Chivalry, It Goes Both Ways

Lately, there has been plenty of debate and commentary over whether or not true chivalry still exists today, and honestly it’s a 50/50 split. Both men and women have now become uncertain of what a true chivalrous act even is! Is it just holding the door open for a lady? Giving someone your coat when it’s chilly out? There really is no real definition of what chivalry really is, besides something polite you do without planning to receive anything in return. Right?

We all see articles being written that discuss the eventual “fizzling out” of modern chivalry and the steps that men can take to prevent that, and most are written by women. Some people are annoyed by it calling it “whiny” and see it as putting expectations too high for a person. Others see it as an opportunity for men and women alike to bring back the romantic and relentless fun of “the chase”. Either way you see it; there are some major problems with chivalry that concern all of us.

Let’s start with the girls:

Chivalry these days isn’t just applied to the men anymore; the ladies have a hand in it now. First of all, some girls really do have too high of expectations set on meeting their dream man. Honestly it is great to be picky in finding your potential match sometimes, but your Prince Charming won’t be riding in on a white steed in the middle of your communications class anytime soon. Women will complain about men putting them on a pedestal created by the media, so why should we put them on one? Not every man will be like Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles, and that is okay! There are tons of nice guys in the real world, and you have to be open to meeting and accepting them. This goes into the next mission of girls: accepting kind acts from guys and appreciating them. Some girls can’t recognize the fact that some guys just want to do nice things for them, with nothing in return. Whether it really is just opening a door or complimenting you on your looks, guys do try their best to be gentlemanly and nice to you. If you just shake it off and not appreciate it, you are fueling the fire that is burning chivalry to the ground. Guys want to know that their gestures are appreciated, because if they aren’t then what is the point? Bottom line: Let’s treat guys with the same respect they would treat us with, and be open to those chivalrous acts!

Now to the guys:

You all really do get the finger pointing in this debacle, and yet we are all to blame. Since chivalry really began with the actions of men, it is easy to shove the blame onto you all even though you all aren’t to blame. Let’s just get the cat out of the bag though first: with chivalrous gestures come some speculations that you will get something back in return, and that’s not really the case. The common code of chivalry suggests that you can do something nice for a lady, but don’t expect for her to throw herself on you when you do. Your gestures will be appreciated though so don’t worry! It comes now to the question of what you should do to be chivalrous. I’m not going to make a 20-something list of things you can do to be chivalrous, you have to figure that out for yourselves. Do something nice not just for the ladies, for others too (in a non-romantic way obviously)! I know it might be hard to tell that girls appreciate those little things you do just to be nice, and not all girls will express the fact that they do. Don’t let that stop you from ever doing nice things! Stay strong in your chivalrous actions and don’t let that distract you from the true purpose of chivalry. You all are very much appreciated even with the tiniest little act of kindness, and we thank you.

As long as there is still some good in this world chivalry can exist among all of us. It doesn’t just have to be a guy bringing flowers to a girl anymore, it can be a girl accepting the kind gesture and appreciating those rare little moments of timeless and noble chivalry. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – malias

I always have dog hair on me.

Keep up with Kaitlin on Instagram and Twitter

More From Thought Catalog