Dating Etiquette: Opening Car Doors

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from the Etiquette while Dating bonus book from Adai Ad First Point Course. Most of the booklet was compiled from ideas from girls who felt that based on their experiences, there are some things that guys ought to know…
This is by no means complete and indicative of everyone’s experiences. It is based on common courtesy of menchlichkeit and modern Western society that people living in America have come to expect.
The intent of the material in booklet is to bring some rules of etiquette to the fore. And once you are aware of what many women expect, you can decide for yourself what feels most comfortable to you.
There are two ways to mess up etiquette. One is to ignore it altogether. The other is to over-think it and overdo it, and thus make it weird and awkward. So keep that in mind as you read these guidelines; the most important thing to remember is simply to be natural and to use common sense! The key to successful good manners in general is to make it look effortless.
There is no script, there are no rules. Be yourself – what feels right for you.

Opening Car Doors

    • If she is driving, it is still best to walk to the driver’s seat to open the door for her, and then walk around the back to the passenger seat.
    • Don’t feel obligated to open the car door for her when exiting the vehicle. Most people get out of a car as soon as it parks. Successfully opening a car door for a woman so she can exit will probably require you to say, “Hey, don’t get out. I want to open the car door for you.” She’ll then have to sit there and wait as you exit the driver’s side door and circle around to the passenger’s side so you can open it. You’ll just create a spectacle and may make your date feel like she’s being chauffeured instead of courted.
    • Don’t force the gesture if it’s just not possible to perform.
    • If there’s not much room between your car and the car parked next to you, let her open her own door.
    • Before shutting a car door, make sure everything is inside the vehicle – skirt bottoms and purse straps, etc. You don’t want to ruin your date by slamming her foot in the door or tearing a dress. Give a quick check to make sure everything is safely inside. You might even ask,“Everything in?” before shutting the door just to make sure. And definitely make sure that she is in the car before driving off.
    • If you are already in the car, should you get out and go around the car to open the door? Proper etiquette says yes. Today, most bochurim do not do that, and most girls do not expect that; there are always some girls who do expect it. Some bochurim lean over from the driver’s seat to open the door. At the very least, make sure the door is unlocked so that she can enter the car. (It is generally understood that most bochurim would not jump out of the car to open the door for her in Crown Heights, but outside of Crown Heights, it is more common.) Walk behind the car to the driver’s seat.
    • Always try to open the door for a date when she enters the vehicle. If you don’t have anything obstructing you, always open the door for your date when entering the vehicle. You should have cleaned your car before the date, but if you have any crumbs or other gunk in the passenger seat, sweep it off before she sits down.

To note:

  • Not all women like having doors opened for them. Some women are more empowered these days so they may take it the wrong way if you try and open up doors for them. If she tells you that she isn’t comfortable with you holding doors open for her, just respect her choice and do not make a big deal out of it.
  • Don’t expect consistency. She might open the door herself in an evening, but then the next time she’ll step aside indicating that she wants you to open the door for her. So watch for that and read her body language. And don’t analyze it, it is just the way she is.
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