A lot of women these days are asking about the concept of chivalry, probably because you don’t see much of it anymore. But if you grew up in an earlier generation, you’re probably a little more familiar with the term.
Chivalry was a term used to describe knights who were loyal, courteous, protective, honorable, and gentle with their women. A knight was also supposed to possess traits like courage, humility, obedience, and chastity. Knights who lived by the code of chivalry were to show self control and respect toward women, as well as protect the innocent, weak, or unarmed. They were to administer justice, avoid cheating or lying, and were expected to avenge the wronged. In love, chivalry usually refers to the gentlemanly way that a man treats a woman—doing the right things, for the right reasons, at the right times—like opening the door for her and refraining from taking her to bed the first chance he gets.
Chivalry definitely seems hard to come by these days, with so many women under the impression that if a man is being nice to a woman, it’s only to get into her pants. As a woman in her 30s, it has been difficult dating a man who’s 23 years older, but my gentleman’s manners more than make up for the big age difference.
I have found it very refreshing to be with someone who is used to treating a woman like a princess. Most of the men I’ve dated between high school and now have no idea how to treat a lady—they don’t open doors, pay for dinner, or even compliment you on the little things. I’m sure a lot of women have had similar experiences. That’s why sometimes it can be hard to just accept an older man’s gracious or kind ways—you always feel the need to doubt his intentions.
When I talk about chivalry, I don’t mean in the sense that the man does everything for you, like taking care of each and every bill when you go out to eat, or carrying you through the front door every night. Ladies, your independence is still very important. But I, as well as most women, just want a man to be courteous and to show respect to me as a woman.
Believe it or not, being catcalled and groped doesn’t count as a compliment. Older men understand this, and as hard as it might be for you to accept his chivalrous ways, it doesn’t take too long to get used to. Take advantage of it if you’re dating an older man. Let him pull out your chair at dinner and hold your hand. Let him carry your heavy bags and pick up the tab. Older men were raised differently then men today. Older men would be more than happy to shower you with gifts, and pay you a compliment if you’ve worn your hair differently or cooked a delicious meal. It’s OK to lavish in this and feel like a princess. Take pride in the fact that your man does these things for you, and show him how much you appreciate his gestures.
If you’ve never dated an older man before, or a man who knows what it means to show chivalry, you’re missing out. I know in today’s times, a lot of women are used to doing everything themselves and don’t think they need that from their relationship. I used to be the same way, but now, I will never turn down my older man’s offer to carry my groceries or save me from a big spider. All ladies deserve to be treated like a princess, and my older man knows just how to get it done.