Jillian Harris On Finding Love
Jillian Harris On Finding Love
I love talking about love, and I don’t feel like I really filter myself (hey, I made out with like 15 guys on national television, so I’m pretty sure I can talk about it).
When Justin and I met, I wasn't working on Love it or List It and I didn't have Charlie Ford. When I started those things, my workload went from 20 hours a week to probably about 100. I got really, really, really busy. Around Christmas I decided to buy a house and there were issues with that and on top of everything, we found out that my dad had prostate cancer. I was maxed. I was a zombie, I couldn't keep up, I was so tired. Eventually, in January, Justin pulled me aside and said "babe, you're not being yourself.”
“You get one the phone lately and you're always down. You're complaining but you claim that you do what you love,” he said. “That doesn't make sense to me.”
Justin is an incredible, incredible individual. He is so multifaceted, he is a good communicator, he likes to talk, he's very present. And he was a really great mentor for me, a really great person to make me realize that I had to figure out an exit strategy and slow down on certain things, whether that meant stopping one of the projects I had going or hiring more people to help me. And he helped me realize that I don't have to do it all. I'm not superwoman.
Every Thursday we send each other a text message that says the five things that we were more grateful for about the other person in the last week. We send that every Thursday before the end of the night, and it's really great because it has you thinking about what the other person has done for you, what you've done for them, whether you've been present enough and if you've given them enough time.
When you start to develop a friendship with a guy’s parents, you're in it for the long term. I called Justin yesterday and he said "hi, Jill!" and whenever he says “hi, Jill” he's with somebody else.
“Hi! Where are you?” I said.
"I'm just heading down to the airport to pick up my truck."
"Oh cool," I said, "who drove you?"
"Oh, I'm just with your dad."
He and my dad are like best friends -- actually, he and my mom are like best friends. Justin knows more about what's going on with my family and my extended family than I do. He knows more about my grandma's hip condition… He loves my family. And I’m extremely good friends with his brother and our families really enjoy hanging out with each other. Apparently my mom couldn't sleep the other night because she was in Halifax and in a different time zone, so apparently she and Justin's mom stayed up until three in the morning texting. I'm so lucky that I have that kind of situation in my life, where not only do I love Justin's family, but our families love each other. Total jackpot.
Justin's mom and dad have been incredible mentors for us, they have a great, great relationship and just talking about different methods for communicating and making sure that your partner is happy and finding that balance.
It sounds really cliche but my grandma always told me that you really do have to treat your partner like your best friend. But romance and intimacy are really, really important too! You hear of so many relationships in which, after a certain year the woman, you know… Doesn't want to give it up anymore. My best friend Shannon, her mom is a psychologist and they're very Catholic and by-the-book, was like, “absolutely sex is important in a relationship!” It's such an important connection.
No relationship is perfect. We're always looking for perfection, but in relationships it's just a matter of: are you going to live with that imperfection or not? And you don't have to. That's the thing, you don't have to be married. You don't have to be with somebody to be happy.
That was the thing that annoyed me so much after Ed. People would say, "Oh no! Well, be patient, you'll find your happiness" and I was like for chrissakes I am happy! I'm very happy and I love being single and I feel like people are always on this quest to find somebody and I don't know if you have to.
You don't have to get married, there are no rules that say you have to get married. And sometimes we force ourselves into it. You're only on this earth once -- so if you're in a relationship and you're not happy, then every minute that you spend not happy is a waste and you either need to love it or leave it.