Thursday, August 18, 2011

: Ep. 1- Opening the car door

I'm going to try to discuss some of the various unspoken standard rules and techniques of shidduchim dating in installments of "The Official Rules Of Dating"

First up, Opening the car door-

I try to park my car next to a walkway rather than in front of a tree or some other obstruction when I pick up a date in order to allow easy access to opening the car door. I then open the door, wait for the girl to begin to sit down, and walk to the other side of the car. I don't close the door because of the ridiculous thing that I've heard that you aren't supposed to do that because it will require you to look at her legs to see if she pulled them into the car. But hey, I try not to do anything too controversial.

As for getting out of the car, I've never had a girl who waited for me to open the door for her to get out, but that would be super weird if she did. So she handles that.

The thing is I don't really understand why we open the car door. Its not like I'm really helping you. I'm expending so little energy, it's not even worth it for you to utter "thank you." We no longer really view women as these helpless little things who can't do anything. So why do we hold onto the antiquated tradition of opening up the car door. Chivalry? I don't think that shows anything. I do it because its standard, but I find it ridiculous.


  1. I can't talk for anyone else but I know that I like being treated as a woman, and therefore, I will not tell my Chosson/husband that he can stop holding doors open for me once we're engaged. I know most girls do it, but I think this "chivalry" carries over into other parts of the relationship and I don't see that as a bad thing.

  2. Iyhbyu,

    I appreciate your perspective, and sometimes I wonder myself about that. Being efficiency minded, because it is such a tiny, nearly insignificant bit of energy it seems almost wasteful.

    Then I remember what a very wise man said to me: Women respond very well to virtually any act of kindness, no matter how small. In fact, they often respond the same to small or large acts of kindness.

    Whereas men consider the effort, the magnitude, of great importance, women often place more importance on the number, not the magnitude. A great husband isn't one that only buys one large gift every year, but who does small, consistent acts of kindness that show constant, consistent thought and care.

    For a piece I wrote about this interesting phenomenon, see here:

  3. @anonymous, I don't think it's a bad thing either. More of a curiosity as to why it's done. If you appreciate it more power to you. I just have a hard time understanding it.

    @ish-I agree that small acts of kindness are just as, if not more important, than the big ones. Gifts are appreciated most when they are well-thought out. I just don't see opening the door as even being an act of kindness, or as being thoughtful.

  4. As a young woman, I also appreciate it tremendously when a guy holds the door.
    I think it is a sign of respect.

  5. haha...this actually came up with the last boy i dated, he would open the door for me every time(which i most definitely appreciated)but then wait like 5 min. before closing it(i guess he wasn't looking at my legs and wanted to be sure he wasn't closing the door on my foot)so on like our 4th date i told him to just open the door for me and I'll handle closing it-i don't think a girl ever told him that before was pretty funny

  6. I used to feel extremely weirdly about guys opening the car door for me on dates. Once I started dating my husband, though, I really liked it. I think part of the weirdness is that when I barely know someone, I feel weird if he treats me in some kind of special way. But once I was in a relationship, opening the car door became more of an affectionate act than just an act of protocol. It's like my husband (or boyfriend, while we were still dating) wants to do things for me, not because he thinks I can't do them for myself, but just because he wants to give to me.

    I think acts like that, when they lack an emotional connection behind them, do become weird sort of things that people only do because they feel like they're supposed to. I still think it's a chivalrous thing to do, but I don't feel that it is. If that makes sense. In dating, I always used to feel like there's this distinct separation between what you think and what you feel. Those two begin to fuse together more as you start to have feelings towards a person, so that actions start to mean more.

    Anyway, sorry for the ramble. I hope that made some sort of sense.

  7. As a female I actually also like it when the guy opens the door for me. But I only like it when the guy does it naturally, and is not doing it because he has been told to do it. That is completely ridiculous. If he isn't planning on continuing it after engagement or marriage then he shouldn't bother in the first place.

  8. I'm mixed about the topic. When guys open doors its kinda awkward those few seconds, but at same time if he doesn't hes breaking the standard shidduch dating protocol of opening the doors so basically its a lose lose situation

  9. Ok clearly I am in the minority of women, but I personally dislike it when guys hold the door open for me. I'm with you iyhbyu, I just don't understand it. I know most guys are told to do this, so of course I never hold it against anyone and I know guys are taught to do it as a nice thing, but I for one would be perfectly happy without it. You open your door, and I'll open mine. I guess I don't like being treated "special" in that way. We're equals, you should not be respecting me more than I respect you. One of these days when a guy opens a door for me I am going to run around and open the door for him.

  10. @erachet- that actually makes a lot of sense. Perhaps after a few dates, It won't be so weird for me to hold the door open out of affection, but like you said... onthe very first date, forget barely. I DON'T know you.

    @sterngrad- Thanks, I was beginning to think it was just me. And if you do end up doing that, please tell me. That would be absolutely hilarious.