Being the 21st Century Chivalrous Gentleman

Posted by James, 22 Jul

To open the door or not to? That would be the 21st century version of Shakespeare's famous line. The debate on chivalry has been held innumerable times, and the usual consensus is that chivalry died along with the knights. Modernization, however, is a sad excuse to not be chivalrous. Yes, the 21st century man may not lay his coat over a puddle for his lady, but he can still be chivalrous. Here are a few ways to be a gentleman without going back to the 16th century.

Date Nights

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Chivalry on a date is not restricted to who pays the bill. Unless it's really out of your way, chivalry begins with picking up the lady instead of asking her to meet you someplace. If you have decided to meet directly at the venue, be on time or early. An excuse for being late, no matter how inventive, never sets a good impression. Always let the lady order first; don't assume her likes and order for her. This is not the space where she needs you to be her voice.

Calling for the check can be tricky, but the best thing to do is to offer to foot the bill. If she insists on splitting the bill, split it. Chivalry isn't only about taking care of her, it's about respecting her wishes.

A Walk in the Park

Some people refer to the side of the pavement close to the road as the guy's side of the pavement. This is probably one of the most underappreciated ways of being chivalrous. Fashioning yourself as the lady's protector need not involve getting into a fistfight on her behalf but simply keeping her from potential trouble. Another place for subtle chivalry is when weaving your way through a crowded room. Lead the way and save her the trouble of pushing people aside.

Protect Her Spirit

Chivalry is not restricted to protecting a woman form physical harm but extends to ensuring her spirit is protected as well. When you feel her spirits drooping, pick her up with genuine compliments. "You're beautiful" can sound superficial when compared to "That dress brings out the color of your eyes so beautifully." Pay attention to detail, and she will remember what you say. Don't wait for an occasion to make her feel special. A bouquet of flowers on a Monday morning is something no woman has ever complained about.

Eyes Only for Her

It's one thing to appreciate a beautiful woman in front of your date, and quite another to openly flirt with another woman while in her company. Restrain your ogling to boys' nights no matter how cool your date seems. Remember, a woman's memory for things like this can be compared to that of an elephant!


Last but not the least, chivalry is not restricted only to your date. It extends to your behavior with her friends and family and to the people around you. If you are ever faced with the choice of a bus ride of holding hands and giving your seat up for an elderly person, always choose the latter. It shows that you are aware of and compassionate to those surrounding you. And, it's a promise that she'll be holding your hand for a lot longer than just that one ride.

In truth, the debate has never been about whether chivalry still exists or not but just in how it should be adapted to the present day world.

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