This post is a continuation of the previous one on The Guy, The Gentlemanly Behaviour and The Girl.
Let’s take a look at some common courtesies that are great but need to be delivered with care.
- Opening the door – opening the door to a restaurant or an entrance is considered good manners. But it’s not necessary to get out of the car and hop to the passenger side to open the door for a female friend you’re picking up. (In fact, while we’re on the subject of opening doors, it’s only good manners to hold a door slightly longer for the person entering it behind you. And if a kind stranger is holding the door for you, please say thank-you and hold it open for yourself and whoever comes after you. Don’t expect him to keep the door open for you and your clan! It’s rude! )
- Pulling out a chair to seat a female friend – If the occasion calls for it, do it. Usually such occasions are formal dinners where you’re expected to bring a guest. In this case, she’s your ‘date’ for a purpose. Then you do that out of courtesy and display of good etiquette. It’s strange doing it for a regular female friend. However, in some casual situations, you may find that you need to locate enough seats for you and your companions, female or male. By making the effort to get enough seats for everyone there just shows that you’re considerate and well-mannered. You’ll score extra extra brownie-points with the girls too! So, yeah, do that!
- Ordering food for your friend without asking her first – this is a great gesture when you’re dating a girl or showing a keen interest in her. It shows that you’ve taken note of her likes and dislikes and you’re letting her know that you care. However, if you have no romantic interest, avoid doing that. You might be misleading her.
- Paying for the meal – The general rule is this: if you’re the one inviting, then you pay. However, bear in mind that some women have a tendency to think that the guys are the ones that should pay, so be prepared.
Girls + Guys: I personally feel that it’s important to let the man be the one who pays FIRST, but the woman should offer to pay her share after.
Guys: When a girl offers to pay her share, it’s ok to accept it but you might want to round the figure down. Splitting the tab to the exact dollar and cents is rather petty and un-gentlemanly in this regard.
So, what does paying for the meal say about gentlemanly behaviour? It’s ok to do that, but do make sure that it does not mislead her into thinking that you’re paying for her (particularly if you do so very often) because you have a romantic interest in her.
So where do we draw the line?
It’s worthwhile knowing that women are attracted to men who give them security in various ways. And showing ‘gentlemanly’ behaviour often has that effect. So, before you set out showing more than you should, think about what your behaviour means in the local context. Will your female friend misinterpret your actions? Are you leading her on?
What is gentlemanly behaviour that doesn’t give the girl the wrong message then?
- Being polite and showing good manners to everybody, not singling anyone out.
- Showing interest in everyday things, and avoiding issues on personal relationships and problems
- Being helpful but not necessary to go the extra mile
- Keeping clear boundaries physically and emotionally
The most gentlemanly behaviour is…..constantly assessing what your behaviour means in the context of your friendship or relationship; and presenting nothing more than the most considerate side of yourself in any given situation.