Karina Smirnoff offers dating advice in new book

Lauren Hill
Chicago Tribune

Karina Smirnoff is best known to millions as a professional dancer helping rookie partners navigate rumba, tango and more on “Dancing With the Stars.” But sometimes her physical challenges extend to real-life dates — like the time she was in a first date’s car, looking out the window to see how far away the curb was before she opened the door.

“What did he do? He closed the window. He didn’t realize that my head was sticking out of it. It closed tightly on my neck.”

Fortunately, disaster was averted in this, just one of Smirnoff’s romantic misfires that are recounted in her new book, “We’re Just Not That Into You: Dating Disasters From the Trenches” (Post Hill Press). Smirnoff (who recently announced she is leaving “Dancing”) co-wrote the book with her best friend and manager, Lindsay Rielly.

Smirnoff and Rielly had so many horrendous yet laugh-out-loud dating stories, they decided to compile them all into one book.

We asked the pair to share some dating wisdom. Key to a perfect first date. Smirnoff: The right location. “Find a (place) where you can sit down and get to know (each other). The more you listen, the more you learn.

First-date tip. Smirnoff: Lose the list and have fun. “We go into a date with a checklist and what we are looking for. And (the men) audition when they don’t even know that they are auditioning. ... Just go with an open mind. No expectation. No anticipation of what it should be.”

Rielly: Smile. “I was asking my guy friend for tips when I first started dating again, and he said, ‘You tend to stop smiling. You go into a resting face, and you’re probably deep in thought, but you’re not smiling.’ You can never smile enough on a date.”