updated 08/25/2015 AT 8:16 PM ET
•originally published 08/27/2013 AT 10:00 AM ET
British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is one of the hottest redheads in showbiz. But he doesn’t really get it.
“I find the whole concept of women screaming at me so odd,” Sheeran, 22, told PEOPLE at Sunday’s Video Music Awards. “It’s very flattering, but I don’t think I will ever consider myself to be a sex symbol.”
Attention from female fans also isn’t always what it seems, according to Sheeran, who’s a paddleboarding pal of Taylor Swift. “If you speak to most women, they want to take me home and mother me rather than take me to bed,” he said. “I just have that impression.”
Sheeran, who was nominated for best male video for “Lego House” Sunday night, was photographed holding hands with fellow British singer and VMA nominee Ellie Goulding, 26, while sitting next to each other at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
The pair are just friends, however, and Sheeran is single.
So, what’s he looking for in a partner? “Someone who likes to laugh,” he said.
Jokingly, he added, “And I really like chocolate. Someone who gives me chocolate.”