updated 02/20/2014 AT 6:55 PM ET
•originally published 02/21/2014 AT 9:30 AM ET
In a town full of many playboys, don’t count Ty Burrell as one of them.
The Modern Family actor, 46, has been married to wife Holly for 13 years and wouldn’t dare risk jeopardizing his relationship.
“It really matters whom you’re with,” Burrell – who usually prefers to remain private about his personal life – tells Playboy in its March issue, on newsstands Friday.
“My wife and I have two great kids now. I know I’ve stumbled into the right relationship.”
But even before he was married, the Oregon native was no stranger to serious relationships.
“Luckily or unluckily, I don’t have a ton of exes,” he says. “Before my wife, I was in only two relationships – one for five years and another for three-and-a-half years. I’m a serial monogamist.”
That said, luck with the ladies didn’t always come easy.
“When I was 28 to 29 or so, I would stay with my mentors, husband-and-wife professors, and then sleep on their porch for a while, and then I’d live in the van,” Burrell recalls. “I may have had one date during that whole period, which was about a year on and off.”
Explains the star: “Basically, when my date figured out I was living in my van, I didn’t hear from her again. The funniest thing was I was confused about why. I was like, ‘What’s the problem?’ I didn’t realize I was the creepy guy in a van. What could possibly be holding up this relationship? The van pretty much eliminated my dating life completely.”