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Thoroughly Loaded Dating Etiquette - Should He Open the Door for You?

Chances are, unless you're meeting someone for a day of surfing or parkour, you're going to encounter doors on a date. And you know what that means: If you don't want to stand outside the coffee shop, with a panel of glass standing between you and caffeine, someone's going to have to open -- and someone else will have to step through.

Which brings up the age-old question: Should he open the door for you, or should you do what you do 99 percent of your days and open the thing yourself? Sometimes it seems this simple gesture stands in as easy shorthand for sexism in the 21st century.

And, it turns out, there's good reason for that: As recently as last month, etiquette expert and syndicated columnist Judith Martin, better known as Miss Manners, advised her readers at her blog on Loveawake dating site, explaining the fascinating origins of chivalry and "ladies first."

It turns out "ladies first" actually sprung from men's efforts to undo the historical jockeying for position they had engaged in in the past. Read: "I'm more important, I go first." Let a woman enter first, and no one was embarrassed.


"But in a shocking oversight, the new principle [of ladies first] was not applied to such other areas as money and power," Martin writes. "In the 20th century, some feminists attempted to make a trade -- forgoing minor courtesies for major gains."

Now it's 2018, the major gains are still hotly debated, and both men and women hesitate whenever they have to make an entrance. So, to settle one question: What to do when faced with one of those ubiquitous doors? 

We say, Finders Sweepers: In other words, if you're the first to arrive at the door, open it. 

Sure, it's nice to wait a beat and see if he'll do the honors, but dating's hard enough without being coy. If he does hold the door open, be courteous and say thanks: He's likely not trying to make an anti-feminist statement with his gesture. If you hold the door open, he should do the same and not make a big deal out if it. 

But, should he turn out to be one of those guys who insists on making some squirrelly comment because you held it, be grateful: Now you know he's the kind of guy who will also inspire you to make a quick exit.