Should my date open my door or should the valet?
If you’re going on a date with a guy, should he open the door for you, or should he let the valet do it?
– Ms. B
Thank you for writing in at such a late hour and asking for some advice. This is an easy one.
The direct answer to your questions is … it’s the valet’s job to open your door.
Knuckle Bumps to Your Date
First I hope you are giving him kudos for valeting the car. I coach my clients to pay attention to how a man they are dating or go on a date with handles parking the car. Depending on where you live their choice to valet or not can be a good little glimpse at some deeper parts of their personality.
WWDAD? aka What would Downton Abbey do?
In a playful kind of way, think of this as a modern day episode of Downton Abbey. You wouldn’t see one of Mary’s suitors pulling up to a valet and then running out of the car to open her door. As a reverse when you are leaving and waiting for the car traditionally when the valet pulls up there are either valets waiting for your chariot to arrive that should open the door while your date is hurrying to get settled to pull away. If there is only one valet working you will see them jump out of the car and run around to grab your door (however your date certainly can open your door but shouldn’t be judged harshly if he doesn’t).
Now some men will open the door HOWEVER this is one of the few times that I personally believe men are given a great big PASS in not open up your door. After all they are paying someone to take care of this detail.
A side note
When leaving a place I personally pay attention to what the environment is like around me. If it is crazy and cars are darting in and out and traffic is heavy I ditch everything and prepare to open my own door and jump in the car as if I just robed a bank and Mr. KK is the get away driver. There are few times practicality overrules romance for me and this would be one of them.
What about a doorman?
If there were a door man at a building would you expect your date to push aside the doorman and open your door? No, you shouldn’t. If you were at a formal restaurant where the maitre d’ pulls out your chair should your suitor hockey check them out of the way so he can pull out your chair and push it in? Again… no. Same goes for when using a valet.
You are the Belle of the Ball
You deserve to be treated like a lady and should expect someone who dates you to be a gentleman. Kudos to you for taking the time to ask your questions and to learn about this. Depending on where you live and the type of lifestyle you enjoy or are accustom to not everyone will valet park, go to places with doormen and maitre d’s. Being graceful in these situations is an attractive quality to men and even more so when they are use to these environments. If they are treating you like a lady then stepping into that role is important.
I Leave You With Final Dating Thoughts to Chew On
As I mentioned earlier the choice to valet or not can give you a glimpse into some deeper aspects of their personality. Here are some examples on what their parking choices can reveal. Is it a matter of making a practical choice? Is it part of the lifestyle they have come accustom to living? Are they too cheap to spend the money? Are they simply making an effort to show you how special they think you are because if it were just them or any old date they would us the parking garage or street parking and hoof it to the place you are going to? Does his choice of whether or not to valet simply come down to not being cultured so he has no clue what valet really is about?
You also may want to pause a moment and take note of his demeanor when he valets. Is he flashy with his valet parking or is he a gentleman and handles it with class and poise. Flashy and showy behavior can be red flags. Being a gentleman and enjoying one of my most beloved services out there gives him huge brownie points in my book.
If your date is new to these environments the best way to show him appreciation and support is to not worry about the ‘rules’. Simply enjoy the fact that he is trying to show you how special he believes you are. Avoid falling into the trap of thinking others will judge you or notice any sort of innocent faux pas.
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