A gentleman opens the door for their lady. It is as simple as that, but it is also a delicate dance.
When the two approach the door, the lady should not come in contact with the door, making it the gentleman’s job to ensure their lady’s safe passage. As a result, the gentleman pulls the door open and holds it for her.
Furthermore, the gentleman and lady should walk together in a horizontal stack before they come to the door; however, if both arrive at the door simultaneously, there is an awkward moment where the gentleman cuts off his lady, interrupting any conversation’s fluidity.
In turn, the dance begins not at the door but before when the man asserts his door-holding obligation by making a genuine, subtle effort to step forward and open it without blocking the lady with his body, preventing awkward pauses.
However, what if there is a door right beyond the first?
This creates an issue because many rules are in play: the dance must be graceful, the lady enters first, conversation fluidity must be retained, and the gentleman touches the door.
Thus, remember the horizontal stack and stay close together. By maintaining a close proximity, the lady can reinitiate the stack by sidestepping under the guise that her movement is necessary for the conversation’s continuation, providing the gentleman with room to elegantly open the next door.
One intangible, however, can ruin this dance. Strangers.
Gentlemen are not only amiable to their lady but also all people. In turn, gentlemen hold the door for all people arriving after. This issue incites the Double Door Paradox.
By holding the door for others, the dance and conversation are broken up and the separated lady is awkwardly trapped in the airlock area, but the gentleman’s obligation to aid others is fulfilled.
Hence, I issue a solution. A true gentleman’s duty is to their lady first and foremost. As a result, gentlemen, stick to your lady. Push the doors open a bit for those behind but avoid holding doors for strangers, ditching your lady in the process. Don’t forget that chivalry is about the dance, not yourself.