We know you've heard it before, but let us set the record straight: Chivalry is not yet dead. Times have changed, trends have passed, human relationships have evolved, but chivalry is still a living subject, relevant to its time. Though the name inspires a medieval code of conduct proper only for a knight, it doesn’t need to be. You can call it any way you want—rules of courtesy or simply manners—the bottom line is: it’s all about showing respect to others.
No matter how wild the times get, being well mannered can do more for you than all the finer clothes will ever do. A true man of taste is the product of attitudes rather than objects; and the latter will never replace the former.
Following are 11 tips of chivalry you can’t afford to not know. While you make your way down the list, keep in mind this caveat: If you feel like a freak doing anything mentioned below, you are probably doing it wrong. Ponder the situation, determine if the rules apply or not, and don’t get too creepy—if you know what we mean.
Don’t drink more than she does
Not sure if it counts for chivalry but it’s just common sense. No matter what happens you ought to protect and take care of your woman, and honestly no woman has ever felt safe with a drunk. So keep your elbow movements down (unless its your birthday) and control your alcohol ingest, but never drink so much less than her, that you make her feel uncomfortable. Not an easy task, but you will find a way to strike a balance. If you want to get totally wasted, odds are she won’t enjoy being there. So, as always, picture the situation and assess.
Holding doors for others, no matter the gender or age
Provided that you are about to enter first—meaning two steps ahead of anyone—open and hold the door and let them enter first. If they are more than 3 steps away from you it could turn uncomfortable and might be read like, “hurry up, I’m holding this shit open for you”. Exceptions to the 3-step rule apply when people behind you are carrying bags, or babies, and basically for anyone for whom you would just feel better holding the door.
Be punctual. Always. No excuses
We’ve heard this one repeated over and over again since we were kids, ringing in the back of our heads, yet still find it challenging to get right. It’s not that difficult: just plan accordingly and always consider possible delays. Also, it’s good to have your watch set 5 minutes forward. Just remind yourself that showing up too early is not being punctual either—it’s annoying, to say the least—so please don’t get too weird with your watch-forwarding knack.
If you’re the one asking out, you’re the one paying for it
You invited her, you picked the spot and you planned the date. Follow suit and make sure you pay. Simple enough. If it’s a regular and casual dinner, it’s fine to split the check, but always plan to pay, be prepared for it and, if you can afford it, always do so. Exceptions apply when the woman says in advance the date is on her, or if it’s your birthday, or if she heartily insists you split it and you know she really means it.
Ladies first, but not always. Hold your chivalry horses
We know you’ve been told your entire life that ladies always go first. Well, not to burst your bubble, but even “always” knows exceptions. In the case of revolving doors, you go first—it’s a nice touch to push the door for her. When climbing onto a cab, lead the way in, especially if high-heels and dresses are involved—don’t make her slide her derrière across the seat. It’s not practical or comfortable for her.
Never arrive empty-handed
We don’t expect you to bring roses and champagne to every random invitation. And she doesn’t expect it either—that would be plain awkward. But when others invite you to their place, it’s a nice detail to bring something with you. There are no rules and everybody’s tastes are different. But measure the situation and stick to the basics: chocolates, wine, beer or spirits, coffee, and maybe scented candles. Who knows? For some, a one-dollar candy will do the trick—just make sure you’re holding something nice when you knock at the door.
Offer her your coat. Another old-school tip
There’s not much to be said here. If she’s freezing and you feel comfortable enough to do it, simply offer her your coat. Just don’t take it too far: if she refuses don’t insist more than twice—you’ll cross the fine line between gallant and creepy. Otherwise, you can trust us. If it’s cold outside and there is shivering or pointing out of the obviously chilly weather, we’re confident she will appreciate it.
Carry the bags
If it’s your woman, a relative or a friend, always carry her bags. If it’s a random girl, assess the situation. Once again, don’t be a freak in the name of chivalry! If it looks like she’s struggling when carrying something heavy, offer her your help. If she strongly refuses, don’t insist. The ball is on her side of the court and it’s totally up to her to accept or not.
Always make introductions
Making your woman feel ignored is the epitome of anti-chivalry. Always introduce her properly and invite her to join the conversation. If you want to do it like a pro, repeat the names of people she doesn’t know so she has a better chance of recalling them. Also, if it’s a large party don’t be the over-enthusiast who introduces her to everybody. Just make sure she meets the hosts and never feels left out.
Never order for a woman
Let her order first. A good waiter already knows this but it seems that most guys simply live in blissful ignorance of the rule. Let her speak and never—no matter how cheap you are—tell her what to order (or what not to order). If she’s undecided, it’s always okay to offer to share some dishes based on your recommendations, but let her speak for herself. If she agrees to share, take it as your cue to order the dishes for both of you.
Don’t mess with a woman’s age or weight. Simple, right?
Those are pretty sensible matters and they are deeply coded as such in every woman’s DNA. No ifs, ands or buts. The subject is off limits.
Like this post? Make sure you don't miss our next one. Join for weekly updates.