This morning I jumped on the light rail to work. Just like any other morning. I usually opt to stand as I spend most of my day sitting in a chair. Seconds after boarding the train, a gentlemen (because that’s how he conducted himself) got up and offered his seat to me. He wasn’t dressed overly nice. Black hoodie and torn up jeans. I suspected he was a college student on his way to the Auraria Campus. But out of a handful of men on the train, most of which were working professionals, he was the only one that offered up his seat. Someone raised him right.
So ladies, chivalry isn’t dead. It’s only dies if you start to lower your expectations.
Very early on in my life, I remember my dad always getting the door for my mom and grandma. My mom was a nurse and worked the graveyard shift…and every night when she left for work, my dad walked my mom out to her car. Every. Single. Night. He treated my grandma with the same courtesy and respect as he did my mom. He did all the heavy lifting, driving, and anything else he thought my mom should never worry about. He was a living example of how a man should treat his wife.
As I’ve gone through life and dated men of various backgrounds and upbringings, one thing that I always notice in the early days of relationships is how they conduct themselves. I’ll never forget this one instance when I was at a dinner with a significant other and his colleagues. When I got up from the table, all the gentlemen got up as well. When I returned, they got up again. You hear about these things (called manners), but to experience it is another story. I noticed it and it made me feel special. Who doesn’t like to feel special?
This particular relationship I noticed all the little things he did. Opening up doors, loading up my heavy suitcase when we traveled together, always asking if I wanted a drink whenever he went to the bar or kitchen. I noticed he treated his mother the same way. This guy set the bar pretty high. When that relationship ended (for other reasons), I didn’t think I’d ever find another “gentleman” like him.
The next boyfriend, although he showed much affection to me, manners were not his forte. During a random conversation with friends, acts of chivalry became part of the discussion. When I mentioned how much I loved having the door opened for me, etc. his response was, “you’re capable of opening the door yourself.” I noticed he never carried my luggage up the two flights of stairs to our apartment. I noticed he never opened my door. I noticed he never did these things for his mother. Needless to say that relationship didn’t go very far, and I’m glad.
As I navigated my way through online dating, I always pushed for in person meetings. Why? Because I wanted to see if the guy had manners. If he didn’t, the likelihood of getting a second date plummeted like the stock market crash of 1929. Even amongst my male friends, I always notice the way they treated me…and if they have manners, I’m more likely to set them up with a proper lady friend or at least make introductions on their behalf.
Some may say my standards are unrealistic, but when I saw every single day how a man should treat their woman, it was my reality. I don’t know if I can speak for most of the independent women out there, but I know that I appreciate being treated like a lady…and yes, my boyfriend opens up my door.