By Kim Taylor

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Our BN NYC dating editor Deepa Das pointed out that she was in the perfect position to dole out dating advice. She had been single, she met a man she loved, she apparently did all the right things, and she’s now married. End of dating story, beginning of her now-longstanding dating advice cred.

Dating expert Marni Kinrys dishes truth

With a nod to Deepa, since I am also married, I intend to offer up my own advice here, along with that of dating/relationship expert and prolific author Marni Kinrys – who recently hosted a social media poll on Twitter and Facebook, asking men to be honest and forthcoming about the women they were meeting and dating.

Pull up a chair and pay attention, because the number one complaint discovered by Marni Kinrys in feedback from men is that women aren’t paying attention during dates; instead they’re checking their email, text messages, voicemail, Instagram feed, twitter updates, Facebook messages and apps. Men understandably think this is rude. Turn off your phone, even if you know the date is doomed and excruciating, simply because it’s the polite and right thing to do.

Even when out with friends, it’s annoying when a person is more interested in her devise than the world and the friends in front of her. Men find it difficult to believe women can be so oblivious and not know that burying their heads in their smart phones is rude. So if you’re one of these devise offenders, and wonder why dates don’t turn into relationships, there you have it. If the date is so boring that you want to check your phone, better to make excuses and dash off.

Other complaints she unearthed from men include rude behavior in general (watch how you treat waiters, doormen, baristas, and cab drivers), leading men on when you’re actually not interested in a long-term relationship (17% of men complained about this), not saying exactly what you mean, and when in social situations, having an unapproachable expression (i.e. an unsmiling, judgmental, unimpressed and flat look, which her clients have summed up concisely and perhaps unfairly as “bitch face”). A warm smile can switch things around at an event and draw more prospects your way. And if there’s nothing you see that makes you remotely want to smile, then you should leave for greener pastures rather than appear sulky.

A lot of the same things that bother friends will also rankle on dates, so if your friends complain that you’re always late, or tend to only talk about yourself, or need to laugh more, or are too controlling, (or your other planet, time-travel views on the origin of the pyramids is alarmingly nuts), then it makes sense that the people you date may also find these same traits to be off-putting or problematic.

No one is perfect and we all have flaws, but we can soften their rough edges with a little effort and thoughtfulness, and wind up with better relationships that stand the test of time. A logical approach to dating is to treat people the way you want to be treated, to say what you mean, to be honest, and to pay attention to social cues.

More info about Marni Kinrys and her books can be found at Next year she’s publishing another titled “That’s Not How Men Work,” so it can’t hurt to pick up a copy.

Originally published December 2013

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