There is the common misconception out there that chivalry died a painful death many years ago.
Is this true? Hardly.
Side note: Just so we’re all on the same page here… I will define chivalry as the act of being polite to someone else (this doesn’t have to be a male acting politely towards a woman, but I will be speaking of chivalry from this perspective).
Chivalry is offering to carry her bags, holding the door open, or waiting for her to sit down before you do.
Chivalry is holding space for your woman so that she is able to live a more frictionless existence.
And the surprising thing is… both men and women contributed to chivalry falling out of favour.
As the rigid gender norms of past generations fell to the wayside, and with the movement towards gender equality, women no longer had to defer to men. Women wanted to be treated as equals, not patronized as though they were inferior or weak and child-like. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t want to still feel protected. The roles of men and women in intimate relationships became less clear.
And through the new shifting paradigms of what romance looked like, certain standards started to slip.
People, on some level, are inherently lazy. We’re hardwired to want to do the least amount of work for the most amount of results. “Get rich quick! Lose 30 pounds in four days! Find your dream woman by this weekend!”
And while you can get results quickly in life, you can’t get results easily.
With the rise of the culture of personality and fall of a culture based on character, men started to do less to take care of their women.
And here is where women started to contribute…
As men did less, women expected less. Women have recently relaxed their standards as to what is acceptable for the men they will allow in to their lives because “Hey, I’d rather be dating a shmuck than dating no one at all!”
And so as men see that they are allowed to get away with it, they do even less.
This gradual settling and relaxing pattern is what has brought us to our modern relationship climate.
How Do We Fix This?
So if women settled for less, and men relaxed into providing less, how do we reverse this trend?
By women expecting more, and men improving more.
When women raise their standards as to what is acceptable to them in a relationship it creates the space for men to step up.
When a baby is learning to walk, at a certain point you have to let go of it’s hands for it to learn on it’s own.
Will it fall down a few times? Absolutely.
Am I saying that modern men’s chivalrous abilities are akin to that of a baby learning to walk? Yes, I am.
I’ve had people (jokingly or not) tell me to stop posting as much content on helping men step up in their intimate relationships because it would make it harder for them to find a quality woman.
To which I say “Fantastic! Then you’ll just have to learn how to step up even harder.”
I would not be serving the world’s growth in any way if I played small… if I created less… if I expected less from men.
But I’ve seen the depth, devotion, and beauty of a woman who has done her work… and I see more than anything that she deserves an army of men fighting to be better for her. What do I see instead? I see an army of men who bicker, bitch, and bully each other. I see men who play video games more than they read philosophy. I see men who haven’t challenged their minds or their muscles with much more than lifting up a carton of milk to read the expiration date.
So what can everyone do to help men step up?
What will it take for everyone to see that this isn’t a problem of chivalry, but a problem of relaxed standards that are making everyone suffer?
A Message To The Men
Always do more than you think you need to. Don’t wait for the call to action from the woman in your life. Take the masculine, directional energy that is coursing through your veins and turn it on to yourself.
How can you free yourself from your emotional demons?
What do you need to be doing that you haven’t yet done?
What does your mind hold you back from doing that you heart knows it needs to do?
How can you live more congruently in your life? And how can you stop accepting behaviour from yourself that you know is beneath you?
Yes, the women in your life need to raise their standards… but you can give them a reason to even before they knew it was an option.
A Message To The Women
Expect more from the men in your life. Maybe it will feel like taking on a small sense of entitlement compared to what you’ve been doing… and that’s fine.
How can you honour yourself and your wishes more highly so that a man will have to grow in order to fulfill your needs?
In those moments when you expect chivalry not to happen because it “hasn’t happened with other guys” how can you temporarily suspend past expectations and patiently wait to see what this man brings to the table? When walking towards a doorway, hesitate slightly before reaching for the door handle and maybe the man will spring into action and open the door for you. Or, better yet, he won’t even need any trace of a hint, and he will do it of his own volition.
How can you TRUST that if you don’t settle into a relationship with any guy that happens to show an interest in you that an even better man will fill the space for you as long as you are holding your standards and keeping an open and loving heart?
I get it. You crave love… we all do. And it’s difficult to resist the urge to get into a relationship when you want that tenderness so badly.
But letting yourself date someone below your standards hurts everyone. It hurts you because you are displeased with your partner. It hurts your partner because he doesn’t have to grow to be your partner. And it hurts our intimate culture in general because it teaches men that they can get away with the bare minimum.
When I see a quality woman dating someone who clearly doesn’t have the same level of emotional maturity as them, it hurts me. It hurts me like it hurts my female friends who complain of men who have so much potential, but who settle for menial jobs. Because it is the exact same thing.
How much would the world have missed out on if Steve Jobs would have thought to himself “You know what, life’s too scary to really try. I’m going to work this minimum wage job instead so that I don’t make any waves in the world”?
The exact same thing applies to you (that is, if you are a hetero female reading this section). If you settle for a partner that is undeserving of you, you are missing out on deeply affecting and inspiring the life of a man who could change the world with your love and encouragement. So hold out and wait for someone to fill that space.
Is it scary? Sure. Are you worried that if your standards are too high you’ll end up alone forever? I understand that fear. Wouldn’t it be one of the greatest things to ever happen to you if you held that space for a mentally and emotionally mature man to enter your life… and one day, he showed up and loved you better and more fully than every other man in your life combined? I’d say so.
So hold that space. Expect more, and see more. It’s not the cynical mindset of “I’ll believe it when I see it”… but rather holding the expectations in your life of “I’ll see it after I believe in it.”
Chivalry Is Far From Dead
Wait a second… wasn’t this supposed to be an article on chivalry?
Yes. And it was.
Whether men are expected to act chivalrous or not, they can do it.
When we move from settling and relaxing to expecting and improving, we will see and feel the difference in our interactions between men and women.
And men, when you start regularly getting the feedback of “No guy has ever done that for me before” then you’ll know that you are on the right track.
Dedicated to your success,
Ps. Men! Do you want to step up in your intimate relationship and be the best partner she’s ever had? Check this out…