Why As a Girl, I'm Glad Chivalry Is Dead

Originally published on Unwritten by Bethany Casey.

You hear it all the time from women, complaining how chivalry is dead nowadays, that men don't understand what we really want out of a relationship. I, for one, am glad this time has come. Of course chivalry is dead; it's an outdated code used by medieval knights, for crying out loud, not a modern day code on dating etiquette. Why is there so much pressure on men to be measured against an unattainable goal?

Being a gentlemen, on the other hand, is not an outdated practice. Men can be sweet, caring, and respectful toward a woman without having to place her on an unreachable pedestal. And, in my humble opinion, it's drastically unfair that men are required to hold up all the responsibility throughout the dating spectrum. Men have to pay, must always open doors, must always pick the women up and take them home, and whilst I think that's lovely, surely we're beyond that point now? It's great when you're dating someone who cares about you, so realistically, they would of course ensure you get home safe, and do things for you. But it should be because they want to, not because they feel somewhat obliged to.

I'm sure many men are now self-conscious about being a gentlemen and caring for a woman for fear of taking away from a woman's independence. some people have simply lost of the art of being a good date, but many men I've spoken to have agreed that they worry about how to treat a woman so as not to seem belittling to her, rather than just being a gracious human being.

On this point, with all these women talking about how they want to stop being treated like fragile little girls, and gain some empowerment, why don't you take a bit of control? Take your boyfriend/husband/spouse out on a date. Send them flowers. Surprise them with things. It's a two way street now, ladies.

I've taken my partner on dates, I get him silly little presents, I don't ask for things. Because he's my boyfriend, not my slave. Of course, he does the same for me, and I appreciate it and love it, but at least I know he's doing it out of love, not necessity, or fear of a huge bitch fit if he doesn't deliver.

So, my tips for dating after the death of chivalry are:
  1. It's both of your jobs to keep the romance going. Take turns planning and taking them out for a date.
  2. If you invite, you pay. That's the way it works.
  3. Make an effort. Shine your shoes, wear a pretty dress. It's fun, empowering, and shows that you have in fact made a solid effort with the date.
  4. Do something different. Dinner and a movie will always be a classic, but be more spontaneous. Do things you've never done before, do things that aren't normal, do things you don't really like but you know your partner would be delighted with.
  5. Never expect something just because you're a girl, or a guy. Men do not have sexual entitlement over women, and women don't have the rights to demand money and presents from men.
  6. Just be yourself. There's no need to play things up; honesty is a key part of anything. Tell the truth.
  7. Hold doors open, hold a chair out, it's sweet. That means both of you.
I could go on forever about dating etiquette, but that's not what this is about. Basically, we live in a time where 'chivalry' needs to go both ways. Dating is a mutual process, you both have to appreciate each other.