The secret to a happy marriage is one question that Dolly Parton has been asked many times. But when she recently sat down with People for the magazine’s latest cover story, she credited her successful union with Carl Dean to aways appreciating each other.

“I always say, ‘Stay gone!’ and there’s a lot of truth to that. I travel a lot, but we really enjoy each other when we’re together and the little things we do,” the 72-year-old country singer gushed. “We’ve been together most of our lives.”

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Next May, Dolly and Carl will ring in 53 years of marriage and, according to the singer, they still “have a great relationship” after all these years. Dolly also noted that Carl loves to see her all dolled up so she always looks her best at home.

“He knows I’m always going to kind of be fixed up for him because I don’t believe in going home and being a slouch,” she shared. “He doesn’t care what I wear as long as I’m happy. He loves me the way I am.”

The happy couple isn’t as glamorous as people think either. Carl barely goes to any red carpet events with his wife and when they first started dating, he didn’t take Dolly out to a fancy dinner. And that’s just the way she likes it!

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“When I met my husband, he wanted to take me out to dinner. He pulled up to the drive-in window and got our food at McDonald’s,” Dolly recalled. “We know a few little places we can go without being bothered. He only likes to go places where he can be comfortable!”

After more than five decades of wedded bliss, Dolly said she hopes that everyone can experience the type of love that she has with Carl at least once in their lives. “I believe that everyone should be able to love who they love how they love,” she said. “Love is love!”