Gentlemanly Behaviour

We live in a different world nowadays to when I grew up.  The art of being a lady or gentleman seems to have vanished into thin air – or so I thought.  There are two things that happened recently which got  me thinking that all is not lost in this day and age.

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.

Gentlemanly Behaviour

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

11 thoughts on “Gentlemanly Behaviour

  1. All is not lost for sure. And you've raised your kids well Lanthie. I'm sure your son's girlfriends parents are relieved that she chose someone so respectful. It's just so nice to see chivalry in action. I was on the bus the other day and there were two chinese people sitting ahead of me who looked like tourists. An elderly man got on the bus and without any hesitation they both jumped out of their seats, bowed down to the elderly man and made sure he was comfortable. I've never seen such high respect done this way and everyone who saw it was amazed. Amazed because when those buses get packed, nobody usually wants to give up their seat for anyone.

  2. I like it when men act chivalrous too. I never understood women who get offended by it, personally I like knowing that a man will open the door for me or pull out a chair. It saves an awful lot of fuss of trying to work out who's doing what and stumbling over each other.

  3. What a great thing to teach your boys Lanthie. I grew up in small town East Texas where being a southern gentleman was a must. I always saw the men open doors and say "maam", and pull the seat out at restuarants, etc. It's sad to see so many people NOT practicing old manners. I shake my head at the women who dont appreciate the respect and want to do everything themselves.

  4. On #4, wait for her to order first…order for her…I don't think so.On giving up a seat…yes in many situations, but not all and not to any.

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