Gentlemanly behavior

There are the standard “gentlemanly” things to do when accompanying a lady. Some of the typical things include opening doors, pushing in a chair at dinner, standing when a lady rises from the table, and walking on the street side of the sidewalk.

What other things are there that a gentlemanly man does?

Furthermore, how many SDMB ladies enjoy being treated in this manner? As a man, I happen to enjoy being a gentleman, but I know there is some belief among men that this is no longer appropriate behavior. “Women’s lib” taught some of us that treating a lady in this manner is condescending.

Men, do you behave in a gentlemanly manner with your lady-friends and wives?

Call me old-fashioned, but I appreciate and enjoy being treated like a lady. I do not think it is a bit condescending, although it has the potential to morph into “don’t worry your pretty little head about it” which IS condescending. In return for being treated like a lady, I will act like a lady.

It’s not so much chivalry as it is just plain manners. If more people were considerate in general, we wouldn’t worry so much about whether it was condescending.

I was once on a sales call, walking up to the front entrance of a major corporation.

An executive type lady was walking behind me so I opened the door for her.

“You don’t have to open the door for me just because I’m a lady,” she snapped.

“I didn’t open the door for you because you were a lady,” I replied. “I opened the door for you because I’m a gentleman.”

[ul]:smiley: [sup]BRAVO, Rico![/sup][/ul]

It was once “gentlemanly” to ask the lady what she wanted to order, then relay that info “the lady will have…” the the waitron. Nobody does that anymore. It’s still cool to know the silly ritual that goes with getting a bottle of wine at a restaurant. Let me know if you want to know.

A gentleman will score triple points for helping with the housework. Regarding the lady as a person at least as smart as the gentleman is also good form. Being comfortable with trusting her to make her own decisions is worth a few gold stars. And, heavens! You ought to know how to cook.

I always thank whoever holds the door open for me. I try to hold doors for people, too. My husband is polite to women in general. I’m very proud of this.

I have a nice anecdote on this topic. I was going to a fast food restaurant to get some grub. As I got to the door, I noticed two ladies walking up to go in. I opened the door and waited the few seconds until they got there, holding the door open for them. I was in no hurry, and didn’t mind waiting behind them.

When we all got inside, they insisted I go ahead of them in line, because “I shouldn’t be punished for being a gentlemen.”

There may be hope for the world yet.

At the building where I work, men and women follow a strict etiquette when entering the lift (elevator).

If a mixed crowd has been waiting for a lift, all the men all stand to the side when it arrives, while the women enter first.

When the lift doors open, men again shuffle aside to allow women to egress (unless the lift is very crowded and it’s too difficult to move aside).

You get the odd man out, but generally people are pretty good at following this custom.

I open doors for both women and men, unless I’m just with one man alone.

In my culture, however, pushing in a woman’s chair at a restauran would be terribly awkward. No woman would expect it and it may lead to confusion.

The way I see it, courtesy is courtesy. I don’t expect extra attention or consideration because I’m female. I thank people who hold doors for me, and I hold doors for others if the occasion arises. I don’t expect my husband to run around the car to open my door or bounce up and down in his seat just because I have to run to the ladies’ room. And no one orders for me - that just strikes me a silly - I don’t understand the point.

Don’t know if I’d actually be classified as a lady, but I’m female.

  • opening doors : I have no problem with people opening doors for me. I don’t think the person is a ‘lady’ or a ‘gentleman’ if they do, I just think they’re a courteous human being. And I return the favour, opening doors for others.
  • pushing in a chair for dinner : awkward, uncoordinated, nope, this I don’t like. I’ll pull my own chair in, thanks, it’s easier.
  • standing when a lady rises : What on earth for ?!?
  • walking on the street side : Again, What on earth for ?!?

I love courtesy. I do not like ‘special treatment’ because I’m female.

Fairy Chat said, “And no one orders for me - that just strikes me a silly - I don’t understand the point.”

Me too. I wonder if it stems from the fact that women weren’t educated in the olden times, and may not have been able to read? That’s pretty scary, but it sort of makes sense to me. Maybe Unka Cece would know where that came from.

Traditionally, men enter elevators first, but allow women to exit first. It stems from the time when elevators were still new technology and it was considered more polite for men to enter first in case of an accident.

Holding doors is OK if the door-opener doesn’t feel the need to make a big show of it. That means that in a building with double doors, the guy should not hold the first door open and then sprint to open the second door before the woman can do so. This looks ridiculous and puts the woman in the awkward position of either having to race the man for the door (I have done this and nearly collided), or stand aside as if she were a pampered little princess who expects doors to be opened for her as a matter of course.

The others, frankly, are silly, and I find such gestures somewhat embarrassing, although I wouldn’t openly criticize a man for using them.

A gentleman does not allow a lady to be embarrassed in public.

Example one
I was on a date and she knocked over her drink making a huge mess. One of the restaurant workers came over to wipe it up I said I knocked it over and apologized for being so clumsy.

Example two

When you are out with your lady and say she needs to use the powder room after the cinema. You do not stand just outside the door staring at it tapping you foot and looking at your watch, waiting for her to appear.

No, you stand down the hall keeping the door in your periphal vision. You wait till she is out. She had just touched up her make-up and hair and as she walks down the hall to you she is a vision as the wind gently blows her hair back and her outfit moves over her. Stand there and appreciate her beauty.

Do not ask if she stunk the place up.

It sometimes seems to make sense to us - one person saying “4 soups, 2 this and 2 that,” can be a smoother transaction than everyone asking individually. I suspect the reason couples do it (not exclusively the man) is a taking change and looking after thing…?

I like to think mama raised me right, and I’ve been called a gentleman a lot, and it makes me rather happy. But as has been pointed out, it all stems from general courtesy. Opening car doors is just as important to me as opening the door to a building for someone, and often times, guy friends look at me funny when I open their car door before mine. And I’ve dated a couple girls who actually got angry with me for opening doors and such. Still, it didn’t stop me from being courteous.

Some of the little etiquet things are rather silly. For example, did you know it’s proper gentlemanly code to open the door and allow the lady threw the door first if you’re entering a building, but the man’s supposed to exit the building before the lady? Why? I don’t know. I think it has something to do with “inhospitable conditions” outside…if there’s something nasty going on, you get to act as a scout and take the blunt of it, then “protect” the lady.

A lot of the stuff is all good, but as has been pointed out, just rather awkward. I’ll pull out chairs sometimes, but oftentimes the girl just thinks I’m pulling out my own chair and sits in another one. Standing up when they leave is another one that comes and goes, depending on the situation. But overal, it’s the courtesy that matters, so as long as one manages to keep that up, the rest falls into place.

I like to think that I behave in a gentlemanly manner with my wife–but I also believe that that includes allowing her to do what she likes for herself. For example, she always prefers to order her own meal when we are out, and she will also seat herself in her own chair.

On the other hand, she likes it when I open the car door for her, and when I walk on the outside of the sidewalk.

When entering a building, I’ll often reach for the door first, to hold it for her. But if there is another door immediately after the first, she will usually hold that one for me.

I think this one is supposed to protect the lady from being splashed by cars running in puddles. Or getting hit by a car?

I like to be treated “like a lady.” I stand aside to let my guy open the door for me, but if there is a second one, I open it because it is too awkward for him to get the second one.

I don’t get the standing up when a woman leaves the table. Makes no sense.

Sometimes my boyfriend opens the car door for me to get in. I love that! And he doesn’t do it every time, so when he does, it feels very special.

Oh, my WAG on why a man is supposed to exit a building first is so he can push the “heavy” door out for her.

As a woman, I hold doors open for people whenever it seems prudent and polite. I get out of the way when people want to leave an elevator. I order my own food unless just one orderer seems more convenient for the waiter. I’m not going to scream at someone if they open a door for me, as is inevitably brought up in these threads. However, it pisses me off to be treated like a delicate flower, because I’m not. I’m an equal, and I consider myself damn lucky to be living in a time where I can say that in public and not be laughed at (or strung up.) I’m not any more deserving of respect than a man, and I don’t deserve any more (or any less) courtesy. The inevitable implication is that there’s something different about me, and I don’t like that. I have different parts, but they’re just biology–I do NOT deserve more courtesy just because I have breasts. Even if the intention is to courteous, it bothers me. I repeat that I wouldn’t say anything to a random stranger attempting to be a “gentleman,” however. That wouldn’t be gentlewomanly of me.

Giving up the seat on the train for a pregnant woman, or for either(any/, all?)gender(s) with an obvious handicap or injury.