We get it: Chivalry is a tricky thing in this day and age. On the one hand, a guy is dating a girl ready to engage him in a debate about why any woman is just as good as any man in just about anything. On the other hand, that same girl expects him to open the door for her, as if she couldn't open it herself. Ironic? Not really. The logic: Equality of the sexes is something we take seriously, yes. But just because we love our independence and demand your respect doesn't mean we should start being treated like dudes. Truth is, every girl wants a man who treats her like a lady.
Being chivalrous isn't about trading in the macho act and being totally under de saya. And it's certainly more than just about making a show out of pulling a Romeo act. Think of it as a secret weapon—a tried and tested way to win the hearts of women around. Not just the girlfriend; we're talking about the mom, the titas, even the boss. Chivalry ups a guy's market value and makes him that much more desirable. That said, here's advice for the guys: As much as you can, pull it off with the kind of confidence that tells us this is second nature to you. A true gentleman makes chivalrous acts look completely natural. If you do it with ease, the sexier you'll be. Simply put, it's nakakakilig!
Don't tell us you don't have it in you—if the early parts of any relationship are any indication, it's that chivalry is alive and well in most men. So why not put your best foot forward every single day?
Twenty-seven-year-old Marie has been dating her boyfriend Paul for 10 years. She says "I think the norm is the longer you're together with someone, the more chivalry tends to fizzle out in a relationship. That's why I'm lucky my BF hasn't changed much since we started dating. He still picks me up and takes me home even when I can drive and bring my own car. It makes me feel cared for and treasured."
You see, opening car doors, walking on the side of oncoming traffic when we're crossing the street, and pulling out the chair for us at a restaurant are the things that make us feel smitten about you all over again. If you're already doing these things, good for you—we can tell you were raised well.
We don't expect you to be a hand-kissing, bow-before-our-feet kind of guy here. These days, chivalry is about showing everyday acts of kindness, and that includes being courteous not just to the girl you want to impress but to anyone and everyone—that old man riding the bus with you to work, the waitress at our favorite restaurant, or your own grandmother. A true gentleman does acts of kindness and thoughtfulness because that's how it should be. And being a true gentleman even when no one is looking? That's the hottest kind of chivalry there is, bar none.
So keep treating us with respect, and thank you if you do because you make us feel safe and comfortable. Not to say that we're damsels in distress who constantly need rescuing. We like men who know how to stand up for us and our interests when the need arises.
This story originally appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine, September 2012.
* Minor edits have been made by Cosmo.ph editors