How To Be Chivalrous 101 (The 2014 Edition)

Scott Farrell comments:

Talk of chivalry in the world of dating and romance often comes along with claims of bigotry, chauvinism, paternalism, and other unpleasant holdovers from the Victorian days, back in the 19th century, when men were expected to be the “big, strong breadwinners,” and ladies played the part of the “weak, demure gentle sex.”


But here we are in 2014. Women are expected to be (and fully deserve to be) self-reliant, educated, and empowered. And yet … women seem to want (and deserve) a little “old fashioned romance” in their relationships. (Whether it’s a first date, or a 50th wedding anniversary.)


What’s a modern guy to do? Are women setting men to an unattainable double-standard? Some commentators seem to think so – but, as this article on the Rules Of Chivalry by Robin Hilmantel (contributing author to Women’s Health Magazine, and associate editor at Food Network Magazine) points out very nicely, it is still quite possible to be a chivalrous gentlemen on a date with your girlfriend or bride. All it takes is a little consideration to recognize where the rules of chivalry and courtesy lead (both men and women) in the world of romance in 2014, without taking a side trip to the Victorian era.


How Chivalrous Should You Be? originally appeared on the website.

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Guest author Robin Hilmantel.
Guest author Robin Hilmantel.

I’m sure Carl (not his real name) thought he was being sweet when he asked, “Can I kiss you?” But I didn’t. I thought it was cheesy as hell. Unless you’re a “Carl,” you probably know better than to do dumb things like request a woman’s permission before you lay one on her, or toss your blazer over a puddle to shield her stilettos from water. But do you know how other chivalrous moves come off these days — which ones women now consider offensive, and which ones possess the power to (sometimes literally) charm her pants off? You will.

Do: Guide her through the room
Put your hand on the small of her back as you’re walking together at a party or a restaurant and you might as well be George Clooney in her mind. Just make sure to keep your hand a solid four inches above her ass or you risk crossing into skeevy-perv territory.

Don’t: Write her a love letter
Sending her a sappy email about how amazing your third date was might be cute to her after the first read, but at least one of the five friends she’ll forward it to will convince her that the note means you’re a player or a stalker (or both). So step away from the keyboard.

Do: Open the car door for her
Any guy can (and should) hold a door open for a woman. It’s something strangers do for other strangers entering a CVS. But you actually have to walk to the other side of the car to open that door for us. I’m not saying you have to do it every time, but on a first date or a special occasion, this simple gesture can score you major points.

Don’t: Insist on paying for everything
Offering to foot the bill for dinner and drinks when you first start dating is fine. But suggesting that you fund shopping sprees and mani-pedi appointments? Don’t do it. You’ll come off like a showoff prick who’s enabling her to become dependent on you for everything she wants.

Do: Move her to the inside of the sidewalk
Every woman likes to think that you’d rather she not be run over by an Escalade. Make this move and she’ll know it’s the truth. Plus, it’s a perfect way to show her your protective side without coming off like a controlling jerk.

Don’t: Let her win
Throw the game and she’ll know you held back and will assume that you’re sexist, or she’ll believe you’re actually that terrible at arm wrestling or Words With Friends. Neither scenario makes her want to see you again. However, if you’re legitimately en route to victory, don’t rub it in her face by running up the score. That’s just being a dick.

Read Robin Hilmantel’s original article How Chivalrous Should You Be? at

One thought on “How To Be Chivalrous 101 (The 2014 Edition)

  1. I think what appeals to one woman may not to another, so articles such as these are really subjective. I happen to dislike someone “steering” me through rooms with a hand on my back, especially the small of my back. But a nice note or email is a straightforward way of saying what you mean without getting in my personal space. And I never forward personal emails.

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