In this day and age chivalry is often non-existent. Young folks these days may not even know the meaning of the word. (Chivalry: The sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.) Although we are no longer in the days of the knights, the basic principles of politeness and courtesies should still apply. Somewhere between women’s liberation and the X Generation it has gone to the wayside. While I am as much for women’s lib as the next chick, I do appreciate some good, old-fashioned gentlemanly practices, as well as other females I know. Call me primitive, but I think the following 5 points are nearly essential when a young (or not-so-young) lad takes out his date, even just for pizza at the local pie joint.
1. Open the door for your lady – and anybody else walking in with you. This once common courtesy is often lost. Yes, we have arms and are fully capable of opening a door for ourselves, but this simple, thoughtful gesture says a lot. It says that you are not self-centered, that you don’t mind and are willing to take a few seconds of your time to be helpful and kind to someone else. This is a small gesture that can brighten someone’s day and an easy way to express your kindness to your date as well as to the other folks you hold the door for. Trust me, any normal woman will find this endearing. My husband never fails to hold the door for me as well as anyone near us walking in – he always receives smiles of surprise and gratitude.
2. Give her your jacket. Although she perhaps should have planned better and you may be wondering why she didn’t bring her own, if she is chilly, offer her yours. Another small, but caring act of kindness that she will appreciate. Even if she doesn’t take it (it doesn’t match her clothes or it conceals too much of her figure, etc) she will still remember that you made the gesture.
3. Be yourself. She is not looking for perfection, and if she is then you’d be better off learning that early-on anyway. We all have flaws and if you try to hide them and try to come across as a ‘perfect’ man it will be off-putting to your date. She will know that you are not being completely honest and it will make her feel less comfortable showing you her own flaws. We want to know the real you…be confidant in showing yourself for who you really are.
4. Make her laugh. Laughter is truly comparable to medicine. We’ve all heard the cliché, but there really is something to it. Here’s another one for you…’the couple who laughs together loves together.’ Laughter can turn any experience around for the better. Is the food sub-par, handle it lightly, make her laugh. Don’t be too serious, we all want to smile and have fun, especially when we are nervous, on a first or second date. But even when you’ve reached your 300th date, the power of laughter remains.
5. Be a good listener. Although she will (hopefully) want to hear all about you, she will also want to share bits of herself. Make it a point to let her know that you are listening and that you want to hear what she has to talk about. What is important to her? What are her goals? If she is a bit shy and the conversation starts to fade, ask her questions, let her know you care to hear her answers.
Just remember to be the best version of yourself that you can, while still being yourself. Be kind, be courteous, be happy and positive and give her the attention that you would want someone to give to your own daughter (if you can imagine that!)