Draw your weapons ladies and gents: for we are about to revisit the controversial topic of chivalry. A while back, we got into a very heated debate about so-called chivalrous moves that creep us out. While some of the Friskyverse disagreed, most of us felt that having a man walk us to the bathroom (ala Blake Lively and Penn Badgley pre-breakup) was creepy. I would most certainly feel weird about this if it happened. Luckily no man has ever tried that move on me. I know we all come from different backgrounds, have different views on feminism and were taught different dating customs, so we’re bound to disagree about this. But my personal opinion is that when it comes to chivalry, it’s all about confidence. It’s how you execute the chivalrous move rather than what it is. The moments I feel most awkward are when a man does something chivalrous because he thinks he’s supposed to rather than he authentically feels like he wants to.
I went on a recent-ish date where a guy tried to pull out my chair for me at dinner. I almost fell when I went to sit down because he swooped in at the last minute when I was already mid-crouch and I didn’t see him coming. Ugh. It was such an uncomfie scenario. For starters, I don’t need any assistance sitting down. I just don’t. And his uncertainty only made it worse. Either go for it or don’t. Maybe I won’t be a fan of your move, but I’ll appreciate you for committing. And then I’ll say something like, “That was sweet, but no need for you to pull out my chair.” You can’t ever fault a guy for having manners or trying to impress you. You also can’t fault a guy from abstaining from chivalry altogether. That shit is confusing.
Guys, if you are going to incorporate chivalry into your romantic repertoire, there are some moves that are safer than others. After the jump, I’ve compiled a few that don’t creep the ladies at The Frisky out, when executed with confidence and sincerity of course. Feel free to add to the list or completely disagree with me. Let’s keep trying figure this chivalry stuff out.
1. Putting an arm around me if I’m cold. Manheaters are the most wonderful way to stay warm. I like that so much better than you taking your jacket off and throwing it on me without asking. Although offering me your jacket is nice as well.
2. Watching my purse while I go to the bathroom. This means I trust you implicitly. My entire goddamn world is in that thing. Watch it like a hawk while I’m peeing and your good deed shall be rewarded. Taking it one step further: If a guy is willing to actually hold my purse, like while I put my coat on or something, even if he holds it with two fingers like it contains a pile of dog shit, bonus.
3. Letting me order first at dinner. Just plain old nice. Ordering for me? Plain old creepy. I’m not a child.
4. Offering me a bite of your food. And on that note, if we’re sharing food (or even if we’re not) it’s nice to offer me a taste. But. Oh. Please don’t feed it to me.
5. If we’re crossing the street, double checking that there are no cars coming. Sometimes I get starry-eyed when I’m in a good date haze and I’m focusing on conversation or your cute butt and not something as unnoticeable as a cab barreling around the corner about to plow me down. It’s nice to know that you care whether I live or die. Thanks.
6. Hailing a cab for me. Or if a cab is just barreling down the street past me and I can’t get a ride. Sure, I can get my own. But I appreciate your help.
7. Texting to make sure I got home OK. I LOVE this one. You just want to make sure that cab you hailed for me wasn’t being driven by a maniac. It’s also serves as a thinly veiled excuse to tell me you had a good time. Either way, approved!
8. Letting me enter a room first or choose which seat I want. I think of this as basic good manners. I practice this same etiquette on the subway. No pushing in front of anyone ever. No bum rushing a seat. If only everyone practiced this.
9. Offering to carry heavy bags. If I’m bedraggled with bags (which I usually am) — gym bags, grocery bags, shopping bags — it’s awfully nice to offer to help shoulder the load.
10. Walking on the side of the street with the gating. This is purely functional. Guys, you may not know this but high heels get stuck in those street grates and unless you want me to twist my fucking ankle or walk on my tippy toes like an asshole, please help a lady out. Same goes for if we’re walking over potholes or cobblestone or rugged terrain of any kind. Make sure I don’t fall on my face.