Act Like a Gentleman: A Quick Guide to Chivalry

It’s a common gripe amongst those women folk that romance is dead, chivalry has long gone, and there’s no such thing as a gentleman. In some circles that’s probably true, which suggest they’re hanging around in the wrong circles.

But if you’re not a slack-jawed, gum-chewing, Burberry-wearing knuckle dragger from some grey and faceless council estate, chances are you’ll be educated and well-bred enough to understand that a late night can of Special Brew at the bus stop and a smooch behind Pound Stretcher over a bag of chips is not the kind of romantic act that gets the ladies’ hearts a-fluttering.

We don’t all have to suddenly transmogrify into the bumbling, foppish likes of Hugh Grant or take on the debonair imperiousness of Mr Darcy – just a little thought, consideration and respect will go a long way.

There may not have a modern equivalent of the Medieval Knights Code of Chivalry, but we can damned well do our best to ensure those rapidly-dwindling characteristics of temperance, sagacity, resolution and valour can still prevail in the modern world.

Don’t Swear

The notion that someone who swears a lot has a poor vocabulary is, in all fairness, total b******s. Contrary to this self-perpetuating, misguided idea, people who swear generally have a very extensive vocabulary.  That said, most people (not only most women) aren’t impressed by a torrent of invective and bilious ranting of four-letter words, so keep the expletives to a minimum.

Listen

We’ve all been in a relationship and levelled with the accusation of “You haven’t listened to a word I’ve said”. And, in all fairness, we probably didn’t. But communication comes in many forms, and the ability to listen shows you care and respect someone’s views.

Open Doors

In the age of feminism and equal opportunities, this is an antiquated, outdated act, right? Well, no. It’s a very simple but very effective act of consideration, putting someone else before yourself, and still really rather romantic. Long gone are the days of throwing our coat over a puddle for your good lady to walk, so I suppose opening the door is the next best, gallant thing to do.

Show Your Emotions

Women often complain that they never know what men are feeling, and there’s a certain element of truth to that, even in these contemporary times of the touchy/feely metrosexual, it’s still difficult for guys to show their emotions. Men would rather eschew blubbing for a bottle of beer, gloss over potential verbal altercations by turning the volume up or, failing that, say nothing at all. Showing you’re not afraid to open up, be emotional, express your feelings and be vulnerable is a noble, even courageous admission and expression of personal feeling. There’s nothing wrong with admitting and showing fear, love, anger, passion, pain and excitement.

Keep Your Word

Nowadays we all lead manic and crazy lives and it’s easy to make promises we often can’t keep – not maliciously or intentionally, but because other, unexpected things crop up. But if you say you’re going to be somewhere, be there; if you say you’ll cook dinner, cook it. We’re living in an age where we say lots of things but don’t necessarily mean them. Let’s go back to the basics.

Sleeping in the Wet Spot

What?! Didn’t expect that one, did you? OK, maybe I’ve gone too far. No denying it’s still a wholly considerate and altruistic gesture though. So there we have it. Conclusive and undisputable proof that gallantry and gentlemanliness can still exist in the modern world if you put your mind to it.

Of course, you can still help around the house and do the obligatory sojourn around B&Q on a Bank Holiday looking for wooden bookcases, and these are just a few basic, old school suggestions.

What do you think are some of the pre-requisites for gentlemanly behaviour?

Estelle Page is a thirty-something interior designer whose main goal in life is to make the world a prettier place to live. In between indulging in her other passions for garden shows and antiques fairs she still fantasises that the age of chivalry isn’t dead and that her very own Mr Darcy is out there somewhere. She regularly blogs for The Great Furniture Trading Company.

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