The single swimming star tells PEOPLE he's still trying to "find that one" special person

By Dahvi Shira
April 21, 2013 08:30 AM
Courtesy of Jeremy Womack

Heck jeah, Ryan Lochte is still single and looking!

The Olympic gold medalist swimmer will go public with his quest to find a significant other when his E! reality series What Would Ryan Lochte Do? debuts Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.

“You’ll see me going on dates,” Lochte, 28, tells PEOPLE. “You’ll see me meet a couple girls at a bar. It’s just me, hanging out with my mom, and girls come up. One of the girls who I took on a date is a good friend of mine, and we went zip-lining and rock climbing.”

With the mission not yet accomplished, the swimming star admits he’s “still trying to find that one” special person to call his own.

So, why didn’t any of the dates taped for his show lead to anything serious? Perhaps for one of the following reasons the athlete lists as his total turnoffs in the opposite sex.

Lochte’s No. 1 qualm when it comes to dating? When a woman comes across a “bad kisser,” he says, adding, “That’s a really big turnoff.”

“Honestly, if she can make me laugh, then I’m pretty much sold,” he says. “If she’s not funny, she’s taking life too seriously and that’s definitely not how I live my life. I have fun in any aspect of life.”

And if a woman can’t handle the up-and-coming TV star’s busy schedule, that’s a problem, too.

“I’m an Olympic athlete, and there are a lot of demands I have that go on in my life,” he says. “I’m always on the road. If [women are] always depending on me to help them, or they’re not independent, that’s a big turnoff.”

A potential lady friend also better not be camera shy, because this guy wants his fame to go sky high.

Explaining his desire to reach a Kim Kardashian-level of distinction, Lochte says, “She started from nothing and now everyone knows her. You can’t go anywhere without someone knowing who Kim Kardashian is. I think that’s pretty awesome.”

But the good news is, when it comes to looks, the swimmer is pretty open-minded.

“I don’t really have a set preference,” he says. “It’s not like I’m looking for a blonde or a brunette, light-skinned or dark-skinned. I feel like I give any girl a fighting chance.”