Gentlemen, here is the proper way to enter a dining room, ballroom, party or any other social situation where you are escorting a lady.
Question: Who goes first—you or your date?
Answer: If there is a hostess or maître d’ on duty, then he or she leads the way for your date. You follow. If there is no hostess or maitre de on duty, then you act as de facto host. You lead the way. Your date follows.
Hey Ladies! If you reading this, it is possible your date will not know this point of etiquette. He may politely usher you past him with his arm and say “After you.” If this happens, smile and stride forward into the room, Miss Captain Stubing.
An alternate scenario. Ladies, let’s say that you arrive later than your date. He is already seated. The restaurant is a fine one. Announce yourself at the front desk. If there is a host or maître d’ on duty, he will probably initiate escorting you to your table. If not, feel free to ask.
The idea behind all of the above is to reduce any social discomfort a lady may feel walking into an unfamiliar room of people solo. And, of course, get you to the right table.