at the historic Earle-Harrison House in Waco, and have been inseparable ever since. Their many wild dreams have become a reality in the form of their Magnolia lifestyle empire, turning their town into a major tourist destination.

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Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Their most recent ventures include plans to open a hotel in Waco and launch a TV channel. Magnolia Network was originally supposed to debut in October 2020, but has since been pushed back due to the coronavirus. 

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Credit: HGTV

The HGTV stars recently gave a preview of the anticipated new channel on April 26, in a four-hour special called Magnolia Presents: A Look Back & A Look Ahead.” 

In addition to sampling a slate of new original series — they’ve announced 10 so far — the couple shared a personal look at what they, their five kids — Drake, 15, Ella Rose, 13, Duke, 11, Emmie Kay, 10, and Crew, 1 — and countless animals have been up to on their 40-acre Waco farm since exiting the small screen.

The preview marked the first time the couple had returned to TV since saying farewell to Fixer Upper in 2018.

The summer issue of Magnolia Journal is on sale May 8.