I made a mistake recently. Well, I’ve made numerous mistakes lately, but one stands out in my mind almost two weeks later.
In an attempt at acting like a gentleman, I held a door open for a woman I am no longer dating. I doubt that she said goodbye because of this; in many ways, though, it was a microcosm of all that didn’t work with us.
It’s safe to say that my former date is a thoroughly modern woman. She knows what she wants and doesn’t shy away from expressing it. I admire this quality, but to a point. When she applied her “liberation” to my door-holding gesture, I was left confused and frustrated.
“Oh, you don’t need to do that,” she said with a laugh. You’d have thought I had insulted her intelligence.
There is no law stating: “Man Must Always Open Door For Woman,” but if there were I’m sure my date would claim a caveman had written it. Let’s just say, on our way out, she went first.
I know very little about women, but I do know that deep down women want respect. Today, however, there are no rules for how one shows respect. Some women like to have a man who opens doors. Some women like to open doors themselves. Some don’t care either way. The point is that, as a man trying to date in the twenty-first century, I don’t know what women want.
It’s like we’re dancing, but nobody’s quite sure of the moves. We’re learning as we go, and right when we think we’ve got it, the song changes from ballroom to polka to techno.
Now I’m not sure about next time, with a new partner, if I should lead or follow. I just know I want to dance.