Regard for the Revolving Door: Who’s to go first

by epi on September 6, 2012

Q: I always get confused with a revolving door.  Should I go first or  should I wait for the woman I am with to go first?

A: I like to think of the issue in terms of safety: If we are going from inside a building to the outside, I prefer to go first; outside to in, I let her go first.  However, regardless of the situation, communicate your intentions.  If you’re not sure what she would prefer to do, as you approach the door, ask, “Mary, would you like me to get the door for you?”  If she says yes, then you should go ahead and move through first.  If she says no, then you know to let her go ahead first.  Problem solved.  By the way, this same advice holds true for holding chairs at a meal, opening any door, or holding her coat for her.  Ask her rather than tell her.  Now  you can focus on conversation rather than worrying about what to do.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Country Girl September 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm

This is wonderful advice. If necessary I always prefer the man to enter first when going outside, and for me to enter first when going inside. In addition to the safety aspect, it is also nice not to be left standing and waiting in the elements.

That said, I actually HATE revolving doors, pushed or automatic. They can be simply awkward to sometimes dangerous. (Trying to push a heavy door in high heels on a slippery floor is never a good time.) If available, I think it is always preferable to direct your lady to a regular swing door to hold open for her. Most establishments have both in order to abide by fire codes and to accommodate handicapped patrons.

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John September 18, 2012 at 8:32 am

I was taught as a young man that the man should go first into a building, to ensure that it is safe for the lady to enter; e.g. if there is a burglar in the house. Otherwise he is using her as an ‘advance party’.

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Mildred October 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Is it okay to ask a male good friend to go on a cruise. We have been friends for 13years. Will that cross our firendship. There’s 2 separate beds. He is just a very good friend that I talked to everynight.

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Winifred Rosenburg October 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

Yes, it’s fine. That’s between you and your friend.

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