Last week I gave a talk with my Fairfax colleague Samantha Brett at Sydney's Ivy, opining about the things women are doing wrong when it comes to finding a guy and keeping him ... 

It's almost an impossible arrogance to try to answer this question, but there were 150 women in the room who'd all paid good money to hear us speak (while guzzling chilled shampoo), so I felt compelled to give them something.

"You're lazy," I said, then went into an embarrassing spiel about fitness and vitality, trying to back away from the unspoken sentiment that seemed to hover above me like a fart: "Fat chicks don't get boyfriends."

In fact, it wasn't what I was trying to say and, from what I've heard from readers and many women, being overweight is only an obstacle to romance for a small percentage of women and men.

So, as the fart cleared above me, I leapt for clear air and got to the point I was actually trying to make: people who are engaged with life, who do things other than work, eat, sleep, catch up with friends, rinse and repeat - are attractive.

People who care about others, who have interests and hobbies, who are active in their community, who give a shit and make a difference - are attractive.

And people who are not, by and large, are lazy.

This is where y'all start to disagree with me, but stay with me for a few more paragraphs.

Yes, there are energetic, egocentric types who are also attractive but their self-absorption is a sentiment you can absorb by opening any one of a thousand magazines.

I was trying to give the crowd that night something a little different.

Which is to say, that having a "life", making a difference, caring for people outside your immediate family and friends - to me, that is sexy, and I dare say many men feel the same way.

As I've written in this blog many times, this is not just a woman thing, it's a person thing, but I was talking to a group of gals, so I made it gender specific.

A lot of you will probably take issue with my use of the word "lazy", saying that a full-time job, travel to and from work, as well as a full social and family life is no small feat and requires plenty of energy.

And you're right.

However, it's nothing out of the ordinary.

If a person is truly struggling to meet someone, may I be so bold as to suggest they might have to step it up a bit and not be so ordinary?

Constructing a vital and rewarding life takes time and effort - I know because I've had one and I've lost one, or at least let it wither.

But I'm also single, so I was giving the advice to my inner slob as much as I was the 150 lonely hearts.

Going that bit further, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, takes effort but it also stretches you as a person and that vitality, that growth, is attractive.

And when you're doing things you love, when you're focused on issues other than your own genitals and procreation, it's amazing who appears - namely people doing the same with their lives.

Putting on a nice dress/shirt and heading out to your local for a few drinks might seem like you're making an effort - but compared to what I've just outlined, it's plain slovenly.

Too often, couples form by cobbling two tiny lives together and, after the initial glow has cooled, they turn on each other and begin sniping because nothing's really changed - "they haven't made me happy".

If you're lazy when you're single, odds are you'll be lazy in a relationship, sated as you are by orgasms, takeaway food and DVDs.

But if you build a rewarding life outside a partnership, odds are you'll also nurture it while you're in love or lust, and that's an attractive, intelligent and logical thing to do.

Your thoughts?

Sam de Brito's latest novel Hello Darkness is in bookstores now. You can follow him on Twitter here.