While the majority says chivalry is dead. Common courtesy is not. Some rules to being a gentleman will never change and should always be followed. The two biggest of which are opening/holding the door for other people and giving up your seat when there are no more seats, both in this order: an older lady, an older man, a lady.
Being a gentleman revolves around one word: respect. It’s respect for yourself and for those around you. Being a gentleman isn’t a personality quirk. It’s not something you turn on and off like a switch. It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. And although it’s a reputation that’s quickly diminishing in today’s self-absorbed world of me, me me — I’m hopeful the traditions can make a comeback.
By now we all know that women do not need men to do anything for them. Women are capable of opening their own doors, hold her own umbrella, bringing in their own bags, etc. But a real gentlemen wouldn’t want her to do it all by herself. He wants to step in.
Here are a few gentlemen traditions that should remain regardless of the times.
1. Open the door
In old days, it was seen as a sign of his protection and strength, when a gentleman would help a lady up into the carriage. Their dresses were often long and heavy, so the gentleman would open the door for her so she wouldn’t have to drop her dress in the dirt. Today, opening a door for her is not a sign of weakness towards her, but a gesture of affection.
2. Let her walk through the door first
Women should always go through the door first. Even ardent feminists will admit to this.
3. Pull out the chair for her
In old days, it was common for the gentleman to pull out her chair and allow her to face the open room. Today, the gentleman pulls out her seat, and sits facing away from the crowd and the TV. Why? Because he doesn’t need to be distracted — she needs to be the center of his attention, not a football game.
4. Hold the umbrella
When raining, a gentleman will hold the umbrella over her. No, he does not mind getting a little wet.
5. Stand to her outside, closest to the street when your walking
Symbolically this might be seen that he’ll always be by her side, through thick and thin, and will protect her from anything. But this does have historical merit to it. Before today’s sewage systems, a man would stand on the outside of the sidewalk to protect a woman from the dust and sewage that could splash up from horse-drawn carriages. The notion of the man laying his coat over a puddle meant he was protecting her feet from fecal because sewage was common in the streets. Today, a gentleman might stand in the way of puddles splashing up the street, or in the event a car veers onto the sidewalk.
6. Help her put on and take off her coat
Up through the early 1900s, women often wore multiple layers, making movement difficult. A gentleman would help his lady put-on and take-off her coat due to these restrictions. And while those multiple layers are less common today, men should still offer to help.
7. Walk her to her car/door
Because he’s concerned for her safety, a true gentleman will walk her to her car or home to this day
8. Carry her bags
A gentleman will help her carry her bags — whether they are groceries, packages, or she needs help with her luggage when flying.
9. Give her your jacket if she’s cold
A gentleman will always pay attention. When she starts to shiver, he gives her his jacket.
10. Give up his seat
If there are no other seats available, a gentleman offers his seat to a lady.
11. Stand when she walks into the room
As a sign of respect, men used to stand when a lady, dignitary, or elderly person walked in the room. Today, when a woman comes into a room, or to the table, a gentleman should stand up to acknowledge her. Period. Standing for her shows they are attentive and they care.
12.Never laugh for the sake of attention
Loud, unruly laughter is the characteristic of recklessness and bad-manners. A gentleman commands attention through his character, not his volume.
13. Sit after she sits
She’s the guest — a gentleman will allow her to sit first.
14. He listens to her
There’s etiquette to listening: If a woman is talking, be quiet. Just shut up. To be a good listener is as important as to be a good talker. Simple enough, right?
15. Always on time
A gentleman is only as good as his word. He should plan in advance and don’t ever keep her waiting. Traffic is not an excuse for being late.
16. Be complimentary of her
Even if is she is late, she spent a lot of time getting ready, so compliment her. Don’t play on her insecurities, either. Insulting her is petty.
17. Be trustworthy
A gentleman will always keep a secret, especially one entrusted to him by the woman he loves and cherishes. Should the relationship end and a break-up happen? The gentleman should still be trusted.
18. Keep his appointments
A big part of being a gentleman is respecting other people’s time. When a gentleman tells someone they’re going to help them with something, they help them. When a gentleman promises they’ll have a project done by a certain date, they meet the deadline. Not only does this build trust, it helps build self-trust, a crucial-yet-underrated form of trust for a gentleman.
19. Pick up after himself
A gentleman keeps a tidy office, home, and car. It shows he takes himself seriously, and takes pride in what he’s worked hard for. No one looks up to a slob.
20. Never hit a woman
No matter the reason or the circumstance, a gentleman never hits a woman…no matter what.
21. Sends his mother-in-law flowers on his wife’s birthday
His mother-in-law will always be the one who helped his wife when she was sad, skinned her knee, and kept her safe. For that, he should always be grateful. Showing appreciation to a mother-in-law and her sacrifice is a great way to tell a spouse ‘Happy Birthday.’
22. Ask her father for her hand in marriage
In Victorian days, a gentleman would have to show his ‘credentials’ to her father to show his worthiness. Today, a gentleman asks her father for his blessing because it shows a sign of courtesy and respect to his future father-in-law.
23. His conduct speaks for itself
A gentleman doesn’t live like a tyrant, but he’s not a doormat either. He’s a servant leader. He’s strong, but humble. He works hard, and is never described as one who is lazy or cuts corners.
Originally Published with Photos: http://www.empoweringwomennow.com/23-essential-rules-for-being-a-gentleman-in-2015