There was a time when qualifying as a gentleman came down to little more than having right schooling and a good, firm handshake. But in today’s complex world of social media, hi-tech gadgetry and endlessly fluctuating trends, the modern man can be somewhat bewildered about what standards of gentleman behavior are required.
14 Key Rules to Being a Modern Gentleman:
1. Put Down Your Phone
When you’re with someone else, devote your time and energy to being present and engaged with them, instead of with your device.
2. Open Doors
Properly and For Everyone. Hold doors open for everyone—women, men, pets—anyone or anything walking through a door.
3. Learn How to Have a Conversation
Three year olds have one word conversations, gentlemen do not. Learn how to be engaged, thoughtful, and captivating in your conversations.
4. Walk on the Proper Side of Your Date
Back in the days of horses and open sewers, the street side of the sidewalk was the smelly, dirty, and dangerous. As such, men would walk between the street and his lady to protect her from the potential nastiness that lived just beyond the curb. These days, no matter what the motivation, it’s a great touch that makes a woman feel taken care of.
5. Take Off Your Headgear Indoors
Caps, hats, and other forms of headgear were made to protect you from the elements, not to be worn inside a house, restaurant or the cinema. No matter how bad you think your hair looks, it can’t possibly look worse than being rude.
6. Know Your Limits
Manners and politeness can easily fly right out the window once you’ve had too many drinks. So unless you know how to hold your alcohol, avoid ordering that fourth scotch.
7. Avoid Vulgar Humor
Strive to find words that express your ideas eloquently. A gentleman does not require offensive language to speak or make people laugh.
8. Call Women You Don’t Know “Miss” or “Ma’am” Until They Tell You Otherwise
The time of using a pet name with a woman you don’t know is long over. If she’s old enough to be your mother, or if you know she’s someone’s mother, go with Ma’am. Otherwise, stick with Miss.
9. Before Driving Away, Wait Until Your Date or Friends are Inside
It takes a mere 20 extra seconds, but is remembered forever.
10. Offer Your Umbrella to Anyone Who Needs It
Holding the umbrella for your date is common sense, but holding it for a complete stranger is the sign of a true gentleman.
11. Call More, Text Less
Texting can sometimes feel so impersonal. Not only does calling someone convey your sincerity better, it also shows her that you’re willing to take the time to make the call.
12. Dress for the Occasion
I’m not the first person to discuss this topic, so I will be brief. For example, when invited to a party, scan the invitation for a dress code, and then stick to it. It is a terrible display of disrespect to show up to a semi-formal wedding in slacks and a button down. If you don’t own a suit, buy one.
13. Keep The Classics
While chivalry may be is dead, common courtesy is not. Some rules to being a gentleman will never change and should always be followed. Opening/holding the door for other people and giving up your seat when there are no more seats are two examples.
14. Be a Good Man
Show respect towards everyone. Be compassionate. Understand that people from all walks of life are equal. Don’t take advantage of others. It’s what we do that defines us.