It was a hot Friday night, I had organised to meet some of my favourite gal-pals for a wine and the token pizza, because, you know, #TGIF and all that.
I was dressed for the occasion, and to some effect probably over-dressed for Sydney's Northern Beaches (like, what's with that?!).
Having arrived early at the venue, I searched the crowded bar for the elusive and prized space that allowed enough room to breathe, sit and not be encroached upon by other people's body parts. At first glance, I decided heading to the bar was a better idea -- and would have a better instant outcome.
I am not one to demand attention, I believe in the whole first-in-first-served. I am, after all, a civilised human, even on hot days in five-inch heels and strapless bra that never stays up. However, as I was waiting to be served, a man decided to move in front of me and order before his appointed time. Being too hot to bother with starting an argument, I did what any woman would do in my situation; glared daggers into his back, scowled disapprovingly and told him exactly where to go and how to dress -- silently in my head.
After securing my beloved bucket of fermented grapes, I moved outside to set up camp. Arriving at the balcony, I noticed a small gap in between two groups of men and some empty seats. So I squeezed my way in, much to the displeasure of the men beside me, who proceeded to tell me they had one more friend coming and I was not allowed to sit on THEIR empty stool. Because, God forbid, they allow a woman to sit for a few minutes on an otherwise unoccupied chair.
I smiled tightly and assured them that I had no desire to steel their prized stool and then turned my back on them with disdain and took a very pointed sip of my wine.
Now, I am not a high-maintenance woman, or a feminist or crazy lady. But I do believe in good old-fashioned manners. I don't know whether I have been spoiled by living in Europe, but I must stop and ask the question: could all the gentleman in the room please stand up?!
Australia is wonderful for its relaxed attitude towards, well, pretty much everything. However, at what point do we forget that good manners and politeness towards to the fairer sex should still be a priority?
As a dating coach, I get to hear it all, from close friends to complete strangers; people are constantly complaining about how they cannot find the love of their life. And yet they don't seem to compute that the more we stray from common chivalry and traditional elements of courting, the more we will be disappointed.
Before male readers become keyboard warriors, let me state that I am not saying you are all the same. There are some true gentleman out there who still understand the importance of romancing and making a woman feel special. But from what I have experienced and heard, it seems to be a dying trait.
So, let's dissect everything (in true female form) and remember why chivalry needs to be kept alive:
Old school works, so let's make it cool again
As Cogsworth said in Beauty and The Beast: "If it's not broken then don't fix it". And yes, Disney references are a solid. The problem with millennial relationships is that we have strayed further from traditional values, morals and methods. We assume that because the way we find love has changed, so should the way in which we keep it strong, instead of understanding that the core elements that build a strong foundation will never change, regardless of the changing world around us. Chivalry may seem old-school or out of date, but let's not forget what it actually represents: the chance to make your date feel valued, secure and important.
Good manners will never go out of fashion
As rare as is common sense, so are good manners. From opening a door, saying please and thank you, pulling out a chair etc., all these acts are greatly appreciated. If you want to be set apart from the rest, then be someone who acts with good manners. Not only does it signify that you are thoughtful and have self-control, but it also makes you better looking. Fact.
Women love romance, it' easy brownie points with us
It's not rocket science, guys, we want to be wooed. This isn't about having you give us the world, but rather make us feel like we are the only woman in the world. There is more romance in your actions and gestures than there are in your gifts and words. Being a gentleman is a sure way to lure us in and keep us interested. Give up your goddamn stool for us, and not because you hope to get something in return, but simply because it is the gentlemanly thing to do.