The first is, I flew to Cape Town the other day and was seated in an aisle seat on the plane. I don’t mind which seat I sit in to be perfectly honest. I was seated first when the gentleman sitting next to me arrived. He stopped in the aisle, put his bag on the floor and immediately put out his hand and introduced himself and asked if I would prefer the window seat. We ended up chatting for the next 2 hours and when we landed he made sure to insist that he help me get my bag down from the overhead compartment. It made me feel very special and that he had a certain level of respect for me.
The second is when my 16 year old son came home from taking his (first) girlfriend to the movies the other night and he commented on the fact that she did not like him insisting on paying for her to start with. But she then accepted that he was not going to let her pay for anything and they ended up having a fantastic evening.
Being the mother of 4 boys, I have always said that I don’t care what they do in life – they can do anything and be anything – the only thing I expect from them is that they are gentlemen. And they have not let me down.
It is not a matter of whether a woman wants to feel empowered by paying for herself. Or perhaps feeling like she is expected to return any “favors” if you know what I mean. It is a matter of a man showing his respect.
Respect is also a term that has been waylaid in today’s world but I do believe there is both the space and opportunity to be respectful and be a gentleman. So I have made a short list of things that set one man apart from the rest. It is not to say that a man must insist or do it every time, but certainly whenever the opportunity arises.
My short list is as follows – there are many other gentlemanly traits but these are at the top of the list for me:
- Always offer to pay for a meal or entertainment when on a date
- Always stand up at a table when a lady approaches
- Always pull a chair out for a lady
- Always order for her first
- Always see her to her door (and don’t expect anything in return)
- Always hold the door open for a lady to pass before you
- Always open the car door for a lady
- Always offer to carry her bag/s (Not her handbag!)
- Always offer your seat to a lady – of any age
“Chivalry: It’s the little boy that kisses my hand, the young man who holds the door open for me, and the old man who tips his hat to me. None of it is a reflection of me, but a reflection of them.”
― Donna Lynn Hope