Singer Keyshia Cole may be best known (and loved) for her remarkable ability to belt out unforgettable songs about heartbreak and pain, but these days there’s nothing but love in her heart. Cole is happily married to Cleveland Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson, and together they’re raising their son in a home filled with joy — so much, in fact, that they’re sharing it with the world on their new reality show Keyshia and Daniel: Family First, which premieres tonight on BET. The super-cute couple stopped by our offices to talk love, parenthood and what happily ever after looks like in their world. Can you feel the love?
ESSENCE.com: How does it feel to be married and a mom?
KEYSHIA COLE: Being happily married takes work, so it’s not like, we’re just happy all the time. But we’re just growing and learning each other constantly. We’re just having so much fun with DJ. The smile that he puts on our faces every day is amazing.
ESSENCE.com: How do you keep the spark going when you’re on the road and can’t be together?
DANIEL “BOOBIE” GIBSON: We’re inseparable no matter where we are. We always talk. We’re always on the phone. We enjoy each other’s company, so any time we spend time apart, we automatically start missing each other. I think that’s why our relationship is just so much fun. We have fun with everything.
ESSENCE.com: What types of obstacles do you face together?
COLE: Once I get upset, there’s kind of no turning back and until I feel like it. But, he knows that that’s not fair and I know that that’s not fair. Sometimes I really get caught up in my emotions and I’m really good at it. So, like our psychiatrist says, I have to try to do “the unnatural thing.” So, I’m trying.
ESSENCE.com: You mentioned that you’ve seen a counselor. What’s that been like?
GIBSON: At first, I didn’t believe in it. I’m a strong Christian, so I believed that, like, you go to God and you fix it and you pray about it. But sometimes you do need a different opinion…
COLE: A mediator!
GIBSON: Yeah, a mediator! Because we don’t hear each other sometimes.
ESSENCE.com: Daniel, why did you choose Keyshia? What does she do to make you happy?
GIBSON: I just feel like the most blessed man just being able to wake up to her every day and see that pretty smile. No makeup. Everybody else can have all the makeup. As soon as she wakes up in the morning I just look at her and feel it’s a blessing to have her in my life.
ESSENCE.com: Keyshia, why did you choose Daniel to be your husband?
COLE: Well, first and foremost, he still has his mother and he has his father and he treats his mother amazing. I noticed that first. I also noticed how much of a gentleman he was and how strongly he believes in God and Jesus and Baby Jesus. Of course, how he treats DJ. Our family is just growing. I’m just so happy that he’s here with me. Like he said.
ESSENCE.com: What would you tell other young couples who are preparing to marry?
COLE: I think it takes more than one person. The woman can’t be giving 100 percent and then the guy just gives fifty. They both have to give a 100.
GIBSON: As men, I think that you have to understand that it takes work to be married. You can’t expect everything to be perfect in your marriage. If that’s the person you’re married to, you have to love ‘em enough to be able to accept whatever flaws they have. You have to take the good with the bad and I think for some people, at the first sign of bad they run the other way. But that’s not what marriage is. I think we handle that well. Whenever face adversity, we scrap. But then, I think that’s what love is. You figure it out and then you grow together. That’s what it comes down to.
COLE: It’s such a dangerous world out there. I mean it really is. You never know people’s intentions or their motives. So when you find somebody that you really know truly loves you, and you truly love, I think it’s really worth going through the battle of learning each other and what to do and not to do, and trying to love that person unconditionally, regardless of anything. It’s really worth it. It is. It really is.
GIBSON: If somebody ever tells you it’s perfect, they’re lying to you.
Catch the series premiere of Keyshia and Daniel: Family First tonight at 10 p.m. on BET to see their beautiful Hawaiian wedding ceremony.