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5 New Acts of Chivalry

January 21st, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I once had an ex-girlfriend who insisted I do not hold doors open for her. Rather, she preferred I went through a door before her and led the way. Her logic was a man should lead and a woman should follow closely behind, also, theoretically, by being the first to walk inside or outside , I would be the first to notice something wrong.

Made sense to me, but sometimes, it didn’t make sense to people who were on the outside looking in. As a matter of fact, even after the two of us broke up, I developed a habit of going through doors first, and when the next girl called me out for it, I explained to her I would change but why I was doing it in the first place.

Chivalry isn’t dead, not even close. But it does need to be updated, remixed if we will. Not only should a man never ever have to lay down his coat in a puddle for a woman to step on, he should also pay more attention to a situation where chivalry is called for. Below, five new ways to be chivalrous.


A few months back, I wrote a blog entitled, “No Drinking With Women.” In this post, I talked about why I don’t like to drink with women. Since then, I’ve changed my position. Now, I not only drink if a woman chooses to drink, I feel like it’s rude if I don’t. Unless a man has battled with alcoholism, men should drink in public spaces if their woman desires. And for someone like me, who still isn’t a complete fan of drinking on a date, I only drink if she chooses. I never push the idea.

The other thing is I never get more inebriated than her. As her protector, it’s important for me to be in control of the situation at all times. Besides, I have worked in plenty of restaurants where a man gets more wet than his date, and ends up slumped over her should and it’s never a good look. As a matter of fact, it’s how his more sober woman gets talked up by the bartender.


I don’t care if the car is hers, or her father’s, if we’re driving to an event, I’m driving the car. Something about seeing a woman in the driver’s seat looks off, which is not to say I don’t think women are bad drivers (although most of them are). It’s just to say there are risks involved with driving, more risks than riding, so, as a man, it’s my responsibility to take those risks, not hers.


When I worked in the restaurant business, there was an unwritten rule waiters subscribed to when it came time to clear plates: Never clear the man’s plate while the woman is still eating. To this day, I always try to avoid leaving my woman at the table with a plate full of food, even though people who know me know I scarf down food like my name was Takeru Kobayashi. The bottom line is, no woman should ever be made to look like she’s the eater in the relationship. Even if she is.


Old school rules tell us a man should walk on the outside of the sidewalk with a woman at all times because apparently, men can absorb the impact of a 4,000 pound vehicle way better than women can. But of all the chivalrous acts we have, this one is in the most desperate need of an update.

If my woman and I are walking down the side of an open road (don’t know why that would ever happen, but just follow me here) I am definitely walking on the outside, closest to the road. But if the two of us are walking down a sidewalk full of people, or in the hood where men pray on women from their corners or stoops, I’ll take the inside. When a man walks side by side with a woman, he should always be standing on the side closest to the danger.


When I meet a woman and I ask for her name, it’s a little deeper than a formality. I’m asking for her name because I plan on using it at least twice in our conversation. Even if her name is the most complicated sounding name in the world, I take the time to learn how to say it correctly. My name isn’t common, so whenever I introduce myself, a set of questions from the person I’m meeting usually follows, and that’s fine. What rubs me the wrong way is the person who doesn’t take the time to get it right and runs off pronouncing it any old way. Whenever a person takes their time to learn my name and say it correctly, it goes along way. Thus, I extend the same courtesy to the women I meet. Ditto for nicknames. When I meet a woman who gives me a nickname, I always ask for her real name, but then I ask her which she prefers, and if she says the nickname, well then Peaches it is!

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  • Ashley

    Jozen, I really enjoyed this post. Great work!

  • Charles

    The writer is sure an iconoclast. Really loved the bit on walking. Overall, an excellent article

  • Kady

    I once dated a guy who would go out of his way to walk on the outside, I even got the side eye a few times for not following that lead and walking on the outside. Chivalry is good, but just don’t let it turn controlling.

    I still expect Men to open doors for me, but if for some reason I’m a step ahead, I will open the door. I think if you walk in before me, holding the door open is fine, just don’t let it slam in my face.

    Another one I followed with my ex, which is real old school is I always let him order for both of us, especially if it was a male waiter, but I did notice on many occasions the waiter would ask him for the/his order first, so this worked well. On other dates I always order for myself.

    Another one to the list is, if you’re with your date and she doesn’t smoke, it’s not ok to smoke.

    For females I would add that if you’re on a date and sharing an appetizer, you should make both yours and your date’s plate.

  • Bunz

    Great post!

    I need to work on the alcohol thing. I think that makes perfect sense and I will begin practice that recommendation.

    I disagree with the driving, although I understand where you came from some women are partial to driving their own vehicles. So if yours is not present that may be an argument which you may want to avoid.

    I myself eat food rather quickly, luckily my gal eats pretty swiftly herself, but I feel you on the need to have appropriate presentation while to the two of you are together enjoying ones company. It almost sounds like a business luncheon in way however, as you should mirror the eating pace of your client.

    Finally we can agree on the remaining two. Again great post sir!

  • Pamela

    I read your blog all the time but never post. Today I had to because, for me, you hit the nail on the head with “never get more drunk than your woman”. I totally agree with that one, and the others as well. You have great insight for a man your age. I’m 46. I know. Keep doing what you do.

  • MIss Claudia Jean

    I love this. I’m so glad there are men like you who still believe that Chivalry isn’t dead…and you practice what you preach! I love it! Some of us women truly believe in these small acts of Chivalry. They make a huge difference and a powerful impact.

    Kudos to you 🙂

  • P.A

    Your storytelling always makes me laugh, but I love the all the different “5 Things” posts because they always make me think outside of my perspective. Good job!

  • brandy

    Simple. Love it.

  • Brittany

    I can agree with all of these except the driving part. I love my boyfriend, but I refuse to let him drive my car.

  • Kimberly

    You are really impressing me this week. I am loving this article. When I was married, I constantly had to remind my husband (who was 8 years older than me) about the tradition of a man walking on the outside (closest to the curb) when walking with a woman. I had heard in history class that it was because back in the day folk would toss their trash out the window from upper stories and this was to keep a woman from possibly getting hit by garbage. My current boyfriend thankfully knew this chivalrous act and I was glad I did not need to inform him at all. Thank you for teaching this generation something I am sure they were not aware of!!


  • Reecie

    The whole walking in the door first is definitely backwards but too each her own.

    Some of your suggestions I’ve never heard before (like drinking and eating rules) but they are good ones.

    I think a big area where guys drop the ball these days is coming to a woman’s front door or at the very least getting out the car to greet a woman. That would be good to add.

    Chivalry is important in attracting a quality woman and it makes it way easier for men to approach women. A woman is usually more receptive to a man opening the door for her or offering up a chair than a guy just walking up saying hello.

  • Kelsey

    I totally agree with you on most of these points, Jozen. The one time when I don’t like my boyfriend driving my car is when we’re going somewhere he is not familiar with. It gets on my last nerve because I know where I’m going 99% of the time and he hasn’t a clue…

  • Christina

    I’ve never commented before but I loooved this post! Driving part–YES, even if it’s my car (or vice versa) I like it better when he drives.

    Even though my name is very common & easy to remember, I loveloveLOVE when a guy will say it in a conversation because it assures me that he’s really paying attention. Who knows, it could just be a cover up but I like it! The ending was funny too haha

    Not a major first comment but it will do 🙂

  • eilatan

    Great Post… I Agree with you on all points.. The only time I drive is when I am meeting my sweety for lunch.

  • P Hugo

    My girl stated that I waste time when I open up car doors for her. She stated that we both could be in the car by the time I finish closing the door and walk around to get in.

  • BrokN_RecorD

    I enjoyed this post especially the last one. I hate when people say my name incorrectly and I already know I’ll be saying it more than once so they can get it right.

  • uhn huh

    She’s a keeper!

  • **inquiring mind**

    One I’ll add is when dude sleeps on the side closet to the door… reminds me of a Steven Seagal movie where these dudes bust in the room while she’s on top and shoot her up with a machine gun. Granted she was on top and technically not on side the side closest to the door, but I often think about someone busting and shooting up “the joint” so it just makes me feel safe when he’s like a barricade.

  • Lilie

    as for walking on the outside… (fun fact of the day) Ages ago, when toilets didn’t exist and chamber pots did, men would walk on the outside of sidewalks to be the firsts to receive the mess in those buckets, hauled out of the window by folks above.

    also wanted to congratulate you on your entry on meeting a girl at church. it was hysterical! catch you latersss


  • j

    another take on the walking on the outside thing. a woman i used to know (latina, historian) told me this was because if she was on the outside is signaled that she was available, generally not the signal you want to send on a date

  • Teryn

    Pronouncing names correctly is sssooo important!!! Great tip! Love it!

  • ellegirl

    I actually agree with the driving one. I went to a formal event with a guy, and not only did he not offer to drive, I had to drive my own car in my gown.

    Needless to say, we didn’t last long after that. That was a sign that he was not the considerate, thoughtful man I needed.

    Nice Post Jozen!

  • Leah J

    Yeah, I’m with your girl.

    And that’s all I’m going to say in this post. *lmao*

  • BoomShots

    Do not throw pearl to swines!!
    I am no Mr. Chivalry here but I think appreciation is a part of the equation. I too have had the experience being chivalrous to women who were both unfamiliar and unappreciative of my efforts.

    I remember a young lady I dated a few years ago who complained about my setting the table for us to sit down and share a meal when she stayed over at my place. Her view was that”I should know she doesn’t get down like that…”

    I always break out in a smile when women decry the death of chivalry by men because I also know that half of them would not know what it was if it bit them in the ass.

  • *inquiring mind*

    she just sounds country

  • Christine

    I liked this blog…especially about the driving…when he drives then I can drink!

  • Monica

    Thank you thank you thank you for making the comment about driving. I thought I was strange for insisting that the man I am with drives, even if it is my car. I hate seeing women driving their men around. I can understand if you are helping on a long road trip but for anything else, he should drive.
    To me anyway it just makes him seem less of a man if he is just riding.

  • me-me

    i don’t feel that P. i guess because i’m southern. if my father saw a man get in his car and he left me standing outside.. he asked me who raised me and why don’t i act like i know betterthe true test is if she opened your door from the inside. if she just sat there looking forward like the queen of sheba, then dust her. (only exception is when it’s raining.

    @ boom–i’m with you on that one. i was raised to “fix” my companies’ plate of food. i ran into a man that was so turned off by this because he said “i’m not a baby”. it’s very hard to undo 27 years of home training for one person. some women say that’s too old fashioned.. but i love it.

    the conflict is.. more and more people are growing up with one parent who instructs them to be independent and telling them they don’t need a (insert man/woman) for nothing. so when an independent woman (for example) runs into a chilvarous man… they are bond to clash.

  • me-me

    yes! it’s a safety buffer i learned that in a self-defense class. if you see a man (even if he’s a stranger) let him walk closer to the curb. “attackers” are less likely to grab a woman that “appears to be ” with her/a man.

    it also helps with the prevention of 1. water being splashed on the lady from cars whizzing by 2. curb jumps, 3. it’s easier to pull a woman into a car than it is a man.

  • sistah1

    I love chivalry. I so appreciate it when I encounter it. LOL. Unfortunately, I don’t get to see it that much.

    What I do see a lot are whack approaches by men. So, here’s a list of 5 Pick Ups Men Should Avoid.

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  • spencer

    this guy is a moron.