In a world where chivalry and courtship seem to be the stuff of history books, and men complain that they shouldn’t have to pay for dinner if women want equality – it is plain to see that we need to bring some dignity back to dating and relationships.
My belief is that there are so many mixed messages about what women want in a relationship, that we, as guys, can easily get confused. Does she want her independence? Does she want to be courted? Will she be offended if you pick up the whole bill? But then if you don’t, you never get that second date. What gives?
The truth is, gentlemen, that the basic fundamentals of courtship have remained the same over time. The idea is to set yourself apart by showing a woman that you are genuinely interested in her, and are willing to put in the consistent effort – not just during the first few dates, but over time (potentially forever).
If this sounds like a lot of work to you, consider this: A woman who loves and cares for you will always exceed or match your efforts. Teamwork makes the dream work. It is far more fulfilling to put effort into one relationship with a woman you truly love than it is to put effort into always meeting a new woman a few months later because you didn’t give someone the attention she deserved.
As a gentleman in the modern era, you immediately set yourself apart by how you carry yourself, how you present yourself, and how you treat others. Being a gentleman is nothing more than holding higher standards for yourself than most of the population, this is why being a male is a matter of birth, being a man is a matter of age, but being a gentleman is a matter of choice.
But let’s cut to the chase, what can you do, realistically, in today’s dating world to attract a mature woman who is tired of playing games?
Yes, evolution and biology tell us that the biggest, baddest dog in the yard gets the girl. Hence, the brightest colored male birds finding the mate. The strongest gorilla passing his genes to the next generation. The strongest lion leading the pride.
But, what is necessary to the evolution of our species (and therefore attractive) is evolving, itself. Women who make their own money and have their own possessions are not impressed by yours. Sure, she will want to know you are ambitious and can match her efforts in life, but bragging about who you’ve met or what you drive or where you live, will send her running for the hills.
Remember: If you’re good at something, you’ll tell everyone. But if you’re great, everyone will tell you.
Alright, I can swear like a drunken sailor with the best of them, but there is a time and place for everything. In the presence of a lady in a dating scenario, try to clean it up a little bit. It’s one thing when you’ve become comfortable enough with each other to take off the filter, but for Pete’s sake, man, censor yourself at first.
Do not start eating.
Unless her food has come out, too. Remember – ladies first.
Do not talk badly about others.
There is nothing attractive about someone who has to make others look bad in order to make himself look better. If you are complaining about the people in your life, your date will begin to wonder what type of negative things you may say about her when she’s not around. Also, it shows poor judgment if you surround yourself with idiots.
If you are picking her up at 7:00, be there at 7:00. It’s not just a matter of being on time, it’s a matter of showing her early on that you stand by what you say, are reliable, and trustworthy.
Stand up and greet her if you are meeting her somewhere.
I personally would much rather pick a woman up for a date and have never had someone suggest that we meet somewhere because she was uncomfortable with me knowing her address, but I understand in the age of online dating sometimes this trust is a little harder to come by.
For this reason, some women may insist you meet at your destination. If this is the case, arrive first (never keep a lady waiting), and stand to greet her when she does arrive.
Maintain eye contact.
Don’t break a sweat doing your best not to blink and to stare into her eyes all night long…that would just be weird. But spending the evening staring at your shoes or the tablecloth is a great way to show your date that you haven’t quite mustered up the self-confidence to have an adult conversation with her.
I understand it can be nerve-wracking to get to know someone new, particularly in a one on one situation. But when your nerves begin to get to you, remember that she is out with you because she is interested in you as well. Good eye contact is important, particularly when listening to her – it lets her know you’re paying attention.
Be kind to everyone.
I have always said that a person who is not nice to the waiter, waitress, or bartender – is not really a nice person. They can get everything right with how they treat you, but if they are rude to people they’re not trying to impress, this is a big red flag.
A gentleman is not kind to others because of who they are, he is kind to others because of who he is.
Keep your cell phone away at all times.
Unless you are an on-call doctor or Barack Obama, your emails can wait.
Pay for dinner.
All of it. All of the bill. The whole thing. It’s not about the money, it’s about the gesture.
Open all of the doors for her.
All of them.
Understand who leads and who follows.
When being seated at a restaurant, allow her to go first and follow behind the host or hostess. When walking through a more crowded place, though, you lead and help clear the path for her. For an added bit of charm, casually extend your hand behind you for her to hold onto. If she takes it while following you, take this as a good sign.
When ordering, she goes first.
The ultra old-fashioned still sometimes prefer to find out what their date would like and then order it for her, but to be safe – your best bet is to simply have her order first when the waiter or waitress arrives.
When walking together, you walk closest to the street.
The purpose of this lost art is to show your willingness to be splashed instead of a woman should a passing car run through a puddle. Furthermore, in some countries people would throw trash out of windows, and the person walking closer to the building was less likely to be hit.
It’s an effortless way to show her that you care, and are willing to protect her.
Put your napkin in your lap.
It’s basic etiquette, you savage.
Do not have an ‘end goal’ for the date.
If your intentions for the evening are to take this woman home at the end of the night or something of the sort, she will be able to see right through you the entire time. This is a great way to ensure never getting a second date with her.
It is important to understand that if you are out with the right woman, there is no goal or final objective to be pursued with her. Time with her is the goal. Sharing an evening with her is the objective. Your time together is the entire point, therefore there is no “end” to work toward because if you do things right, you will be seeing her again soon anyway.
Always gauge her comfort level and act accordingly.
Perhaps one of the more difficult but valuable things for men to do is to learn to read women. Picking up on non-verbal cues, body language, and subtle facial expressions can change the entire course of your evening. It will tell you if you should or shouldn’t go for the kiss, should or shouldn’t suggest you go somewhere else after dinner, should or shouldn’t invite her back to your place for a drink.
Non-verbal communication is a very important piece of the puzzle. You will have far better chances with a woman if you can see she is tired or not feeling well and go home, than if you were to just hang around and overstay your welcome.
Patience is an important tool in any gentleman’s arsenal. Never rush her, never make her feel pressured, and never force yourself on her in any way.
Unfortunately, these simple guidelines are overlooked more often than not in today’s society. But the good news is, as a gentleman, it is easy to separate yourself from the crowd by putting in just a little bit more effort.
It will be appreciated, gentlemen – because the frustrated women of today are looking for you.
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This article originally appeared on James Michael Sama’s Blog. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook
Photo credit: Getty Images
To the people who do not approve of this article bc it portrays typical gender roles and encourages a man to be a man…. Go cry in your safe space. To those men who want to stand as men this is a great read. Very well said. I would include carry a handkerchief.
Yes, we are totally looking for gentlemen. I need to know that the man I am out with, is ready, willing and able to make me a priority. And I am happy to get to know the inner workings of any man I come to care for, but I won’t come to care for a man who behaves badly on the first dates (or most other times).
Great, an article that pigeon holes men into their old tired gender role of being the initiator, of planning and paying for dates, etc. I suppose it’s safe then to assume the woman will assume her roles when she’s marries of being pregnant, barefoot in the kitchen. And again with the comparison between boys and men, aka. ‘real’ men and men who supposedly aren’t ‘real’ men because they don’t live up to this authors definition of what it means to be a real man. The ‘man box’ just being reinforced!
Unless you’ve discovered a magical way for men to have babies……well yes…she will end up pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen. In all honesty, even today, it’s my female friends who plan and make dinner for their family, even the ones who work just like their husbands do. And guess what? They don’t feel put out about it. They get their business done.
I follow almost all of these rules (except the paying one, because all the women I know are fairly feminist, and the napkin one, because I don’t eat like a wild animal). However, the rule that has definitely not served me is “don’t have an end goal”. When I was content just to spend time with a woman, after a handful of dates, we were firmly in the “just friends” category. The women I’ve met expected me to take all the initiative, and if I didn’t, they imagined that I wasn’t interested. Likewise, I erred way too far on the… Read more »
I love these “rules” and only one guy has done all of them. I notice and appreciate guys who do them.
Reading the replys has been interesting to say the least. I personally subscribe more to the Tom Brechland school of thought, but I’m also a dinosaur (the evil masculine man), and also see the changing roles of men and women so I don’t tend to convince guys to be like me, but to do what they feel is just in these changing times. Most of them are common sense anyway, but not just for men, and not just about dating. I stand to greet male or female if I am meeting them, and I expect the same of women. I… Read more »
I wholeheartedly agree with a lot this comment.
I like it!!! But then again, I’m old school. I’d like to point out that everything here is also applicable to being married as well.
“Unfortunately, these simple guidelines are overlooked …” Maybe overlooked in the past but in the “now.” they’re not taught by example. Not taught as they were in the past by their fathers … oh wait, most kids these days don’t have dads AND mom’s at home.
True, but I think a lot of things got speeded up and became more efficient. Sometimes people don’t even date, they just hook up. Why should a guy put in the effort if she’s willing to sleep with you and you know she’s banging three other guys next week. I tend to be old fashioned, but that’s probably why if I get married and I have about a year to think about it, I’ll probably go the mail order bride route. Not really mail order. Being half Filipino my relatives would probably have some pre-screened bachelorettes, but then you’d have… Read more »
Interesting question John 🙂
How can a guy spot a high quality woman ,and what that would entail?
Hello Iben! I will try to answer your “quality” question. This question is really about asymmetric information as we say in economics. Perhaps one person has more information than the other… I think it is all about getting to know the woman. It takes time. Often we are on our best best behavior when we meet. The real person emerges over time. That is why it is so important that men and women take time to become friends before embarking on a romantic relationship, if that is their mutual goal. Here in America with its instant gratification culture coupled with… Read more »
@ Jules My guess is that the reason people won’t define and identify the characteristics of a quality woman is that they’d find the very concept misogynistic. You’d get the response that every woman is a quality woman, she’s just not a fit for you while demanding that men act in very precise ways and have very strict, well defined qualities and mannerisms or he’s not a quality man. For example, you want a woman who’s forthright, but advocate men who are not chivalrous act chivalrous. I get acting on your best behavior, but if doing these things is not… Read more »
@ John Anderson, Your points are well taken and respected. First with respect the the misogyny argument. That is really immaterial as far as I am concerned. If people wish to take it that way, so be it. But, I will stand firm in my beliefs. I advocate for men to do what they feels is best for them. Yes, I seek honesty, integrity, and high moral values in a woman. However, I cannot say all men should seek the same. Nor can I say all men should exhibit chivalry. People are different. Men are different. Women are different. Do… Read more »
Labeling women as “skanks” is not being kind or respectful. Please stop perpetuating language that is used against women to shame and humiliate them.
I loved your reply because you respected the fact that we are all different and have different wants & needs. And then you spoke your own truth. What I did not like about your reply was your reference to any women as skanks or sleazy. I read that as there are certain types of behaviors that you do not want in a woman. Great, say what those are. I don’t get the labels and judgements and why you would perpetuate them. Many women struggle with having healthy sexual lives because they are so in fear of being labelled as such.… Read more »
I don’t think enjoying when a man opens a door for you equals her expecting him to do everything. I also don’t think wanting a man to pay means she only sees him as a wallet. Although, both genders have shallow likes and wants in the beginning and I do find men to be very critical of women while making justifications for their own shallow desires. Such as how women shouldn’t find men more attractive for their money but men should pick the youngest and hottest girls and naturally, it’s totally okay for men to be shallow in that. And… Read more »
I loved your response here. I think more men should pay closer attention to a woman’s character.
What would paying closer to a woman’s character look like for you?
” I think it would be interesting to read an article on how a guy can identify a “quality” woman.” LOL, all you have to do is look at a couple of the responses to know how how progressives would react. It appears that any women who would “allow” a man to act as suggested in this article would be viewed with disdain.
So a woman looses points when she wants you as a sexual partner? And if she sleeps with you, then naturally she is sleeping with everyone else? Unless your telling us that these women literally tell you they got hook up plans with three other guys? You do understand how strange it is to negatively judge a woman who wants to sleep with you right? For one thing, it’s also a rejection of your self. If you look down on a woman for sleeping with you, you cleary look down on yourself. For another thing, it’s flat out manipulative to… Read more »
Brilliant! Im a 49 year old divorced woman and i want to send this to my dates beforehand!!!!
Although I believe that you should be prepared to pay for any date you ask a person out to, I have to question the quality of a woman who does not reciprocate. It has nothing to do with the gesture. It has to do with not using people. If the asker pays then quality women need to start asking and showing their quality. As far as end goals are concerned, I think you have a bigger problem if the woman you’re with is unsure of your intentions. How many guys have missed out on something good because the woman they’re… Read more »
Well, this was a waste of time. #MGTOW4Life
When I’ve dated women if I’m actively thinking about it, I always walk with her street side. Granted there are times I lapse because hopefully I’ve got other things demanding my attention. I don’t expect a threat to come street side and if it did, I would see it. A few guys crossing in the middle of the street gives me 30 feet or so of distance and I have a clear view. Her walking near the houses / gangways / adjacent to the pedestrian traffic coming the other way, gives me less reaction time and puts her between me… Read more »
Excellent advice, says this old-school codger. Personally, I feel a lot more comfortable, as well as better about myself, when I act like a gentleman. You want both of you to feel good about the date, after all, whether things go any further or not.
Being a gay man, I see the male and female aspect of dating. This was hard to read for me. It seems like the male here is in a theatrical production of a romance story. I like people, men and women to be real and themselves. Following a script like posted here will make women swoon, but this is not passion or lust. My rule, if there is not lust or passion, NO DATE.
Thank you brother! Like a light through the fog.
Hey Timothy, a fab comment. Thanks for sharing! Yes, there’s no “rule of thumb” here. If I, as a woman, want to buy a bunch of flowers for my man, or another woman, this is just a nice gesture. It shouldn’t be boxed as a strictly male-to-female thing.
Much of this is about traditional gender roles, which is good to advocate for if that’s one’s preference. Egalitarianism is also good to advocate for, if that’s one’s preference. But good manners apply to both. I would add that the flipside to being a gentleman is being ladylike, though advocating the latter is often labeled sexist. But I don’t think that wanting women to be ladylike is any more sexist than wanting a man to be a gentleman. So if a gentleman (as described in this article) says he will only associate with ladylike women, we should refrain from judging… Read more »
Good point, Dave, but they are not even “traditional” gender roles. They were the result of necessity, not romance, not even during the era of romance that we often incorrectly refer to. The necessity today is for women to acquiesce the modern era that we exist in as none of those service orientated attributes apply today. We’ve confused and blended gentlemanly virtue with chivalry. They are two distinct different concepts. In fact, we’ve even gone so far as to pervert the concept of chivalry in a game of Disney Fantasy. Now some of what he says is common sense, but… Read more »
If there was a “like” button I’d click it, DJ. I’m in an egalitarian relationship and wouldn’t have it otherwise. My guess is that many women who want the man to be 1950s would object to him wanting her to be 1950s.
I like and agree with what you have to say about respecting traditional, egalitarian or even a mix of the two relationships. If men and women historically came from egalitarian positions in society, there would be no problem with using a label like ” ladylike”. But the reality is that we didn’t and still don’t in many ways. I certainly think a man should a woman to a set of standards but if a guy told me he wanted me to be “ladylike “, I suspect that means I’m suppose to wear dresses, keep quiet and not have sexual autonomy… Read more »
This is RIDICULOUS. I thought you people died out long ago. Going on a date is about finding someone with whom you may enjoy an intellectual/physical relationship, not finding someone who expects you to serve them as if they’re better than you. I wouldn’t want to be with some half wit who thinks I should sacrifice my attire to passing cars, or spend my money with no promise of reimbursement. My dignity (and, I should think, most men’s dignities) is too valuable for this servile bollocks. I would rather retain my dignity and end up single than end up a… Read more »
“No promise of reimbursement” are you kidding me? You should go back to the 12th century. Dude, don’t date just buy a mail order bride. You are completely useless in the 21st century.
This is why it is paramount to focus on quality women. Such women will understand AND appreciate being treated in such a manner.
A gentleman understands this aspect of things. A boy does not.
“Such women will understand AND appreciate being treated in such a manner.”
I don’t know that true. Since we’re bringing back stereotypical rules of thumb in dating, there is a saying. If you want a woman, treat a princess like a whore and a whore like a princess.
Well I have never been with a whore so I would not know how to treat one.
But, I must ask you this: why would you treat a whore like a princess? I can understand treating my princess “like a whore” in the bedroom. It’s sexual. We’re talking eroticism. She might enjoy it if that is the way she likes it. It must be consensual.
If your woman were a princess, would you treat her like a whore or like royalty?
@ Jules Basically the saying means that women are looking for something in a romantic partner that they don’t see in other men. I guess the theory is she would already have a guy if she liked every other guy she met. I’ve also heard the exact opposite. That women are attracted to certain types of men. I tend to be in this second camp. I’ve seen too many women date one abusive jerk after another or keep going back to the same one. Either way though, the approach has to match the woman in order for it to work.… Read more »
I have to address the comment that you have seen too many women dating one abusive jerk after another. If you are looking to be a good partner, start by being a good friend. I was in an abusive relationship that I couldn’t leave on my own. It looked like I went back to him over and over again, but believe me, it wasn’t because I wanted to. It took the man who became my current husband to help me leave and be supportive while I made that decision. He was patient with me, I guess because he thought I’m… Read more »
“It looked like I went back to him over and over again, but believe me, it wasn’t because I wanted to. ”
We’re you forced? Then why did you go back?
Unless you were forced, you made a conscious decision to go back to the man.
As for the patience thingy….well I guess your now husband of 35 years felt you were worth it. No offense, but I could not have done such a thing. No, I am not a man who seeks instant gratification. Just a low tolerance for nonsense.
Women aren’t “princesses” and they aren’t “whores”. They are especially not ” whores” for enjoying joyous, playful sex. Just like men are not “studs” simply because they have sex. Can we stop with these harmful labels? Women are human beings…..just like you.
See, that’s the difference between you and me … It’s not serving the other person. It’s simply done because it’s the correct thing to do. Just like letting an elderly person have a seat on the bus, holding the door open for anyone.
In so far as “retaining my dignity” … do me a favor, give me a call when you’ve been married for 40+ years top the same woman. You do it your way and I’ll keep doing it mine. While you sit alone with you “dignity” I’ll enjoy mine with my wife.
Mr. Sama I must commend you for a job very well done. This is the best piece I have read from you, ever. “The idea is to set yourself apart by showing a woman that you are genuinely interested in her, and are willing to put in consistent effort – not just during the first few dates, but over time (potentially forever).” A good man should be like the cream that rises to the top. When he is on top on his game in ALL facets of his life, a man will thrive. As for putting in a consistent effort… Read more »
Love to meet you!
If a man comes across as needy, lonely, or horny, grown women will say “See ya.” A confident man, comfortable with himself, trumps all the rules.
This is a really great article with excellent guidelines- from a single woman’s perspective anyway. I have gone on many dates where I refused a second for each of these reasons! I dumped a guy last week who was a jerk to the bartender, didn’t stand up when I got there, and TOLD me I was paying next time. Joke’s on him because there is no next time. By the way, as a modern, professional, millennial, I do well for myself and have no problem going dutch or paying part of the time. I know dating is expensive- but don’t… Read more »
“You should always pay for the first date, but in subsequent dates”
And you should be home cooking and cleaning. I mean, if you are going to pigeon hole men into the 50s, should you not lead by example?
See, the biggest complaint that I hear from men is these type of opinionated laundry lists of what men should do, who they should be…but with nothing to offer in return beyond a sense of entitlement..
Who do you think gets more play, the gentleman or the PUA? From what I’ve seen, I’m guessing the PUA.
Those are both strategies to trick women into thinking you’re a certain way.
I think that depends on what the end goal is. If the goal is to bag a woman that night, then the PUA probably has a better chance, but the “quality” of the woman decreases. If the goal is to find someone special (longer-term goals), then go gentleman route always, you’ll attract higher quality women who have higher standards.
Then don’t do it as a “trick”. Unfortunately, treating a woman well now comes off as using a “technique”. The whole nice guys are just putting in nice tokens to get sex crap. The friendszone is what used to be referred to as unrequited love, now its just another excuse to blame the guy. I admit, I’m old fashioned for my age. I also rarely date or ask a woman out because things have gotten way too confusing. You are supposed to be confident but not arrogant. Granted, I’m probably too beta for my own good when it comes to… Read more »
@ Richard When I was younger, I was kick boxing and lifting weights. It was never hard to find a date. Didn’t need tricks or to put on a show and I rock a couple women’s worlds enough to get an open invitation to a booty call. Heck, the non-rapey PUA stuff tells guys to spend some effort grooming and hitting the gym. I can atest that helps the confidence. I take it the OP wants to wow a woman with cash. Nice restaurant, fancy clothes, etc. You can’t pull out a woman’s chair when you’re sitting in a booth.… Read more »