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20-40-60 Etiquette: Is walk to car a 'dated' custom?

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QUESTION: I have had four “Match” dates recently. We met for drinks after work. Three times I drove to meet the man, and the other time I called Uber because my car was in the repair shop.

After all of the dates, usually two to three hours, I walked out of the bar/restaurant by myself and got my car. A couple of times it was dark. You would think a “gentleman” would walk me to the car or see that Uber picked me up, but that did not happen.

My question: Should I ask them to see me to the car, or is that as bad of manners as the “date” not doing it automatically?

CALLLIE'S ANSWER: There aren't many men that do this anymore. I've never been online dating, but I've had friends say some dates can be awful and sketchy. I'd park close to the restaurant and opt out for an escort unless you're wanting a make-out session. Hope you find a gentleman though!

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: I think your date should have done it automatically. It would have indicated some concern for your well-being and safety. I also think it's OK for you to ask if they would wait or escort you to your car. Issues like this have become part of the recent national conversation, and it seems that many men don't understand how careful women have to be in certain situations. But many men do, and I am thankful for them. Ask your dates for the escort if you feel comfortable enough with them to do so. After that, you can decide whether that's a deal-breaker for you in going out with them again.

HELEN'S ANSWER: You will have to use your instincts to ask a man you just met to walk you to your car. If he seems like a nice man, then it would be helpful for him to see you out. If it does not feel “right” then maybe the restaurant/bar could provide someone to see that you get to your car safely.

The man you have been talking to should definitely offer as that shows he has good manners and you can decide how to respond.

GUEST'S ANSWER: Brandon Bixler, Commercial Lending Officer | NBC Oklahoma Bank: A “gentleman” should offer to walk a lady to her car or wait until another form of transportation arrives as an extension of courtesy.

I understand in today's age of the independent woman, this may be looked down upon from the woman's perspective; however, it should be taken as a sign of genuine care and concern. There could also be other factors which may deter a woman from not wanting to be assisted — including the time of day (if it is late at night) and/or she does not feel comfortable with her date.

I do not believe it is bad manners for the woman to request her date's assistance to the vehicle. She may feel protected if they are in a busy environment or a questionable part of town. This would be an excellent opportunity for the gentleman to show his courtesy as well as prove his interest with her. Additionally, a safety net is provided.

The man should make the first step in asking for permission and not leave his date confused about what to do. If the relationship grows in a positive manner, a caring and concerned foundation has been built via this simple act.

Callie Athey is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email helen.wallace@cox.net.

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