What are the signs of a true Gentleman? Is chivalry dead? In a modern world where functionality outweighs beauty and the time to stop and appreciate our environment is a lost art, do we know what it means to be a Gentleman? Many etiquette rules came to be established in Victorian England (1837-1901) to protect or shield a lady from impairment or embarrassment. But over time, these rules have evolved to apply to all people. In today’s world, being a gentleman is about understanding the context in which you interact with others, not just ladies. Remember being a gentleman can be misconstrued as flirting.
Remember you’re a Gentleman not a Cad
1. A Gentleman stands when the person walks in the room
In days past, men stood out of respect when a lady, dignitary, or senior person walked in the room. It was a sign of respect and modesty and still should be followed today. Gentlemen stand out of politeness when a guest visits an assembly. A gentleman will stand from his seat when introduced to a guest. Standing shows you are attentive and respectful, but most important shows the person is perceived.
2. A Gentleman opens the door
A gentleman should always open the door and let your audience enter first, there are problems with this etiquette. The tradition of men opening doors for ladies dates from the period when ladies used to wear dresses with skirts so extremely long and wide, that it was difficult for them to squeeze through the doorway, not to mention opening the door for themselves as they were tremendously heavy. In today’s modern world it can be perceived as sexiest, suggesting a lady to be too feeble to open the door. As a Gentleman we need to understand this and respect this, so how do we ensure we do not make our companions feel uncomfortable. Our Gentleman’s guide James McLeod says “on approach to the door (about 5 meters), a gentleman should quicken his step slightly to ensure he reaches the door first and therefore it is natural he would open the door. Make no fuss or parade as a gentleman require no thanks, remember you have only opened a door”
A Gentleman and the car door
This is an area where etiquette is changing. Gone are the days when men drove the cars and women rode in the passenger seat, when few roads were paved and stepping out of a car could land you in a huge puddle. If you’re a Gentleman who as the pressure of courting a member of the fairer sex then heed these wise word from our Gentleman’s guild James McLeod. “You can make your partner feel extra special on those occasions when you get the opportunity to woo her. Remember when opening a door never to look down. Position yourself so to shield her form wondering eyes of these must distrusted cad’s”.