One writer explains what being chivalrous looks like, and why it's still so important.I'm a modern girl, I'm independent and I'm single. I have built a career from the ground up, read everyone from C.S. Lewis to Suzanne Collins, can navigate social media with relative ease and watch New Girl every week like it's my job. And?
I know I can take care of myself.
But hey, call me old-fashioned, too - it's fine. Pride & Prejudice is still my favorite novel, and I'm near-obsessed with Downton Abbey. Some say I was born in the wrong time, calling me cliché things like, "an old soul," and I agree. I can appreciate aspects of feminism, but I prefer gender roles. I like when a guy volunteers to kill a massive spider without complaint, or lift a heavy box in my stead. Read More: 9 Sex Lessons From 'Downton Abbey'
I find chivalry to be a gorgeous thing.
Most women I know are a little like that. We love our modern independence in life and in love, but deep down, we want guys to treat us like ladies. As women in their twenties will attest, it's become increasingly rare. Case in point: my friend gushingly told me the other day that a man had been ultra-polite. ("See that guy? He held the door for me ... Like, awww!") Gentlemanly behavior sets our hearts aflutter. We want to see it, and many of us are waiting on it.
My mom brought me a book other day. "I read this. You should read this," she said. It was True Believer by Nicholas Sparks. My mom and I are both fans of sappy, over-the-top love stories. I bawled like a baby when I read Sparks' The Last Song (not the movie, folks. Read the book). So, it wasn't weird that she brought me the book, but her adamancy was a little odd.
"Mmm ... OK. Any particular reason why?" I asked.
My mom sighed, and tapped the book with her hand. "The girl in this book admits she wants to be courted," she said. "Old-fashioned courted. And that's what you want. I've decided that's exactly what you seem to want. And good for you." Read More: 12 Reasons Women Can't Stand Nice Guys
Ah yes, I do want that. I want a guy to court me a bit. In fact, I am sort of holding out for that. Someone to sweep me off my feet? No, gosh no. Grand gestures are wholly unnecessary. I just want someone I can count on. I just want him to do little things to make me sure he's the real deal. Dating today is tough, and we women always seem to have doubts about the guys that roll into our lives: Does he like me, really? Are his motives genuine? Can I trust him completely?
Guessing means you usually can't, and confusion isn't a good thing. Most women would like to erase that. So, if he puts in the time and does the little things, it's like a screening process for us. He's more likely to be into us as human beings, not hook-ups. He's more likely to be Mr. Right when we're over dealing with all those Mr. Wrongs. That's why chivalry, in my opinion, is as important now as it ever was.
I polled a group of friends. We decided these ten things indicate a man is a true gentleman-and we love seeing guys who behave this way. Do you agree?
Here's to all the women who are looking for that chivalrous, good-hearted guy. He's out there - I've seen it. These are the things he does to make us swoon. (And to all those chivalrous, good-hearted guys, keep doing what you're doing. We love you for it.)
1. Holding the door. The other day, I was headed inside a building when a dark-haired guy with glasses noticed me a few steps away from the door. He waited for me to catch up, then held the door open and stepped aside, allowing me to head in first. I don't see this much anymore, living in a liberal area with a younger populace. And yeah, I swooned. I slowed down, looked him in the eye and thanked him. In actuality, I wanted to shake his hand or give him a bear hug or something for being so darn chivalrous (don't worry, I didn't). Note: I have the same reaction to pulling out chairs and lifting heavy objects. Read More: "Is Chivalry Only for Men? I don't think so, Ladies!"
2. Calling when he says he will call. We women are used to waiting for his call ... and waiting, and waiting, and checking our phones, and waiting, and waiting, and checking to make sure our phones are actually functioning, and waiting, and waiting. There is nothing more infuriating. Women crave reliability, but we no longer anticipate it. When a guy says he will call at 5:30 PM, we just think, "Ha! OK." If he actually calls at 5:30 PM? Well, cue the giddiness. "This one's a keeper."
3. Avoiding games. There is nothing more attractive than a guy who doesn't beat around the bush. He lets you know he's into you, and he's confident enough that he doesn't care about playing it cool. He likes you, he's excited about you, and he wants you to know it. Amazing? Uh, yeah. Read More: 10 Signs You're Dating A Player
4. Meeting our family and friends. We know a man's serious if he will gladly meet mom and shake hands with dad. And then, meet all of our friends, happily tolerating the one he just doesn't get along with. We see he's not a fan of her sarcastic quips -- the fact that he's putting a smile on makes us all warm and fuzzy inside.
5. Small, public gestures of affection. Most women don't want all-out PDA. That makes us as uncomfortable and queasy as men. What we do love, however, is a guy who will grab our hand on the street or give us a quick peck on the cheek. It's adorable. We love that he loves being with us, and we think it's rather fantastic that he wants others to know, too.
6. Making sure we got home OK. Imagine this: He's not waiting three days to call you. He's calling or dropping you a brief text just to make sure you're home and safe. Oh, and he also walked you to your car in that shady parking structure/dark parking lot (because those locations are scary). Read More: 10 Rules For Texting And Dating
7. Offering a jacket. I grew up watching rom-coms, and seeing the guy give the girl his jacket always made me smile. I am freezing on a regular basis-and I hate it. If a guy is willing to brave the cold and give me his cozy means of protection so I can feel warmer, I can't even express the amount of gratitude. (My friends all concurred on this one. Such a turn-on!)
8. Getting the car when it's raining. It takes a long time for us to do hair and makeup. We'd rather keep it intact, you know? Enough said.
9. Stepping in during awkward situations. My friend found herself riding a bus a few weeks back with a guy nearby who was "creeping on her," so to speak. Another man, a perfect stranger, stepped in and got Creepy Guy to back off. "I was just like, 'Thank you!'" she recalls. Sometimes, it's hard to break away from awkward situations like that. As women, we like to feel safe -- like someone has our backs. I've been in my friend's shoes, and when a guy goes out of his way to help a lady, it's pretty much our favorite chivalrous gesture. Read More: 7 Chivalrous Things We Wish Men Still Did (Sigh)
10. He cares about your opinions, and shows respect. Women know when we're being taken seriously. We can tell when a guy wants to know more about us, more about what we believe and more about how we think and react. We can tell when a man values our opinions and respects what we bring to the table in any stage of a romantic relationship. It's what we look for most in a guy, and how we know when we've met our match. It's what many of us, especially Christians, would want our future husband to be like. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:25: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." I love that verse. I'm looking for a guy who could love me in that way. I can't wait to find him-the one who loves and respects the mixed-up, modern, old-fashioned me.
Do you love chivalry, or do you think it's dead?
Written by Jenna Birch for YourTango.com.
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