10 Historical Chivalrous Acts And Their Modern Equivalents

It’s easy to feel out-gentleman’d by the historical romances we read and watch, where the dashing knight or prince woos his beloved with some pretty serious chivalrous moves. But they are easy to recreate, as long as you know their modern equivalents. In partnership with Stetson Caliber for their New Rules of Chivalry, here are 10 ways to update your favorite historical romantic gestures.


1. Laying your raincoat over a puddle

In which the strapping male takes off his raincoat, magically becomes impervious to the pouring rain, and enables his companion to walk over the puddle without ruining her shoes. He then picks up his rain jacket, puts it back on, and thinks nothing of risking the integrity of his fine outerwear.

Updated For Modern Day: Use an app that tells you where the puddles are, and make sure to avoid them so that no jackets (or leather shoes) have to get ruined.

2. Riding off on horseback

Back in a faraway time, a white knight would arrive gallantly on horseback, and would proceed to rescue his lover from the darkest depths of despair. The two would then ride off into the sunset, as this provided a much happier ending than cutting to them figuring out what they were gonna do for dinner.

Updated For Modern Day: Send texts while they’re at class/work to “save” your lover from complete and utter boredom, and give her something to smile about.

3. Conquering an entire land

In 1191, while sailing to another land, Richard The Lionhearted’s fleet encountered a storm. One of the ships carrying Richard’s sister and fiancé was discovered to have been shipwrecked in Cyprus, and the passengers taken prisoner. Upon discovering this, Richard sailed to Cyprus and demanded the prisoners to be released.

Long story short, Richard conquered Cyprus and immediately married his fiancé, Berengaria of Navarre.

Updated For Modern Day: Conquer an entire school’s heart with a ridiculously elaborate prom proposal.

4. Asking for “a dance”

You know, like when that guy from the 1800s played by Channing Tatum goes to the ball, ignores all the other girls eyeing him dreamily, and respectfully walks up to you, hand extended. You dance for an hour, say about 3 words, and then live together in a castle.

Updated For Modern Day: Actually have a conversation at the bar that doesn’t start with some cringeworthy pickup line. Being honest and friendly is just as refreshing as asking a damsel for a dance.

5. Holding a large banquet with the other royal folk

I don’t have any specific examples to point to, though this seems like something Captain (no, Commodore) Norrington would’ve done to try and lure the lovely Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean. Of course, Elizabeth Swann wasn’t exactly interested in the glitz and glam of such an event, but she’s, you know, the manic pixie dream girl of the pirate world.

Updated For Modern Day: Burgers and Fries – and maybe a nice bottle of wine to balance things out – at 2 in the morning, while playing some early 00s music that you both haven’t heard in ages.

6. Passionate Love Letters

Love letters were pretty huge for a while — as recently as the 1920s, as it was recently discovered that US President Warren G. Harding wrote rather fervent letters to one his lovers. The love letter, as well as the art of the letter itself, seems to be dead.

Updated For Modern Day: A thoughtful and excellently constructed string of Emojis to make her laugh, smile, and work to decipher their meaning in equal measure.

7. Writing sonnets

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate
Rough winds to shake the darling buds of may
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
-William Shakespeare

Updated For Modern Day: Send a charming text when it’s still light out.

8. Planning to run away together

Since the beginning of time, star-crossed lovers have abandoned everything they knew to go somewhere exciting, unexpected, and brave to start a new life together. Maybe their warring families wouldn’t allow it, or maybe they just wanted new professional opportunities that weren’t available in their fiefdom. Either way, they rode off into the horizon, hand-in-hand, to new adventures.

Updated For Modern Day: Move to Austin together.

9. Making her a mixtape

Part of me wishes I grew up 20 years ago, where the art of the mixtape — from the song selection and pacing, to the cover, to the labored over title — was still in style. Just like the zine, it appears that the mixtape has experienced finer days.

Updated For Modern Day: Make her a playlist online, burn it to a CD, and write an inside joke on the CD to give it a title. Wait two weeks to ask her what she thought, at which time she’ll tell you that she couldn’t find a place to listen to the CD, because neither her car nor laptop have a CD slot anymore. It’ll be even more valuable this way, as it represents a yearning for love in a simpler time.

10. Calling her on the phone

Most of us probably don’t remember this, but there was a time in history where, if a guy wanted to ask a girl out on a date, he’d have to dial a bunch of numbers and utilize his vocal chords. Sometimes, the girl’s father would answer (this was in an age where there was something called the “house phone”), and the guy would have to ask the father’s permission to talk to his daughter.

Updated for Modern Day: Call her on the phone. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


This post brought to you by Stetson Caliber.

About the author

Lance Pauker