Chivalry: Here today, gone tomorrow, ALWAYS in fashion

Is chivalry dead? Recently resurrected? Thriving in certain demographics and knocked off again in others? Will it rise once more in the fine muddle of commotion and controversy over opening doors, pulling out chairs, and picking up the tab on dates?

Chivalry is about courtesy and generosity. I say YES to chivalry on my planet which, incidentally, is neither Mars nor Venus, nor poor pitiful Pluto, tossed from the fold by hapless hacks with PhDs!

My planet is called Fred – where I get to pick and choose the typically masculine or feminine behaviors that suit me.

Don’t we all need a Planet Fred? Or Dahlia? Or Rupert? Or whatever name you’d like?

My life on Fred…

Personally, I love when a man takes a bit of the lead in matters semi-social and semi-sexual, which is the context in which chivalry generally operates.

Open the door for me? Great! Pull out my chair as I take my seat? Fab! (As long as I don’t land derrière down on the ground, of course.) Does any of that mean I don’t want an equal partner, that I don’t enjoy seducing as well as being seduced, or that I’m incapable of selecting the next restaurant? Of course not.

Pick up the tab for a date? Yes – I will expect that.

But I believe in high quality, low cost first dates – coffee or a glass of wine. And thereafter, cozy restaurants or even take-out to be shared is just fine by me, as long as it’s shared, mmm… chivalrously.

I’m not wooed by money or pretension, and not looking to break the bank as we get to know each other. That’s courtesy, generosity, and good manners on the woman’s side.

Alternate rules rule on Planet Fred!

Guys – is opening doors not your thing? No problem. I’m not going to hold it against you.

I’m capable of opening doors, pulling out chairs, and so on. However, if you drive a truck or SUV, given my diminutive stature, you are going to have to offer me a hand to climb up into the seat, and a hand to get back down. (At five feet, it’s either that or a step stool.)

Planet Fred wisdom:

What we deem as chivalrous behavior is about manners and upbringing. I often open and hold doors for people. I also live in a region where men generally open doors for women, help with jackets, and do so without a second thought. I find it lovely, and I always say thank you.

I’ll grant you – it isn’t easy for men these days. How in the heck are you going to know what a woman wants?

Clues, clues – and more than shoes…

Here are the elements of BC - Basic Chivalry. By this, I mean:

  • Open a door
  • Help with a coat
  • Pull out a chair
  • Pick up the check.

Stilettos are an indication of expecting a gentle and courteous helping hand.How do you know what a woman expects? There are clues – the way she dresses, moves, a slight hesitation at a door.

I dare say certain women (not all) who enjoy their femininity are going to give off a BC vibe - trappings may yield a hint: a touch of mascara, a light scent of Guerlain, a sexy little heel, perfectly fitting jeans…

Women who chastise

To the women who fuss at men who are chivalrous, I say shame on you!

If you don’t want a door opened, then stow the attitude and say so, politely. “I prefer to open my own door, but thank you.” To those who sit and pout – out, out, out of the car! Or, at an appropriate time, try a smile and “You know, I love when a man opens the door for me…”

In either case, find a partner who is BC-compatible.

More hot flashes from Planet Fred!

Nope. Not that kind of hot flash (phew!!) – but a hot news flash.

Good women care about a total package, including substantive signs of quality and character, like:

  • Are you truly interested in who she is?
  • Do you share values, humor, a spark?
  • Are you listening when she talks?
  • Are you holding each other’s gaze?

And if she’s struggling with a door, a step, a package, or anything else – of course you should assist! As you or she would assist anyone else.

Chivalry is not dead, whether you’re looking for a hook-up, or a relationship. But you do need to decide if it’s important on your planet.

And if you’re a guy looking for a celestial body just for you – consider opening the door. It’s very… welcoming.




© D. A. Wolf

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Comments

  1. I agree about politeness, regardless of gender.

    A colleague of mine, who was pregnant, recently complained that no one, man or woman, would offer their seat on her long train ride home. Some days she was forced to plead her case.

    An elderly, sick, or pregnant person, or a parent (with small children) should be given priority for seats. That would be the community thing to do.

    As for picking up the check, most women I dated since my divorce had good paying or better paying jobs than I did. In most cases, my dates insisted on splitting the bill. In that way, there are also no expectations from either side.

    However, sometimes the circumstances dictate otherwise, and you can adjust accordingly. Besides, many of the best dates do not involve lots of money, just good company.

  2. i am so moving to your planet! prepare the mothership!

  3. “My planet is called Fred – where I get to pick and choose the typically masculine or feminine behaviors that suit me.”

    Is this a parody?

    • BigLittleWolf says:

      There’s definitely a touch of my sense of humor (and I do like my planet, where we welcome all cool and quirky open-minded people of any gender, and I stand by my Cues and Clues through Shoes). I also stand by this, in all sincerity: Good women care about a total package, including substantive signs of quality and character.

      I also believe that we can all play nice – enjoying each other and our differences – and respecting each other in the process.

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  1. [...] recently asked me what I teach the boys about chivalry.  And it got me thinking.  She wrote a thoughtful article about chivalry which was somewhat illuminating to me since she wrote it from a woman’s perspective.  The [...]

  2. [...] recently asked me what I teach the boys about chivalry.  And it got me thinking.  She wrote a thoughtful article about chivalry which was somewhat illuminating to me since she wrote it from a woman’s perspective.  The [...]

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