Editor’s Note: First, read bestselling author Mike Sager’s essay about his unique living arrangement with his longtime girlfriend. Then read this interview below, in which he talks to his girlfriend about their arrangement. (And yes, we think his girlfriend sounds awesome, too.)

MS: Did you think it was weird that we evolved this no toothbrush policy? I think it started because my son was living at home when we began dating.
GF: No, it’s because I never ever wanted people to spend the night anymore, and you also wanted that. So it was perfect. And you know, I like to snack in bed at night and I have to get up early. The only time I ever lived with somebody, I starved the whole time because I couldn’t snack at night because I was embarrassed. I lost like 12 pounds. Plus, I could never go to bed without lip gloss. It’s too much pressure to have someone there all the time.

MS: So it’s mostly about snacking for you?
GF: No, ha ha, funny. I just like to do my thing. You get tired of people when you spend too much time together. I think when you only spend a few hours at a time together, you bring the best of yourselves to each other, don’t you think? Like when you live with somebody, you notice their burps, their farts, their cupboards being open, their clothes on the floor. You start to resent all their little things. And then it becomes synergistic, and you start to hate the big things too.

MS: I say in my piece that instead of comingling, we intersect.
GF: Yes. We’re like two intersecting spheres with the perfect amount of overlap. I like the idea of having somebody, the comfort of having somebody to talk to and having somebody to put down as my emergency contact. It took me like three years to put you down as my emergency contact—before it was my sister or my girlfriend, and neither of them ever answers the phone! Plus, to sleep at somebody’s house, there are way too many things to bring with you—makeup remover, meds, supplements, iPad, computer, extra clothes, slippers… It’s like when I stay overnight at the hospital, I have to pack a bag. It’s just too much. And there’s nothing like my own Oral-B Spinbrush. My travel one doesn’t do a good job.

MS: There’s no place like home.
GF: I like having a place that’s all mine that I don’t share with anyone. This is my oasis. And I can welcome you in for a few hours and then you go, and it’s all mine again. And I love going to your house, too. I love when you cook dinner and we hang out and watch a movie. But I like coming home to my sanctum sanctorum.

MS: So you’re saying I’m best in small doses?
GF: Everybody is best in small doses. I don’t know of one person who is best in a big dose.