A true gentleman is the epitome of chivalry; indeed, the term gentleman has origins that reach back to times of knighthood and round tables. The idea of a modern gentleman has certainly evolved and progressed somewhat, but universal gentleman still have some things in common: they protect and defend the weak, they demonstrate compassion and empathy, and they are also honest and kind (especially to heroines). Please read the list below for more specific traits of 21st Century gentlemen.
#1: Opening doors.
Classic gentleman always upon physical doors for women, but modern day gentleman also open figurative doors whenever possible; for instance, by offering to make professional introductions or referrals.
#2: Being punctual.
This is one gentlemanly traits that hasn’t changed over the centuries; a gentleman always shows up on time so he doesn’t inconvenience other people, and also because being punctual conveys respect and honor.
#3: Being protective.
Gentlemen of all generations protect those around them at virtually all costs—again, especially when the people are heroines. In the 21st Century, this translates into always keeping yourself between your partner and danger, whether you’re walking down the sidewalk or about to be hit by a truck on the street.
#4: Being comforting.
A classic gentleman would stereotypically offer his jacket to a woman whether it’s cold out or not; in modern times, gentlemen offer their seats to women standing on buses (in addition to offering up their coats and sweaters).
#5: Pulling out chairs.
This is another gentlemanly characteristic that has stood up to the decades; however, it may not occur as much this century as it did in the century before.
#6: Being courteous.
Today, this means using words like please and thank-you. Back in medieval times, the words would have been different—but the sentiments would have been the same.
#7: Stepping back in line.
Today, this means allowing women to order their food or drink first, or allowing a woman to use a bank machine before you do.
#8: Offering physical aid.
In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bingley helps get Jane and her carriage out of a flooded country meadow. In the 21st Century, gentlemen offer to carry heavy merchandise, and to move furniture and appliances.
#9: Impeccable manners.
Emphasis has always been placed on table manners, both today and many hundreds of years ago.
#10: Impeccable politeness.
Unless their honor has been questioned or offended, both medieval and modern gentlemen are virtually always polite and kind no matter what.
#11: Paying for food and activities.
This ideology has certainly been fading in favor of one closer to equality; modern gentlemen should offer to pay for the check, but also be prepared to split it (always have change!).
#12: Being attentive.
Gentlemen of all periods and times have striven to be exceptionally focused and attentive; however, knights likely succeeded in their quests far more frequently than modern day gentlemen do.
#13: Being open and honest.
This has always meant telling 100% of the truth, and also revealing any information that you know the other person might want to know (or ask about).
#14: Being reliable and trustworthy.
This has always meant keeping 100% of the secrets you’ve been asked to, and also withholding any information that you think the other person would want to be kept secret (even if they haven’t specified).
#15: Being faithful.
This is one character trait that may be more prominent in modern day gentlemen as opposed to Knighted gentlemen; back then, mistresses were even more commonplace and far more accepted.
#16: Being gentle and caring.
This has always meant never striking a woman, never intimidating a woman, and never yelling at a woman.
#17: Practicing patience and restraint.
Today, this means allowing the other person to order first or eat first, and allowing the other person to make the first move (or send a clear signal).
#18: Being humorous.
This may not have been a stipulation for knighthood, but modern gentleman definitely need to be able tell a joke every once in a while—and be able to take a joke even more frequently.
#19: Being ambitious.
This used to mean winning trophies and horses for maidens; nowadays, it means starting businesses and movements.
#20: Enforcing morality.
No matter the century or the continent, gentlemen have always done the right thing—and they have always attempted to prevent others from doing the wrong things as well.
Power of Positivity LLC
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.