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10 Lessons I’ve Learned about Love

Hello again!! If you caught my Instagram stories today you’ll know that yesterday was a VERY important day for our family because my cousin Sam and husband Dustin FINALLY had their baby GIRL and we are over the MOON!! Her name is Hayden, she came in at 6 pounds (exactly, might I add) and is so ridiculously CUTE!!! In addition to yesterday’s exciting news, it just so happened to be mine and Justin’s 5 year anniversary and while I meant to share this blog with you yesterday morning I was a WEE BIT sidetracked at the hospital, as you can imagine!

5 years ago yesterday, I anticipated ‘another first date’ … I was the perfect definition of single and had many Mr.Wrongs on my hands … then I had met this cute, hunky, guy at Roses Pub the week prior and had finally agreed to go on a date with him. I was nervous because I knew he was the nice type and if you followed my love history from the beginning the “nice guy” wasn’t my type back then, BUT I knew I needed a change … and that’s when we went off on our first date.

I’ll never forget what I wore, skinny jeans, knee high Freye boots (flat) and a cute little beaded cream tank with a slight peplum ruffle on the bottom. I was nervous as hell because I KNEW this guy was different, and sure enough, he showed up to my apartment with a MASSIVE bouquet of flowers and was waiting for me outside his jeep. We had an AMAZING first date, we sat at the bar at a restaurant and chatted for HOURS. Right then, I knew that wasn’t going to be our last date. So, today, in celebration of our anniversary, I would like to share with you some things I’ve learned over these, wild and crazy years about LOVE!

Alright, let’s take a little trip down memory lane and I’m going to share with you the 10 lessons I’ve learned about love over these last 5  years … lol! Are you ready for this?? Here we go …

Jillian Harris A Week In My Closet

1. Granny panties are a GOOD thing: LOL! I mean, c’mon … I know Justin would much rather prefer to see me rocking some sexy lace panties, but trust me hunny, these granny panties mean that I REALLY love you.

2. There is Lusty Love, Romantic Love, and Committed love: Not to say we don’t have the first two in our lives still… but the committed love is a real thing and I’m SO happy to see our relationship evolve to this point. That sense of uncertainty (and the adrenaline) is gone, but the feeling of security, trust, and companionship is incredible!!

 3. The tough times are important: A perfect relationship seems ideal, but looking back I now realize that all the shitty times have made us stronger, more appreciative and respectful of each other’s hearts! I’m just as grateful for the crap as I am the good times!

 4. A love/loathe relationship is REAL: Yeah, I THINK it’s perfectly normal??? I find is SO fascinating that one day you can look at your partner and think they’re the sexiest human being and then seconds later you look at them and think how is this human still in my bed?! LOL!! Justin and I always laugh about how much we love each other but also how much we drive each other CRAZY.

5. People don’t intend to disappoint you: People are SO multifaceted and DIFFERENT. Justin and I have SO much in common, that when either one of us would disappoint one another, we thought it MUST have been intentional.  But in a committed relationship, no one WANTS to disappoint you, so now when either one of us are disappointed in the other, we remind ourselves that it wasn’t intentional, that, of COURSE, we are loved and first decide A) if it’s worth bringing up and B) if it is, give it some time, and then C) figure out how we are going to address it. By changing our approach from ‘getting mad’ to being kind and asking questions… it changed our communication effectiveness SO much, and allowed us to be more open minded to learning more about each other’s sensitivities!

6. The 20/80 rule: Justin and I both think we are HILARIOUS (obviously … lol) so we tend to take playful jabs at each other and while it’s fun to poke fun, it also needs to be balanced with positive affirmations so it stays lighthearted for everyone! That’s when our personal 20/80 rule was born! For every 1 time I poke fun at each other we try to give each other 4 compliments!

Jillian Harris A Week In My Closet

7. Take the pressure off: I think sometimes we have this whole idea of what our relationship SHOULD look like and how exactly it should unfold and we forget to just let go and live in the moment! Do yourself a favour and just let go … this is when the magic happens!

8. Just get over it: Those little things that annoy you that turn into meaningless arguments or frustrations … we’ve ALL had these. But before letting them really get to you, you should ask yourself, if it will matter in 5 years, 5 days or 5 hours?? If the answer is NO, time to get over it, have a little makeup session (wink wink nudge nudge) … and moooove on!

9. Make time for each other: I know … this is cliche but I find it’s the HARDEST thing to incorporate into our schedule but it’s SO important! Apparently, I need to follow my own advice … LOL! Justin and I have set time aside to go over our schedules with each other, not only does this keep us in the loop so we can be efficient with our time but it also keeps up aligned and working together as a team!

10. There is always room for improvement: I think as individuals it’s so important to continue to learn and grow with your partner and work on things as they pop up. When it boils down to it, nobody is perfect.

Jillian Harris and Justin Passuto Jillian Harris - Happy Birthday Justin-11 Jillian Harris - Happy Birthday Justin-8 Jillian Harris and Justin Passuto

So, as you can tell, I’m by NO means a relationship expert, I’m constantly learning and growing … and changing how I see and do things which I think is the most important thing to do in order to keep evolving and strengthening your relationship! If any of YOU have learned some special lessons along the way in your relationships, I beg you, PLEASE share them in the comments below!!

And as for you, Justin, I am so proud of how our relationship has grown and strengthened over these last few years. We’ve certainly been through our ups and downs and as you know, we had a pretty rocky start!! We’ve grown not only as individuals but as a family and I’m so thankful we took the time to figure our shit out because I couldn’t be more thankful for the relationship we have today! I absolutely love you with ALL of my heart and cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you … better yet, let’s put Nacho in the spare bedroom tonight and you can cuddle up extra close to these granny panties of mine …



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  1. Jill!

    Let me first start by saying, I LOVE keeping up with your blog and following along your journey with you! My boyfriend and I are hitting our 5 years in a few weeks as well. ( AND might I add moving to Kelowna in the fall!!) For sure there are ups and downs and everything you have pointed out in this blog was so true!! Can relate to this fully!! What I’ve learned is communication is KEY!!!! You can’t expect things to happen or for your spouse to do something but yet haven’t communicated it with him/her! Then get upset with them when nothing happens. No one is a mind reader and it isn’t fair to expect them to know exactly what you want without communicating it! That’s been the biggest thing for me so far is to communicate!!

    Anyway! That’s all I’ve got for you as we’re still trying to figure life’s journey too!

    Looking forward to reading and watching more Instagram stories!!

    With love,
    Michelle Rissling

  2. Jillian I am going through an incredibly hard rough spot in my relationship whom I’ve been with for 5 years, it’s breaking my heart This blog is the exact 10 things I need to read to be either a.) stronger in my current relationship and quote on quote “get our shit together” or b.) move on and find some real true love. Your words and your inspiration are amazing ! Thank you for always sharing!!! You make a difference ❤️

  3. Jillian. Your life is so real and you and Justin and Leo are adorable. Your instastory (yesterday) when Justin was coming to get into the car the smile on his face was so pure. Ignore or block the negative people. Enjoy this precious little family and keep on doing what you are doing. You’re a wonderful person with a huge heart. We love you! ❤️

  4. So much truth to this post. I’ve been married for 13 years now, and I agree with pretty much everything, especially the love/loathe part! Glad I’m not the only one, lol! Congratulations Jillian. 🙂

  5. What a nicely written article! I particularly enjoyed #5, as it was a different perspective and I shared it with my hubby. I loved reading The 5 Love Languages… it really opened my eyes to how my husband accepts love and shows love.

  6. Agree completely Jill, i am 34 and have been married for 12 years this summer….we have had our good and bad times, but through it all we have come out stronger and have a great balance of 20/80 (ok maybe 30/70…we also think we are hilarious!! lol) As always, thank you for sharing your life with us!!

  7. I believe you covered all the important points. I’ve been with my love for 31 years and he still makes my heart go pitter patter.
    Thanks for sharing, I’m sure it will make a difference to many wonderful couples. XO

  8. This article really resonates with me…all these points are so spot on for my current relationship of two years. I hope I can live by these to some extent and that my relationship will continue to grow. All the best to you and Justin and thanks for sharing your lives with all of us! It’s refreshing to see such a healthy, happy family!

  9. Perhaps one of my favorite posts to date! I agree with all of these, and am so glad my husband and I have been able to grow in all these areas over the years as well.

    The biggest “rule” we have made, and kept!, is to never go to bed angry. I think it’s kept things real and doesn’t let problems grow and fester over time. But along with that, I agree that the sooner you learn to let things go the sooner your relationship will flourish!

    I would alo say GRACE! Give grace to your partner and grace to yourself, constantly. I think we can all be too hard on each other, and ourselves, sometimes.

    1. I think you mean Leo? Nacho is their puppy dog! I’m not sure how much he cares about their united front 🙂

  10. As Nacho grows up and will tug at one or both of you for what he wants make sure you and Justin show him ( even if you don’t agree) that you have a united front! Never ever allow Nacho to come between the two of you! Married 38 years now and raised four wonderful, kind, bright children who are all adults now. We were not always on the same page and that cost us some heartache in the end. Thank goodness we knew we had to work to get back on the same page and make our relationship more of a priority going forward. Just trying to save you a mistake we would have preferred to skip! We lived, we learned, we love!

  11. I love this article!

    I agree wholeheartedly with #2. I have many friends who are still chasing that “soulmate, lustful” kind of love. And while it’s important to have that rush at the beginning – getting into a serious relationship all of a sudden shifts your values (I find). You no longer care about the rushes or the drama or the adrenaline and you start to really value the commitment and trust you e placed in another. I believe that love is a choice – not a feeling. By choosing everyday to continue and commit to your path together – you are creating a truly unique love – rather than stumbling into an-adrenaline, sexually impulsed one. My boyfriend and I couldn’t survive our situation if it wasn’t for our conscious commitment to each other.

    Secondly – I LOVE your note about the 20/80 rule. I poke fun at my partner all the time – it’s a huge part of my personality. That being said – I also compliment him ALL THE TIME. He takes it really well (I think) but it’s so important to check yourself and forget that jabs can resonate with someone – even when meant in good humour. Thank you for this!!!! I’ll remember this going forward and will try to always treat my partner with more kind comments than I even think necessary.

    Lastly – TRUE SAY to the granny panties. Granny panties = love and they are a privilege!! Lol!!!

  12. My hubby and I have been married 22 years and yes he does things that annoy me. But they aren’t intentional, they are his quirks. In the past I’ve had the habit of asking him to not do this, or not do that simply because they annoy me. Never seemed like a big deal to me to ask but eventually I realized that every time I did I was hurting his feelings. Now when I get annoyed by these same habits I pause and take a moment to remind myself that his feelings are more important to me than any little annoyances. I think that is what I’ve learned, that it is important to look out for your partner’s feelings, even when they drive you crazy!

  13. Hi Jillian, you may have answered this in the past, but I was wondering if by donating all. Of your nursery, which was very generous and honorable to say the least, but does this mean you and Justin are settled on only having Leo?

    1. Hi Deneen!! No, we ended up donating them because we had nursery items in our Vancouver home and in Kelowna as we had to travel back and forth so often …so now that we aren’t making that trip so much anymore it wasn’t necessary to have a second set of nursery items! XOXO

  14. Thanks for sharing your story and advice! ❤️ As a single, I think I’m at the point where I need to change over to nice guys:)

  15. Ah, I so needed this! I can relate to number 4 so well. It’s difficult to realize that bad times don’t mean the end, you need them to grow as a unit. I had a hard time coming to terms that it’s totally normal to have days where I can’t stand to be around him, and then the next day be overwhelmed with how much I love him. It’s a tricky slop, and relationships aren’t easy. But hearing from others that they have the same thoughts, feelings, tough and good times, makes it so much nicer to know you’re not alone. Thanks for this read, Jillian! Can’t wait to see your new show with Justin!!

  16. Congratulations to you and Justin!

    I love you and Todd on Love It or List It Too and I fell onto your blog/Instagram last year. I have so loved watching your family grow and all the good and bad things that happen. You handle all of it was such style and grace.

    You are an amazing person and you inspire me every day!

  17. I am approaching 24 years of marriage and I must commend you for your honesty. Marriage is work there is no doubt about it and it never ends. You are right on target with all the 10 things you have learned and are no different than the rest of us who are constantly figuring it out. No. 2 is where I think a lot of people give up on a relationship and it is really just the beginning. Those early relationship “butterflies” are great feelings but they don’t last forever and if anyone tells you that their relationship is just like when they first met – they are not being honest with themselves. Keep doing what you are doing and your relationship will only get better for many years and YES, sometimes those butterflies come back for a visit. Congratulations on 5 years!

  18. This is one of the greatest pieces I have ever read. Thank you for being open, raw and real:)

    1. Just celebrated 44 years married. It is always a work in progress. I love to say ( and tell all of our grandkids) “practice makes progress – no one is perfect” I truly admire you baring your life with all it’s joys and flaws. Wishing you and Justin a long and happy life.

  19. I’m a bad person!! I kind of judged Justin and thought hmmmm I wonder if he is right for Jilly! lol Who the hell am I to think I know who he is or make a decision on such a personal partnership! I met you once Jillian on South Granville and I just loved your energy and exhuberance. After watching your new show I realize Justin is a real lovebug and the perfect match for you! You are both so lucky to have such a great relationship and your 10 lessons are bang on!! I’ve made it 37 years with the dime I’m married to although at times I think he’s the biggest bozo ever! hahaha I’m sure vice versa too. Hang in there girlfriend it gets better all the time with your attitude and common sense. <3

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