Here’s Why Being Chivalrous Is Always the Best Way to Act
The Dating Nerd is a shadowy figure whose whereabouts and identifying details remain unknown. What we do know is that he is really, really good at dating. He’s been on more dates than you can shake a lengthy bar tab at, and he’s here to help the average guy step his dating game up a notch — or several.
Hi Dating Nerd,
A female friend tore me a new one recently because she says I’m a jerk to the girls I date. She listed off a bunch of things I’d done on dates with some of her friends or girls she knew (not paying for meals, not paying for cabs, talking too much apparently, openly asking if the girl wanted to hook up), and said I was behaving like a scumbag. This caught me by surprise — I feel like it’s no different from what every other guy out there is doing. Am I wrong? Is she right? Won’t I come off weird and loser-ish if I’m super nice and don’t assert myself?
– Disappointed Danny
Danny, Danny, Danny.
This may sound crazy, but perhaps the single biggest favor you could pay your future self right now is to learn how to be a gentleman.
Gentlemanly values have been experiencing a slow and steady decline over the past several decades, if not centuries. Things like chivalry went from held in high esteem to OK at best to unnecessarily fallen to the wayside. If you were to give a random woman your arm to try and help her out of a car at this very moment, you’d be met with a significant amount of skepticism — to say nothing of throwing your coat over a puddle so she could walk through without getting wet.
Today, it’s far more common for women to experience shabby treatment from men. Getting ghosted, getting roached, getting unwanted dick pics, short flings that disappear as soon as you develop any feelings for the other person — that’s the modern dating experience in a nutshell for a lot of people who date dudes.
If you’re not interested in treating your matches well, that probably suits you just fine. Chances are you’re unlikely to be noticeably worse than the next guy, and most people will be so burnt out by previous bad treatment that they won’t be expecting much by the time you roll around.
However, the paucity of good dating behavior in contemporary singles culture has a flip side, and if you’re willing to put in even a little bit of effort towards being gentlemanly, you stand out in a serious way.
These days, you’re not competing against kings, princes, male models and rock stars. Your rivals are Kyle, who’s trying to get more Tinder matches than every other guy in his frat before Friday, and Jon, who knows more porn stars by name than actual women.
Have you ever heard the old canard, “People won’t remember what you said, and they won’t remember what you did, but they’ll remember how you made them feel?” Well, that’s what being a gentleman is all about: making people feel good.
Next time you’re on a date, suggest a time and place. Ask your date questions and make her feel like the star of a one-night, two-actor show. Pay for everything you both do, and appreciate your time together no matter what happens at the end.
In short, you’re going to be a gentleman.
Why, you might ask? Well, in one shot, you’re doing a few different things.
For starters, you’re elevating the level of dating behavior, even if microscopically, for the whole culture. We fix this environment where we’re all horrible to each other by putting ourselves on the line, acting with kindness and grace rather than with naked self-interest.
Secondly, you’re treating her right. You’re not treating her like an audience for your blathering, and you’re not treating her like a vending machine for sex. You’re treating her like a person. Whatever she thinks about your looks, your musculature or your car, I guarantee she’s more interested in how it feels to sit across from you. And if it feels good, she’s going to want more of it.
Thirdly, look, the date might not fall the way you want. When a first date sputters out, it’s not fun for either party. But here’s the thing — if you were a consummate gentleman from point A to point Z, that attitude will carry over to your future outings.
If you treat your next date like trash and make her regret the day she ever agreed to meet up with you? Well, you’re only doing your part to worsen the dating culture for everyone. You’re absolutely destroying your chances, and you’re more or less guaranteeing that no one will want to give you so much as a second look.
So take your pick. Being a douchebag might be easier — but don’t you think being a gentleman has a happier ending? You tell me, Danny.
You Might Also Dig: