If you’re looking for a Prince Charming to woo you with his courtly manner and honorable acts of chivalry, it might be time for a quick reality check. In the age of feminism, “hook-up” mobile apps like Tinder and what some call the “end of dating” as we once knew it, you’re going to be waiting for quite a while before that Prince comes a knockin’.
Chivalry Isn’t Dead
But that doesn’t mean chivalry isn’t dead. Like everything else that’s rooted in ancient times yet still persists, it’s had to change a little to survive. Chivalrous acts are still performed by men all the time- you just have to recognize them.
Knowing How to Deal With a Chivalrous Guy
You also have to know how to respond when men are chivalrous. In the complex world of dating, it’s sometimes confusing to know whether to accept a generous act or to politely decline or in some worst case scenarios: feel totally creeped out.
What to do About Chivalry
Don’t worry if all this sounds too complex to handle. It’s simple, really: we’ve assembled the Girls’ Guide to Chivalry in the Modern Era. Below you’ll find how to interpret the high-minded random acts of kindness otherwise known as “chivalry” that men sometimes perform while dating. Armed with a little knowledge, you’ll feel way more comfortable next time a guy opens the door for you, pulls out your chair, or gives you his coat when there’s a chill in the night air.
A Girls’ Guide to Chivalry
Here are the 10 most likely ways a guy is going to show his chivalrous side on a date, followed by the best way to react.
1. Opening the car door for you. This is not something you’re going to see often these days, nor is it necessary, obviously. However, some guys still do this on the first several dates, so let them. Don’t expect it to last, so enjoy it while you can. Say thank you. Always say thank you when any of these acts of chivalry are performed for you.
2. Pulling out your chair for you. This definitely requires more skill and more practice- even from the girls’ perspective. How does it even worK? You have to scoot forward and lift yourself up while in the sitting position while he pushes ever so slightly on your chair. Together, in a herky jerky motion, you shimmy the chair forward to the table. Most women find this one awkward, silly and pretentious but if he’s made the effort to understand this advanced form of chivalry, might as well play along. Play along once, then find a way to gently let him know it’s totally not necessary!
3. Opening the door for you. This is very common, even on non-date situations. Heck, it’s even still expected in the business world and high-end retail. Definitely let him hold the door for you and think nothing of it.
4. Paying the bill. Here we have probably the stickiest of issues when it comes to chivalry and dating. There are women who will demand that the man pay, especially on the first date. However, these may be the same women who then proceed to order the most expensive thing on the menu.
Ladies, if you expect chivalry, then you have to learn your manners. There’s no need to order the cheapest thing on the menu, but don’t go for the $50 Surf & Turf Extravaganza either. It’s just rude and shows poor manners and bad judgement It also makes you look like a mean person. If this is what you do, then let’s call a spade a spade. You are a mean person!
You can offer to split the bill, but let the guy decline your offer…at least until the second or third date. Reality has to sink in eventually, and let’s face it: it’s the 21st century and women are capable of paying their own bills.
5. Carry your bags for you. It may seem strange to have a guy offer to carry something for you, and really if you’re going to get feminist on any of these chivalrous acts, this is the one. You’re the one who made the decision to carry a bunch of stuff, so unless you’re truly struggling, politely decline this one if it makes you feel more comfortable.
6. Standing when you enter or leave the room. This is another act of chivalry that’s going beyond the requirements of normal date behavior. It’s embarrassing and a little strange. Besides, it’s more like something you’d see when an older woman, or the President of the United States enters the room, not little old you! Feel free to feel strange on this one!
7. Being Chivalrous to others while on your date. A guy can give up his seat on the subway, carry groceries for a grandmotherly type, help someone with a heavy load..random acts of generosity for strangers you encounter while walking down the street together. He’s doing this to impress you, and he’s trying really hard. Thank him, show him you’re impressed, and be glad somebody raised him right.
8. He dresses up for your dates. You know times have changed when dressing nicely for a date is considered an act of chivalry! But in the age of “hanging out as dating” and the casual encounters made possible via the internet and smartphones, it’s refreshing to see a guy make a little extra effort with his appearance.
9. Hailing you a cab/Seeing you home. This is not just chivalry, it’s sometimes a safety issue. He’s showing that he cares about you. Of course you may navigate your city by yourself all the time, but that’s not the point!
10. Bringing you flowers on the first date. This is cute and kind, but a little over the top. Depending on the formality of the date, how you were set up, etc can help determine whether this one is too much. Whatever the case may be, smile and say thank you…
…always smile and say thank you to chivalrous acts!