She Said/He Said: Is Chivalry Dead?

Laurel and SteveI have had waaaay too many clients asking me “who pays on the first date?” and “is chivalry dead? Men seem to never do chivalrous things anymore.” So I grabbed my HE SAID and we discussed….


1960’s/70’s Feminism put a major damper on chivalry. With the determination to erase gender difference, trying to prove that women could be just like men, being offended by any acts of chivalry, and some women even taking it the extreme of hating men. The problem is that men and women inherently ARE different. But we are also equal. Since then there has been confusion as to how to embody gender roles, which includes chivalry, courtship, and empowerment.

Yes, we women “can” open our own doors, pay for our own food, take out our own garbage, “man” the BBQ, and reach up to get the wine glass from the cabinet.

LADIES, being put off if he offers to help. Stop suggesting that you split the check. Stop turning down every “it’s cold, do you want to wear my coat?” offer. Let him to tend to and take care of you. It doesn’t mean that you are unable to do it yourself. It’s simply his role- his gender role. Let the man be the man and the woman be the woman. You will not appear superficial or userous if you allow him to pay and, once the credit card if dropped, you simply look him in the eyes and say “thank you so much. I really appreciate that and have enjoyed our dinner.”

GUYS, yes, those gestures are ok and actually very much appreciated. Don’t assume that every woman will be offended by your chivalrous offers. And for those women who do take offense, simply explain that it feels good to do things for her and you would love if she would accept your offers with a “thank you” instead of a “no that’s ok, I’m fine.”

The new feminism is the “feminine feminist.” Yes, women can be feminine, sexy, AND strong and independent. It’s a balance.

Dating apps, online dating sites, and texting has also done a disservice to chivalry. Starting a dating relationship with such informal forms of communication can set the standard of expectation as to how the tone of the relationship should continue, making any formal actions- like opening the door, pulling back the chair, and paying feel stuffy in comparison.

Ladies, it’s time to embrace the idea of being an independent traditionalist and embodying the feminine feminist. Let him take care of you. He wants to.

Men, it’s time to step up and be men again.


In the digital age of courtship it may appear as though chivalry is dead but it’s really just tucked away. Each sex has equally contributed to a reduction of chivalrous behavior so there will be no finger pointing. If we want to reintegrate it into today’s dating realm we all need to modify our thought process.

Men, like dogs, are taught manners when they’re younger. Most have simply unlearned these behaviors over the years. If you’re over the age of thirty you were likely brought up with an idea how to treat a lady. More often than not, we’ve just let those courtesies go. Don’t believe me guys? Then explain to me why nearly every time I open the door for a woman their faces look shocked and confused.

Women on the other hand have become so accustomed to failed expectations that they hardly acknowledge it anymore. Ladies you’re not off the hook either. Whether it’s opening a door or helping carry some items to your car, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been turned down. We understand that you “can” do it, but a better response is a “thank you” and smile. Every time you reject us, we’re conditioned to stop asking. Slowly but surely we just bypass it altogether and assume you’ll let us know when you “need” help.

In order to break this cycle, you lovely ladies will need to do your part. Learn to say “yes” to our offers of kindness. Gentlemen, don’t give up! There are still women who appreciate us, so keep making the effort. It may take a little time but I have faith we can restore some of those chivalrous behaviors we’ve hidden over the years.