Dolly Parton + Carl Dean — Country’s Greatest Love Stories

“They say that opposites attract, and it’s true,” Parton tells People. “We’re completely opposite, but that’s what makes it fun. I never know what he’s gonna say or do. He’s always surprising me. “

Though she’s a self-proclaimed flirt, Parton attests to her deep commitment to marriage.

“He knows I’m a flirt and a tease, but it’s harmless,” says the “Jolene” singer. “I’ve never met the man that would take his place.”

Parton has talked openly about her love for travel and excitement, while Dean prefers staying out of the limelight and settling in at home.

“People always wanna know the secret. I always say, ‘I stay gone! Stay apart.’ You can’t be in each other’s face all the time,” Parton jokes. “Actually, I think that has been the best formula for us, the fact that we appreciate each other when we are together. We don’t have to be together all the time.”

Parton and Dean are both very independent people, and they’re also, quite simply, best friends, which Parton believes “is the key to most all relationships that last a long time. You’ve gotta be great friends.”

Though Parton is the world’s entertainer, Dean is his wife’s personal entertainer.

“He’s a deep person, but he has a great and warped sense of humor,” she says. “He makes me laugh and entertains me. He’s very secure within himself.”

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