Q. Hello. What I would like to know is, if a door is already open should the man always enter the room after his female companion if the doorway only allows one person at a time to pass through? Does ‘Ladies first’ always apply ?
A. The old rules for the ways for men and women walk together and go through doors may have faded, but there are still plenty of people who prefer the traditional way of doing things, particularly on social occasions. In this case, a woman precedes a man through a door, on an escalator (unless she needs help getting on or off), or through a narrow passageway.
Today it only makes sense that men and women open and hold doors for each other, or allow the other person to pass through first, depending on who arrives there first. The traditional door-opener, however, might want to give the woman a choice– “May I get the door for you?” or “After you, please.”
When you and a stranger of either sex approach a door at the same time, it’s polite to open and hold the door–especially if he or she is elderly, carrying a package, or managing small children. Most important, don’t ever let a door close on the person behind you after you’ve just walked through.