In advance of The Mindy Project returning for its third season, Mindy Kaling is doing press, including stopping by Howard Stern to talk about how BJ Novak—her Office-mate “Ryan” and also a producer on her show—is the one that got away. As per usual she’s funny, charming, and honest, saying that she was “never more beautiful” after they broke up because she doesn’t eat when she’s sad. Seriously, I think it’s physically impossible not to like Kaling at least a little. She’s at the top of her game in an industry that especially hard on women and yet she remains so likeable and (relatively) open.

Her admission to Stern solves a long-standing “are they or aren’t they” debate that surrounded Kaling and Novak, but she also mentions that she was 24 when this went down, which means by the time The Office hit the air in 2005 they were already broken up. So the answer, then, is “they were, but not for a long time”. I love how she handles Stern—not blowing off the question but not giving it too much importance, either.

She acknowledges that Novak has always had a place in her life, and that while that place has shifted over time, he’s someone she counts on. But she does it in a way that’s not defining of her as a person. There are so many women in the public sphere who can’t be separated from their romantic entanglements, yet here is Mindy, standing on her own two feet, not shaped by other people. It’s always on Mindy’s terms, you know? She’s an unabashed romantic and yet, I couldn’t tell you anything about her dating life (Taylor Swift could take notes). I have a feeling that’s just the way Mindy likes it.