What Modern Day Chivalry Looks Like

modern-gentlemanWhat Modern Day Chivalry Looks Like

Most women I know assume chivalry is dead – so much so that it’s such a pleasant surprise when a guy makes an effort to open a door or offer them their coat. There’s no doubt that expectations of the modern day gentleman are changing. The same goes for how guys view chivalry. Many guys I’ve spoken to think it’s a double standard that women expect to be treated as an equal and yet when it comes to opening doors and paying for the bill, the onus is on the man. Though it’s a fair comment, it’s just plain nice when a man knows how to treat us like the ladies that we are (note to ladies: you have to behave like one if you want to be treated as such). Blogger James Michael Sama lists the 8 Acts of Chivalry to Bring Back. Here’s what we thought of his list.

Giving Up Your Seat

Have we forgotten that it is common courtesy to offer your seat to a pregnant woman, elderly person or someone who is clearly in need of a seat more than you? Like James, I cringe when I’m on a crowded bus and no one offers their seat. Both men and women should be doing this but I am always so grateful when a guy offers me his seat. To me, it says he is thoughtful and considerate – both admirable qualities.

Pulling Out a Woman’s Chair

A bit old fashioned, I believe there’s a time and place for this. Fancy restaurant yes. Pub dinner? A bit over the top though I would still appreciate the gesture.

Open doors for her

It is such a simple gesture so I couldn’t agree more with what James says here. I once had  a guy slam the door in my face. It was one of those doors that swung in and out really quickly and it literally hit my face. He was probably in a rush but he will now be known as the jerk who couldn’t take a few seconds to hold the door. Please don’t be that guy.

Call, don’t text a date invite

If you’ve read my previous posts, (read Dating Etiquette 101) you’ll know I’m a big fan of short phone calls over texts. And so in times of Tinder hookups and sms invites, it is so refreshing when someone calls to make plans with you. It’s also great to hear someone’s voice sometimes.


It’s not that we expect to be showered with compliments but it is nice to feel appreciated. I think this goes both ways though. Everyone wants to be appreciated and so I think it’s important for women to express our appreciation to our dates where it’s genuine.

Walking on the street-side of the sidewalk

This isn’t so important to me personally…unless there is a pigeon in sight (I have an irrational fear of them). In that case, if he were to walk on either side to fend them off then I know I have a keeper.

Walking her to her door

Again, a nice gesture but unnecessary unless I lived in a very dodgy part of town or I’ve just watched a horror movie where an axe murderer attacks leading ladies at their door step.

Parking far away? Drop her off first

This one is good especially where heels are involved but I often feel very guilty knowing my date has to walk a distance solo whilst we’re are on a date. To avoid this, I often just bring a pair of flats so heel pains are never an issue.

Some of the guys reading this are probably thinking…well,  if we were to be chivalrous, what do us men get out of it? To which a true gentleman would reply – nothing, the point of chivalry is the act of doing something honourable and generous out of respect for women. To the ladies who have given up on chivalry….it exists I promise.  As it is so rare though, women should show our appreciation for it when it happens.


Photo Credit: Jono Mueller


Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.



  1. Reply



    Love this article Iona! Chivalry should never go out of style 🙂

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    As a male I’d have to get in a couple of words about chivalry and dating. Due to the ever rising influence in feminism attitude (hostility towards males), many men have actually been feeling a LOT of resentment because of it and have been acting accordingly (and rightly so). I’ll include myself in here, we’ve been seeing much of mainstream about ‘equal treatment’ and took it to heart. The overall resentment has reached the boiling point and now men are very much fed up with it.

    Seeing as feminists wants women to change from their ‘traditional’ roles, men now want to break from THEIR ‘traditional’ roles…starting with Chivalry. Chivalry being that a man should get out of his way to please the woman at the expense of his own comfort. Take this list for instance, or the endless “where have the good men gone?”, or how it’s expected for men to take the risks and just about…everything else? (He has to ask HER out, he has to take HER to dinner, he has to pay for the food, he has to give her a ride, etc) And once he passes through this gauntlet of female expectations can he EARN her acceptance and avoid rejection. I mean twist the genders for a sec and let’s see how it goes? You gotta pick him up in your own car, you pay dinner, you ask him out, you open the doors, you pull out the seat for him…and it’s EXPECTED of you, so it’s essentially a thankless job to sacrifice YOUR comfort for HIS even if you don’t even know him that well…I mean FFS, you guys are barely dating.

    So that’s why there are not that many men practicing chivalry. It was a practice that men did (still do) for women they wanted to charm or for the women they love, especially those, because those women EARNED the privilege of being treated like a princess instead of EXPECTING it automatically…women forget that chivalry is 100% voluntary and should not be considered a social standard that men ‘should do’.

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      Hi JRyman,

      You make some valid points here and some I expected to receive as the concept of chivalry is debatable. When it comes down to it, I think it all depends on who you’re dating.Personally, I am quite traditional at heart and do appreciate the little things men do to ‘woo’ us. If that’s not your cup of tea, I probably wouldn’t date you and vice versa. I have to say though eventually courtship is two sided. Men may have to do the asking out first but it’s also up to women to reciprocate those gestures.

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        Well that’s the way you are and I’m sure that there are many old fashioned guys out there just as well. My main point is that the custom was never really as appreciated before as it is now that men have stopped doing it…which probably explains why there’s not much in the way of chivalry anymore. Even to this day, I see many ‘dating experts’ out there that even the suggestion of ‘splitting the bill’ is an outrageous idea. Which begs the question if the tradition is outdated…

        Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, I didn’t get any notification of that.

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          I think you have a point here. Women have taken part in breaking down the chivalry movement but there are women who still value you. It depends on your audience really..