Eric & Jessie almost didn’t happen. While Jessie James Decker and Eric Decker’s marriage has played out on reality television for country music and football fans alike, the beginning stages of the couple’s relationship—struggles included—have remained somewhat of a secret from the public eye. In her new book, the singer details how she first met her future husband and how a simple “yes” altered the course of her future.
At the time, James was single and “swearing off men,” according to excerpts from her book, Just Jessie: My Guide to Love, Life, Family, and Food, published by E! News this week. Previously, she had gone through a rough breakup with a music producer and dated a whirlwind of men including “one of the biggest baseball players of our generation,” whom she describes in her book as “too vanilla—kind and sweet, but not enough for me.”
Then, a mutual friend stepped in to ask if she was interested in being set up. “He asked my friend for my number and texted me right away,” she writes. “Starting from the very first text from Eric, I decided I would do things differently this time around. From now on, if a man wanted me, he was going to have to show it. So I made Eric chase me.”
The starting portion of their relationship was slightly frustrating. Decker had only dated his high school girlfriend before and was well-versed in the single lifestyle. “They were babies when they met, so Eric had no idea what it meant to date as an adult. Basically, he was raised to go dutch,” she writes.
So, when the two went on dates, the NFL player was far removed from certain social graces. “He never offered to cover the bill or flights when I came in to visit him,” she adds. “He was just clueless.”
Eventually, James advised him to “step it up,” and it’s evident that the athlete truly took that advice to heart. In 2013, the couple married and subsequently starred on an E! reality series that documented their entire relationship.
In a 2016 interview with The Knot, the “Lights Down Low” hitmaker explained that she was thankful that she had waited to marry the right man. “He’s amazing,” she previously expressed. “I don’t know how I got so lucky.”
“I could’ve settled three times before him. I had three serious boyfriends before him,” she added. “I could’ve settled easily. Who knew that my perfect person would’ve showed up? What if I had settled with one of these guys? I would have never known what it actually felt like.”
Her advice for all was simple: “You have to think highly of yourself enough to have another person come into your life,” she told us at the time.
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