Have We Killed Chivalry?

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Does it still exist? Have we killed chivalry – at least in the way that it’s been known in the past? I know that there is already a ton of material out there debating whether or not it is, and here’s one more.

In the last couple of years I’ve heard a lot of women talk about how chivalry doesn’t exist anymore. There are no more “nice” guys. I beg to differ. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it does exist, it’s just that now when someone does something that could be considered chivalrous it’s often seen as “creepy”. 

(O_o) I’m sorry, what? 

Somehow being nice comes off creepy, and guys are starting to notice so they’re not doing it anymore. Now, trust me, I know that there are creepy guys out there, I’ve met a few myself, but when I hear about some of the things that guys have done for some of the women in my life – I’ll admit – I feel a bit jealous. In my head I’m going “aww” while they’re going “ewww”.

So maybe it’s just me.

chivalry

A while back I was talking to this guy from POF, in my time actively using online dating websites for their intended purpose I haven’t really met anyone really worth meeting IRL.

Ah except for Mr. Tinder, The Englishman, and The Baby Daddy… okay, I take that back, maybe I have done some dating, but really in 2 years that’s not a lot.

That being said, this particular guy seemed different, I wasn’t really sure why at first, but after a couple of days exchanging messages he said “so what do you think?” The conversation was going well so he took this moment as an opportunity to suggest we move things off-line and gave me his phone number. I’ll usually give my number in return and secretly hope the guy will contact me first… which he did, that very same night.

I’ve never been one to initiate things, and while the last year or so seems to be more ‘have to go out and get it’ I’d still rather the guy do it. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, maybe it’s because I’m afraid of rejection or maybe it’s because I’m lazy. Hell, it’s probably all three but who’s counting the faults that I have, not me.

It didn’t take long before I started realizing how he was different, not in a bad way, but just generally nicer than most guys that I’ve met (ever). It was fun. It may just be my shitty choice in male companions but I was surprised by the following:

  • He offered to pick me up on our first date

I don’t remember the last time someone offered to pick me up, especially when I live in the suburbs and the gent lives in the city.

*****While I understand that bad things can happen, have we really gone so far as this being a scary thing? Is this a red flag? Obviously I made him promise not to kidnap me, and he in turn made me promise that I was actually a woman. This was one of the things that always had me all nervous when I was younger. Back then it was kind of big deal if someone picked me up to go out because there was the chance that the young gent would have to meet one of my brothers, or worse yet my parents. But it was nice, it’s what people did.

  • He asked if we could speak on the phone 

We did this… the phone call lasted about 3 hours and went more smoothly than I thought it would. I think this has happened one other time in the last two years. What is up with that? He said it was a lost art, and while I’m a woman of few words I completely agree with him. It’s all about text messages and emails. Don’t get me wrong –  I love going back and forth with someone, but I also need something more personal if I can’t see a guy face to face. 

  • He inquired about my last name

I’ve somehow gotten into the habit of not getting this information until much later (if even at all). In general the really important shit that you should learn up front gets covered by everyday mundane information. Plus there’s also that whole “he might stalk me and kill me in my sleep” warning that friends joke about when the idea of giving someone your personal information comes up.

  • He used my name, repeatedly 

Again, not something that’s really done (but maybe it’s just me). I actually liked that he did this, and have made a point to do it myself. For some reason it’s a bit reassuring, is that weird?

And that was all within one day… I actually made a comment about how he was a bit old-fashioned and that it was sad I even considered this to be ‘old fashioned’. He just said he was raised that way.

So I guess that brings me to this; Why is it that the things listed above might seem weird, or creepy, to some rather than things that should be done? Would these acts be considered chivalrous? What does chivalry even mean anymore? I know that some consider this to be a bad thing, as if to say that I’m unable to do things for myself therefore a man must do them for me… that’s not at all how I see it. It’s more of a courteous and polite way to behave towards another person, man or woman. But maybe that’s just me?

Growing up my dad told me that there was a specific way that men were supposed to treat women, if they respected you. Or even if they just cared. According to him this is what a man’s supposed to do;

  • Open (and hold) doors.
  • Offer up your seat up to someone else.
  • Offer your coat when your date is cold – although I wouldn’t necessarily take it because then you would be cold but it’s the thought that counts.
  • Walk curbside.
  • “Ladies first”.
  • Pay attention and take the other person into consideration.
  • Take my coat – this one maybe not as necessary, but again it’s the thought that counts.
  • Wait until she’s reached the door before leaving.
  • Walking her to the car, or offer to walk her home/to the bus/train whatever so long as she gets there safely.
  • Offer your arm – I’ve always felt this was more for when you’re in a relationship with someone, I like linking arms or holding hands, it’s better than walking an arm’s length apart. Right?
  • Pull out the chair.

Now, I’ve come to realize that my father wasn’t the best example of how a man should treat a woman, but these are basically ways in which I’d like to be treated. Be nice. Be courteous….. be aware that I’m even there!

[And I’m not saying this is how guys NEED to treat women, but how you should treat others as a person. I’d hold the door open for you if I saw you coming up behind me or coming towards me… I’d offer my seat up to someone who needed it, etc.]

But these aren’t really things people do anymore… are they?

**While this guy started off pretty nice and came off as someone I’d really like to date, he actually ended up pulling a ghost move. So maybe it is just my shitty choice in male companions.

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