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Reba McEntire talked with People this week about her boyfriend Rex Linn, who she calls the love of her life, and how the couple was physically separated at the start of their relationship.

Reba said, “I’d known Rex since ’91 when we worked on the movie The Gambler Returns with Kenny Rogers. Then in January 2020, I saw him again when I shot an appearance on the TV show Young Sheldon, which he is on. He said, ‘Let’s have dinner when you get through.’ And I said, ‘OK!’ He made me laugh my butt off on our first date, which we didn’t even know was a date.”

Not long after their first date, the COVID-19 pandemic sent the world into lockdown, forcing them to spend time apart in separate states. She recalled, “He was in Los Angeles, and I was in Oklahoma because my Mama had just died. We didn’t get to see each other from March to June, but we’d talk over Zoom and FaceTime four to five times each day. We created a bond and an intimacy that was getting to know each other without being physical.”

Reba also told People that she wasn’t interested in finding love again after her divorce from her ex-husband of 26 years, music manager Narvel Blackstock, in 2015. But she’s happy that Linn came into her life. She offered, “He’s the love of my life. We’re pretty much inseparable.”

It has also been fun playing man and wife in the latest season of ABC’s drama Big Sky. She said, “To play husband and wife, it’s natural for us. Rex and I rehearse all the time to make sure that when we step on that set, we’re not wasting anybody’s time. We’re professionals. We have our stuff together; we show up on time, we’re ready. We’re not holding up anybody because time is money on the TV set.”

Reba has just kicked off a new fall tour. But she still insists on making her man’s coffee each morning, “I make Rex coffee every morning. He’ll offer to make it, and I’ll say, ‘Nope. I want to do that for you.’ I know I could easily say, ‘Yeah, you go get it. I’m tired.’ Nope. I always do the coffee camp.”

She added, “The little things mean so much to me. It’s also important to be attentive and listen to your partner’s stories, even if you’ve heard them 100 times. I’ll watch couples who have very successful marriages, and that woman will sit there and listen and smile at her husband’s stories, and I’m like, ‘How many times has she heard that?’ I learned a lot from that.”

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