We singles are dating in a different day in age. We date in era that is nearly devoid of any sense of how one should behave in the presence of someone they are interested in/dating/in a relationship with. In general they idea of showing women common courtesy has sort of fell by the way side. I have learned not to expect someone to open a door for me when I get out of a car or offer me a coat when I am freezing my ass off. It happens infrequently enough that I often seemed more surprised (and sometimes annoyed) when someone shows a genuine displays the kind of manners my brother was raised to exhibit when we were growing up.
I can site a few examples of what I was raised to believe were the appropriate ways to behave in front of a lady. (I use that term loosely as my general work in specific areas seems less than ladylike.) When my brother was growing up he was taught to hold a door open for women. He was taught to let them enter a building first. Women ordered dinner first and no one ate until everyone was served. My brother would help (even his sister) step over a wide puddle so she wouldn’t have to walk through it. He was taught to respect the women in his company.
As I got older and started dating I found that most of the boys my age were not instilled with the same sense of obligation to be a gentleman. My parents were born in the thirties and didn’t have kids until they were in their forties so my brother and I were raised with a different set of values than those of most our peers. This was behavior my brother and father both exhibited and I it wasn’t what I experienced dating.
It seemed that many of those practices that had just become part of how my brother and I were raised were absent in the men I dated. My attempts to teach my son to exhibit that same level of common courtesy were hit and miss. He will hold a door when it occurs to him. He’ll give up his coat to a girlfriend but not to his mom. He is polite and very personable. He is humble and generous so most of the important stuff managed to stick.
Dating, I found that men stopped practicing most of these acts. I had a guy friend tell me once that the reason he would only do those things for women he was interested in or dating was because if he went out of his way for just any old girl “she’d get the wrong idea.” I suppose that happens but if it were common practice to be polite then maybe women wouldn’t be so smitten by some guy who was just being polite. It seemed like a bullshit excuse to me.
Chivalry is mostly dead. That may not be the case across the board and most men do practice some acts of chivalry then do something that completely negates any of his good habits. Here are few examples.
I just don’t expect much from men anymore. Behavior that used to be common place, behavior that just meant you were polite and courteous isn’t practiced much anymore. It isn’t just men. Somewhere along the way how we treat each other changed. I like the idea of chivalry but to be honest I just stopped expecting it. I treat people the way I would want to be treated and I expect the same from other people. But chivalry is a rarity. The truth is I am probably always going to open my own door because if I stand in front of a closed door waiting for it to open the chances are I will probably be standing there longer than I want to.
We have learned to settle for men who get by displaying only the bare minimum amount of decency. The days of searching our knights in shining armor have passed. We have learned to accept a dipshit wrapped in tin foil.