Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rule 4: Be a Gentleman

1.  Got to go to the temple with my family.
2.  My dad said he'd help me write a book about dating (I learned most of what I know from him anyway).
3.  I made up a few D&D encounters.  First time in a long time.  Felt good.

Okay, so you got a number, you made a plan, you made the call, and she said she'd go out with you.  You might be feeling pretty good, but the battle is only half over.  You've still got to go on the date.  Now, I'm about to dispense some advice that you probably heard from your parents, or your parents', but I'll tell you why that advice is still legit, and why it's in your best interest.  Guy, you're going to want to be a gentleman.

Now, we will need to define what a gentleman is in this context.  When you ask a girl out, you're expecting that she'll be willing to spend the evening with you.  I don't fully understand women, but any dad will tell you that when you ask a girl out, she has the right to expect that you'll take care of her and keep her safe.  That my friends, is what a gentleman is.  He's someone who is willing to put others ahead of himself, and make them as comfortable as possible.

Let's start with the pick up.  BE ON TIME, and if you're not going to be on time, give her a call (again, God gave us cell phones for a reason).  I hope, that you hope, that she's excited to go out with you, but that excitement will quickly dissipate if you're more than five minutes late.  At the same time though, dont' be too early.  Girls are going to try and look as good as they can for the date, and because of that, they'll be getting ready right up until you get there (and sometimes a little longer).  If you're too early, she's not going to be ready, and it'll be awkward.  A good rule of thumb is to be no more than five minutes early or late without a phone call.

When you get there, walk to the door and ring the bell.  I know this seems like something I shouldn't need to bring up, but I've heard too many horn honking stories to leave it out. 

If you're in high school, her parents are going to want to shake the hand of the guy who is going to be protecting their little girl that night.  Guys, look her parents in the eye when you shake their hands.  When I was in high school I got in a bad habit of looking down when I shook people's hands.  It wasn't until I went to Switzerland to my uncle's basketball camp that I learned what I was doing wrong.  He would take me and my cousins to meet the marketing people that were sponsoring his camp, and one time, he pulled me aside, and in his wonderful way, he said to me, "Paul, why don't you look them in the eye when you shake their hand?  It's hard to connect with or trust a person who won't look you in the eye when you shake their hand.  You represent me and my family when you meet these people.  I need you to look them in the eye."  I've been grateful ever since, and don't think I've given a hand shake without looking the recipient in the eye.  Look her parents in the eye, let them know that you have the character to take their girl out.

Now, you have probably already guessed what I'm going to say next.  Gentlemen open doors, but do you know why?  It comes back to protecting her.  There are actually times when you should walk in before she does.  Here's the rule for opening doors:  If you know you're going into somewhere safe, open the door and let her go first.  She should be able to get out of the weather, and you should be proud to be escorting her.  This is why you need to open the door for her when getting into your car (or at least I sure hope your car is safe).  Now, if you are walking into a place, and you're not sure about the safety, you walk in first, and hold the door so she can walk in unhindered.  Again, if someone wants to hurt the next person who walks through the door, make it you, and not her.

With this last bit of advice, I need to give a little advice to you ladies.  I know that some of you are very independent, and you may see a guy opening your door as shovenist in some way.  You are entitled to your opinion on this point, but on a first date, please don't freak out when he opens your door, just let him do it.  Take it as him being a gentleman who wants to make sure you are comfortable.  If it's really an issue, let him know on the second or third date.  I can promise that if a girl got mad at me for opening the door on a first date, there would not be a second.  Guys, please do note that women are capable.  They can open doors by their onesy, so if she opens her door to the car, or if she happens to get to the door before you do, don't freak out.  I actually know of some guys who yell and tell them not to touch the door handle.  When you do this, you don't come off as a gentleman, you come off as an egotist.

I hate to do this, but this is getting long.  I'm afraid we're going to need to make this a two parter also.  I'll finish it up on Monday.  Have a nice day.


  1. Nice. Eye contact is key with many opportunities in life.

  2. Good advice. And I like the notes to to the ladies.... Guys don't think you are unable to open doors. It's not that tough really... They're trying to be polite. And let them be. Because in today's world.... many guys (and girls) skip that over.

  3. Great advice Paul, this is a book that parents (who have forgotten how to raise gentlemen) and their sons should read.

  4. @dbs
    I was surprised at how people reacted to me by just looking them in the eye. It really is key to most of what we do.

    Thanks. It's hard to put into words, but really, why would you get mad at a guy for trynig to be nice? It's like they are dying to go out only with jerks who don't care about them...

    Yeah, my dad and I are actually going to write a whole book about dating tips and stuff like this. I think I'll be doing most of the writing, but he'll help me brainstorm on content and order.

  5. haha - I think you should suggest not going to a place where it is not safe to be the first in the door ;) Great suggestion to be the first if this is the case...however, the advise should be "don't take your girl to a place you expect could be dangerous upon entering" ;)

    Sorry I'm behind on the reading. I'm slowly catching up!

  6. No worries. And I agree that you should dodge dodgey places, but if you are even going somewhere new you should walk in first.