Have you ever been confused when your girlfriend or one of your female friends declares that chivalry is dead and yet when you do something chivalrous, they seem to be put off by it? You can't seem to figure out where you went wrong.
Allow me to let you on to a not-so-secret fact then.
Women want men to be chivalrous. Period.
They just do not want a pooch (read phony gentleman), running about to please them. Nor do they specifically expect it in today's era.
Being chivalrous is not a bad thing in today's love-forsaken world, as there are hardly any real chivalrous men. Stress on the word “real”.
The important question is: Are you doing this to impress women or is it a fad that you are trying out?
Then, unfortunately, that means your behaviour has passed over into being overly chivalrous, i.e., you are making a great deal out of it and it is apparent. You have officially become the “doormat” guy.
Women are intelligent creatures, they can easily tell whether you are being sincere or not.A Chivalrous Lesson
Chivalry seems to be the stuff of romantic novels and historical anecdotes.
The word paints a picture of a beautiful damsel in distress, awaiting a chivalrous knight to come in and save her from the tower she has been locked in.
Well, today's woman is no damsel in distress, nor does she wait around for a knight to save her from harm. They are quite capable of taking care of themselves.
What women today are irritated of are men going overboard with the concept of chivalry, grandiose gestures with little to almost no heart in them.
Started off as a code of conduct for Knights in the Medieval times it became a concept for the royal court affairs and a terrible amount of important manners.
Chivalry was a quaint way in which a man could express his feelings to the woman he cared for through small things. A sign of substance and genuineness in a man.
There's a lot of romanticism attributed to the word, a sense of old-world charm and dreamy notions. Victorian era novels are filled with gallant gentlemen and their courtly ways of whom the ladies seem to be a fan.
Literature is filled with these men; Mr Darcy, Mr. Bingley, Mr Rochester and the list goes on.
A perfect example of a chivalrous man in fiction would be Gregory Peck as Joe Bradley in 'Roman Holiday'. The perfect combination of chivalry and frankness. In the movie, when he has a choice to make, he puts love first instead of fame. If that is not chivalry, I do not know what is.
In today's world, chivalry is a debatable idea. Is it essential? How do you know when it is too much?
Dear fellow brothers, it isn't the 1800s or the 1950s, women can open doors for themselves, bring their own coats, have their own handkerchiefs and do not need particular help. They are independent, just like men are.
It is the thought behind the gesture that matters. Your chivalry should come from within.
It should be instantaneous; it has more to do with your personality and manners and your intention to be honourable.
Chivalry is the mark of an honest man, a person who doesn't fake it.
It is a much greater concept than just concerning the courting of women; it is a lifestyle.How To Know The Difference?
You see a woman struggling with a big bag of groceries. You insist on helping her. She says yes.
You take the bags and help her home. “Oh, what a gallant young man! Thank you for your chivalry!”
She says no. You insist. She says she is fine with it. You are still insistent, and you try to take the bags and nearly force them out of her hand, just to show that you are a good guy, this is where you have gone overboard.
When the lady says that she is fine, she is fine. Leave it there. If she wants your help, she will ask for it.
Life isn't a rom-com where the writers make you believe that when women say no, they mean yes or when a man likes a woman, he turns up at her doorstep complete with some over the top, grand gesture.
It isn't a novel filled with ideas of an ideal lady and a gentleman, or a series where you are the hot-headed hunk with dripping masculinity and an ineffable charm, trying to win the affections of the heroine.
Peacocking (“an extravagant show-off” for the uninitiated) is not an “in” thing, it makes you look needy and pretentious. You can go from charming to creepy in a second.
If not that, it puts you in the dorky, nice guy category. Hanging onto their purses while they go and dance with someone else or constantly complimenting her. Seriously, women won't be interested in an over-zealous pushover because that is what it looks like.
© Columbia Pictures/Mirage Enterprises
Just like you find your girlfriend's nagging to be annoying; women find extreme chivalry to be the same.
You might have observed that when you do something, which the lady in question can do herself, that is where they get exasperated.
Of course, it is often misconstrued and misinterpreted, but this is where you need to put in work.
Women might take your extreme enthusiasm to help them as a trait of cockiness.
Remember that unaffected and honest help is never unnoticed.
If the lady doesn't understand your genuine act of love, then maybe she isn't meant for you.Womanly Or Chivalry: Is It Necessary?
The connotations of chivalry have changed over the years, what used to be a gesture of love and affection has been crassly changed into an idea in which it is expected of a man to help and save the weaker ***.
The change seems to have come into effect after the World War, where the whole idea of chivalry being a sexist thing comes from.
A question may arise in your mind. Why should women be treated differently? Why do they expect chivalry? Doesn't it erode the concept of feminism?
That is the precise basis of the debate. We have come a long way from the time when gender roles were strictly put down. But somehow, we are still stuck in the web of the generations gone by.
Women were expected to be “womanly” as the men were to be “chivalrous”.
Women were to be docile creatures and keep home. They were to patiently wait for a hero. That is what was “womanly”. Similarly, men were to fight the monster and save the lady.
Today, women and men do the same things and are working towards making a world a place where they share everything equally.
Equality is the foundation of feminism. If only people understood that.
What's off-putting to women I assume is the tarnishing and convoluting of the term and the perspective it presents. No one wants to be perceived to be weak.
It is the concept which is faulty, not you.How To Be Chivalrous?
If you want to be chivalrous, be. Don't try to highlight it.
We men need to understand that it isn't limited to opening doors, picking up the tab or helping your lover over puddles.
A chivalrous man in today's world would be a man who doesn't have a problem with a female working with him or him working for her. A man who appreciates a woman's opinion.
In a relationship, a man who is there when the woman needs him is a much chivalrous man than one who uses chivalry just to woo her and then forget it once the courtship is complete.
© Columbia Pictures/Mirage Enterprises
Don't just give her a handkerchief when she cries, wipe her tears too. Be a companion to her sorrow.
A person whose charm, warmth and helping nature are not limited to any particular gender is chivalrous in the truest sense.
If you want to hold doors for her, open car doors, give her your coat when you think she is cold, hold her bags for her, go for it.
Do it if because you want to, not because someone expects you to. Moreover, definitely not to be in someone's good books. It is bound to fall flat if you are not genuinely interested in it.
Also, do it out of the goodness of your heart.
Dear women, chivalry isn't dead. It is very much alive. Let your man have the benefit of the doubt. Give the guy a chance to be gallant and enjoy the experience!