It’s been over 10 years since Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan began dating, but the former One Tree Hill actress can still recall in perfect detail the night she met her future husband.

“When he came along, he was so sure of himself,” Burton, who was introduced to The Walking Dead star Morgan at an Irish pub in Los Angeles by her former costar Danneel Ackles and her husband, actor Jensen Ackles, tells PEOPLE. “I was not a girl anyone pursued. I’ve always been alpha. And Jeffrey was like, ‘You’re going to be my girlfriend.’ ”

Continues Burton: “It was so nice to be pursued. He’s a cute dude! And I liked that he knew exactly who he was. His confidence was intoxicating.”

“I had reached a point where I was perfectly fine keeping on keeping on,” she says. “But Jeffrey was like, ‘Wouldn’t it be great [to get married]? Gus would be my best and George will be there.’ That picture he painted was really attractive to me. Our wedding was a big thank you to all the people who have supported us.”

Now, Burton says her favorite moments on the farm are nightly family walks where she can revel in the life she’s built.

“I have pinch me moments every day,” she says. “My son was a gift, my daughter was a surprise and Jeffrey was a whirlwind. Watching all of them engage feels surreal. I have so much gratitude.”

The Rural Diaries is available everywhere on May 5.

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