Men find themselves walking a fine line these days. Many women have subscribed to the belief that acts of chivalry are demeaning and oppressive. Others, though, assert that there are “no good men left.”
So, what’s a man to do? Hold the door for a woman in the hopes that she will thank him for his good manners, or let the door go in case she harbors an anti-patriarchy attitude? We would argue that it’s always best to err on the side of chivalry. After all, real men do act with respect towards women.
Here are 10 things that real men should be doing for women:
1. Holding the Door
This is a common act of courtesy that doesn’t need to be reserved just for women. A man who holds the door for another shows that, rather than being self-absorbed, he cares about others enough to pause for a moment to make another person’s life a tad easier. Bonus points if the door-holding is followed up with a smile and a pleasant “hello.”
2. Carrying Heavy Objects
Biology proves that men generally have greater physical strength than women. Therefore, it’s thoughtful when a man takes on a woman’s burden — even if it’s just carrying an overstuffed bag of groceries to her front door. Lending a helping hand (or bicep) should always be welcomed.
3. Walking on the Outside of the Sidewalk
Men should act as protectors. So, while it may be unlikely that a woman will trip and fall off the sidewalk into oncoming traffic, a man who walks on the side closest to the street shows that he’s thinking about his significant other’s safety.
4. Giving Her Your Coat
Ah, the sweetest self-sacrificial act of old romance films. This one should never go out of style. If a woman is cold, there’s nothing better to warm her than the outerwear of her beloved. It not only shows that he cares enough about her to suffer a bit himself, but it also looks super cute!
5. Giving up Your Seat
The other quintessential self-sacrificial act: standing so a lady can sit. Be it on a crowded subway or at a barbecue with limited lawn chairs, a man who offers the opposite sex his seat will always be awarded major politeness points.
6. Bringing Flowers
Sweet-scented, whimsical, and beautiful, flowers are the perfect gift. Different types even express different sentiments (i.e. red roses and tulips signify romance and desire, while violets signify loyalty and devotion). They’re essentially expected on Valentine’s Day and anniversaries, but surprising a woman with a bouquet on a typical Monday is supreme chivalry.
7. Speaking Respectfully
A woman should never be spoken to like she’s the catcher on the opposing team. Profane language, slang, and terms like “dude” that should be reserved for the bros have no place around a lady. Instead, she should be spoken to with respect and eloquence. Shakespeare used verse to compare his love to a summer’s day. It’s time to bring back high standards in speech.
8. Calling instead of Texting
This goes along with respectful speech. Gentlemen will always prefer speaking on the phone to tapping out a quick text. While there are often practical reasons for choosing the latter, ringing someone up to discuss big matters (and just to say “I love you”) is always the proper choice.
9. Paying the Bill
A real man wants to provide for his woman. While it’s often true nowadays that a woman makes as much or more than her significant other, a man who always picks up the bill proves that he is both capable of supporting his lady and, more importantly, that he desires to do so.
10. Putting “Ladies First”
We’ve all heard this phrase, but likely hear it less and less these days. So when a man abides by this rule, it’s exceedingly refreshing! A man who puts a woman first — whether it’s ordering at a restaurant or queuing at the supermarket — demonstrates patience and self-sacrifice.
Bonus: Getting down on One Knee
A real man dates with the intention to marry. And when he decides that he’s found the one, the most chivalrous way of proposing is down on one knee after asking her father’s permission. Knights used to take this stance in front of their lord as a demonstration of respect and loyalty. So, naturally, when a man wanted to ask for a woman’s hand in marriage — pledging his allegiance to and love for her — he got down on one knee. We think that’s extremely romantic.
Ladies, you deserve respect from men. Acts of chivalry are not intended to make you feel degraded or incapable. Quite the opposite — they’re undertaken by men to demonstrate that they think highly of the female sex. So, never settle for a man who doesn’t bring you flowers, offer you his letterman, or make you feel that you’re worthy and loved.