Scott Farrell comments:
In a world filled with late-night booty calls, infidelity and a general “hit it and split it” mentality, it’s easy to become jaded by today’s dating scene.
Generally, we here at Chivalry Today are not big fans of the “X Tips On Chivalry For the Modern Gentleman” lists. The suggested “chivalrous actions” these lists provide seem primarily composed of things a man should do if he really wants to impress a girl on the first date.
Now, there is nothing wrong with being kind and polite on a first date – but real chivalry (in a romantic relationship) is about so much more than “making a woman melt in your arms” after your date is over. Dating etiquette is about getting your companion to be impressed with you; real acts of chivalry are things you do to show you’re thinking about someone else before yourself, and those are usually things which take place long after that first date is a pleasant memory. The “chivalrous gentleman (or gentle lady)” is an individual who uses courtesy and thoughtfulness to demonstrate commitment, respect, compassion, and trust – not to score points or conceal their true intentions (i.e., wanting to have sex as soon as possible) in a new relationship.
And in that way, this list seems much closer to the target of “real chivalry” than most. Sure, a few of the suggestions here are a little splashy, but for the most part, this list by young author Jen Ruiz (which originally appeared on the Elite Daily website) contains more real tips on “courtesy and thoughtfulness for a life partner” than most of today’s pop-culture-magazine chivalry lists. As we always point out with articles such as this: Courtesy (like being a gentleman/lady on a first date) is part, but only a small part, of the whole package of chivalry. However, a man or woman who is willing to consider the welfare and feelings of others; to make small sacrifices on a regular basis; and constantly find ways to express respect and trust is much more worthy of the descriptor “chivalrous” than someone who pulls out all the stops on the first date in an attempt to temporarily put on the façade of a white knight (or a genteel damsel).
This list is a good reminder that chivalry is a way of life, not a checklist you use to dazzle a date on your first night on the town.
As women, we brace ourselves for the worst, proceeding with extreme caution during the first few months, for fear of falling victim to the aforementioned debauchery in which so many men partake.
It’s a welcome relief, then, when we stumble upon those few true gentlemen. They exude chivalry with even their smallest actions, and remind us that there are still good ones out there.
It doesn’t take a grand gesture or costly display of affection to win a girl over. Often, it just takes a little sincerity and display of genuine romantic interest.
Despite popular opinion, chivalry is not dead — here are nine everyday gestures of men that prove it:
A guy who takes the time to come around and open the car door for you is a keeper, not to mention a commodity this winter.
With certain states getting up to five inches of snow an hour, do you want to be left standing outside in a blizzard while your date gets nice and toasty in the driver’s seat?
Recognize and appreciate a guy who puts your comfort and well-being first, even if it’s just for a few extra seconds.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So, when he saves the last bite for you, it’s basically him saying he likes you more than whatever meal is in front of him. Which, for the record, is a lot.
A guy who shows an interest in your baby photos, coaches your little brother on how to throw a football and compliments your mother’s cooking is a guy who’s in it for the long haul. These are small gestures, but they speak volumes about his intentions.
When a man volunteers to endure a girly show or movie because he knows you’ll enjoy it, he earns major bonus points. (Even more if he does so without complaining or expecting something in return.)
I’m not talking about the $100 bouquet you get on Valentine’s Day. I’m talking about the grocery store assortment he picked up on a random Tuesday while thinking of you. There’s just something about unexpected flowers that makes a girl smile.
The first time someone does this, you will probably be confused. But then you’ll start to question how come other men in your life have never been concerned about positioning themselves in such a way that you’d be protected should curbside tragedy strike.
It’s not a must, but it’s certainly nice to have.
Sure, if you’re hoping to date someone and he does this, it can be a dreaded sign of sibling-like affection.
But, if you’re in a long-term relationship and your guy does this, it’s a small gesture that can make you feel adored.
Much like walking on the outside of a sidewalk, this gesture will probably surprise you the first time it’s performed.
It’s indicative of a man who was raised right and is generally courteous, which is always a welcome surprise.
Women are fully capable of putting their own jackets on, but it’s not a question of ability. It’s gentlemanly and kind for someone to hold out your jacket for you or offer you theirs when it’s cold.
These are little ways men show they care, the same way women have instincts to nurture and protect loved ones.
Chivalry is not dead; men can be everyday knights in shining armor. You just have to learn to spot the subtle, more meaningful gestures.
About the author: Jen Ruiz is a fabulous twenty-something whose friends are all married or having babies while she just keeps getting more and more awesome. Armed with a mountain of student loan debt and every internship experience under the sun, she’s taking the terrible twenties by storm! Lawyer, blogger, fitness enthusiast, and full-time army of one, you can find her at www.twentieschic.com.