04/11/2013 05:17 pm ET

Ryan Lochte On Dating: 'I Need Someone Who Is Able To Hold Her Own'

If you ask us, Ryan Lochte is a catch, with his Olympic medals, penchant for catchphrases and singular sense of style (really, is there any occasion when an American flag-themed diamond-encrusted grill isn't an appropriate accessory?).

But we've been plagued by two questions: Is the swimmer-turned-reality star already taken by "Baywatch" babe Carmen Electra? And do we need to be athletically inclined to catch his attention? Well, according to a new interview in Cosmopolitan, the answers are no, and no.

"I am a single guy right now, but you’ll see me going on dates," Lochte, 28, tells the magazine. "I need someone who is able to hold her own – if a girl is really independent, that’s a turn-on for me. And she doesn’t have to play a sport for me to be interested in her! But if a girl smokes, that’s a big turn-off."

He also reveals that he turns to the Lochte clan when he needs advice about the ladies. (His mom clearly seems to know what's up with his love life.)

"I know my family would never steer me wrong, so I go to them for advice," he says. "And if I go on more than a couple of dates with one girl, it could get to that point where she would meet the Lochtes."

Lest you're concerned that sounds a bit fast, he adds, "I mean, I gotta feel comfortable with her in order for that to happen! But I want a best friend and a lover at the same time. And I want her to make me laugh. I like someone who doesn't care what people think -- who's not afraid of making a fool out of herself."

Lochte shares more about his search for a soul mate in the upcoming E! series "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?"

"They get too jealous because I’m always traveling. They think I am cheating on them,” Lochte says in a sneak peek of the show, discussing his experience with women. “I want to settle down. I want to find the one I can spend the rest of my life with. I just don’t see that happening anytime soon.”

For the full story on Ryan Lochte, pick up the May issue of Cosmopolitan.