Lisa Loeb Sounds Off

02/09/2006 at 06:00 AM EST

Lisa Loeb Sounds Off
Lisa Loeb
John B. Zissel/IPOL/GLOBE
After breaking up with her boyfriend of six years, musician Dweezil Zappa, Lisa Loeb decided to get serious about finding a husband. After ruling out online dating ("I looked at my profile and it could have been a piece of cardboard"), the singer-songwriter, best known for her '90s hit "Stay," turned to the next logical option: reality TV. Now her adventures looking for love (with help from sister Debbie and producer/ex-boyfriend Juan Patino) are chronicled on the E! series #1 Single. Loeb, 37, gave PEOPLE.com her take on food, love and the importance of comfortable shoes.

On what she's looking for in a mate:
"I don't expect anybody to know me or my music, as long as they're respectful and interested in what I do, just like I'd want to be respectful and interested in what they do. I want there to be a balance. Maybe you have different strengths and weaknesses, but you're both individuals in your lives, and as partners you're something different."

On playing matchmaker:
"(Since the show started,) I've been getting dozens of e-mails from really great guys, and I thought, 'Wow, now I need to start a service where I hook guys up with girls I know.' I do that every once in a while – when I go on a date with somebody and I think they're great but it's not the right match, I ask them, 'Do you mind if I set you up with somebody?' And they're like, 'That would be great!' "

On the secrets to a good first date:
"It's an oldie but goodie: Be yourself. Present your best side, but don't exaggerate too much. Give the guy a second chance if it doesn't feel quite right but you think there's something interesting about him – sometimes people are nervous and that might just mean that they're sensitive. And wear shoes that are comfortable, just in case you want to take a long walk after dinner."

On dieting:
I travel a lot and I eat a lot. I've gained about 10 lbs. over the last year, which, for a small person, is a dress size and a half. But I think it's not good to diet – find the perfect balance, where you're eating a lot of fruits and vegetables and good protein, but if you're at a birthday, you eat birthday cake. I also think camouflage is important. Highlight what you consider the positive parts of your body and camouflage the parts you don't like. If I'm eating a lot, I'm gonna wear a dress with a lot of room.

On her biological clock:
My mom is hopeful that I'll give her grandchildren, and get married first. In L.A., people have kids into their fifties. In Dallas, people have kids in their 20s. (My doctor) said everybody is different, and she gave me some tips. It's important for women to check out their options, because if I don't, the opportunity might pass me by. But I'm not opposed to adoption either.

On Valentines' Day:
My mom used to make us a heart-shaped cake with red-hot sprinkles on top. So I might have to do some kind of baking to celebrate Valentine's Day and share the love through food. That might be a good night for a party.

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