Monday, February 28, 2011

Rule 4: Be a Gentleman, Continued

1. Watched Sword in the Stone.  It had been a while... felt good.
2. D&D went great.
3. My wife and I got to chill with a couple of great people on Saturday afternoon.  We had breakfast for lunch... it was awesome.

So, we left off with the importance of opening doors.  Another classic gentlemanly thing to do is help them with their chair.  This is used less often, but most girls I've known eat it up... if it's done right.  First off, assume that they aren't expecting you to do it.  I'd speculate that 99 times out of 100, they're not expecting it, so if you don't do it, you won't come off as a jerk or anything, but if you do, you'll come off as sweet and thoughtful.  Here's how you make sure it goes smoothly:  Allow her to get to the table first.  You do this by allowing her to follow the waiter first (I would advise you to follow by putting your hand softly on her back, but touching will depend a lot on how well you know each other and how comfortable she is with being touched, so... think about if you want to do the hand on the back.  If she's comfortable she'll like it, if not, she'll be creeped.  I guess good advice would be:  put your hand on her back at your own discretion).  When she gets to her chair and touches it, say these words loud enough for her to hear them, "Hey, let me get that for you."  Then, when she acknowledges that she heard you, pull her chair out, and softly push it in so that her knees can fold her into it at a comfortable speed.  You may want to try this with your mom or sister before actually trying it on a date so that you can find a good technique.  Again, if you don't do it, you won't look like a jerk, so don't sweat it too much.

The rest of the physical stuff has few specifics, but just some general things to think about.  Always remember that a gentleman protects, and gives appropriate space.  Make sure you're always close enough to help her if she needs it, but far enough not to creep her out.  Refrain from making out in public (no matter how much fun it is), unless you are completely sure that she is totally cool with making people around you uncomfortable.  Stand up straight.  I know our generation loves rappers and grunge artists, but you want her to feel like she's with a strong man, one who can help in times of need, and one she's proud to be with, part of that is standing straight.  In fact, no matter how lame you may think it is, you should consider standing straight all of the time.  Just a thought.

Next, part of making someone comfortable, is watching your language.  I think we get this idea that girls want to date a rebel, so we think we need to cuss, and say crass things so that she'll think she's out with a bad ass.  Guys, I know few girls who are actually in to this.  Once your married girls tell you all kinds of stuff (it's like you suddenly become gender neutral), and they tell me that they don't like guys who swear a lot.  They say it makes them uncomfortable, which, remember, is one of those things gentlemen don't do.

Also, think about your conversations.  When you talk to her, ask about her.  Girls LOVE to be asked questions.  Not interrogated, but asked what they like and dislike, what their favorite movie is, what their family is like.  And, as Hitch says, do not be looking at her lips, do not think about what she looks like naked, LISTEN to what she is saying, and then respond appropriately.  If you do this, she'll respond to you.

Especially on the first date, stay away from sarcasm.  A lot of people simply don't get it, and many people just think you're being mean.  After a few dates, consider teasing a little, but keep it light.  Some girls really like it, and some find it annoying.  Before teasing at all, have a heart to heart with a close friend.  Some sarcasm is funny, and some sarcasm is cruel.  Ask them what side of sarcasm you fall under.  If it's the cruel side, stop using it all together... not just in dating, always.

I really can't think of anymore specifics.  Do know that being a gentleman isn't just something you do on dates, it's a lifestyle that you need to practice always.  Otherwise, you'll be awkward on dates.  Try it today.  Try it right now.  Start thinking of others, and how you can make them a little more comfortable.  Think about how you can lift their spirits and keep them safe.  It really is a good habit to get in for every part of your life, dating is just one of those parts.

Anyway, on to number 5 tomorrow.  Have a nice day.


  1. I like the sarcasm warning. I cannot tell you how sick of this I got when I was dating. Just because it's funny to you, doesn't mean it's funny to her (and maybe even anyone else on earth). Keep the smart remarks to yourself until you're 110% sure that they will be accepted positively.

  2. The 3rd last paragraph was hilariously honest. And good message about sarcasm. In university I thought sarcasm was the ultimate humor. It's not. It's mean (unless it's a mutually agreed upon sarcasm-off with a partner).

  3. @Amanda
    Thanks. I've made many a date awkward by my need to make sarcastic remarks, and now wish I would have known how to turn it off...

    It really is one of my favorite parts of Hitch. It's so funny, because it's so true.