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20 things that make a man a gentleman


“A gentleman is someone who does not what he wants to do, but what he should do.”
Haruki Murakami – Norwegian Wood

Trends come and go, as do friends and lovers, but one thing that never goes out of fashion is the gentleman. Not the playboy, new-wave ‘gentlemen’ that so many perceive themselves to be, but rather a real, true gentlemen with all the characteristics and accompanying imagery of the protagonist of a Victorian novel.

How do you actually define a ‘gentleman’?

An ever-elusive term in and of itself, there is no one definition – and in all honesty, we’d be lying if we didn’t say that it’s pretty subjective. But attempt it we shall. So, without further ado, here’s a list of 20 things that we believe turns a man into a true gentleman:

1. A gentleman never tells

No gossiping, spreading rumours or running others down – a real gent always protects the integrity of both himself and people around him.

2.  A gentleman knows that anything worth having is worth working hard for

Shortcuts and free rides have no place in a gentleman’s world. You only get what you give, and rightly so.

3. A gentleman knows how to dance

Two left feet is never, ever a good look, and a real gentleman knows it. Learning to dance well is also not that hard.

4. If a woman comes with baggage, a gentleman helps her to unpack it

Being genuinely helpful and non-judgemental is a trait that gets a man far.

5. A gentleman always RSVPs

It’s more than simple courtesy. If there are pending invitations, being thoughtful and responding is only the fair thing to do.

6. A gentleman knows the difference between confidence and arrogance

No one likes to deal with egotists and show-offs. A bit of self-confidence, on the other hand, makes a man come across as strong and admirable. Keep it respectful – 77% of females find ‘laddish’ behaviour to be the most unattractive trait of a gentleman.

7. A gentleman is open-minded but firm in his beliefs

Principles are always held onto and respected, whether they’re his own or others’. In fact more men than women think a gentleman should be supportive of feminism.

8. A gentleman constantly proves that chivalry is not dead

Rather than something that can be turned on and off on a whim, a gentleman accepts that chivalry is more of a way of life2 in 3 people have told Gentleman’s Journal that chivalry is still a very important trait of a gentleman.

9. A gentleman ruins his lover’s lipstick, not her mascara

The only tears he should make her cry are those of joy.

10. A gentleman never lies to a woman (unless it’s to surprise her)

A true gent makes it a point to always stay loyal, faithful and honest to his significant other.

11. A gentleman always makes the first move

And his pick-up lines tend to stand out from the rest. If lucky enough to get a first date, dress appropriately. 70% of women prefer men to dress smart-casual on a first date.

12. A gentleman means what he says and says what he means

No doublespeak, no having to read between the lines – a gentleman is open about his thoughts and feelings all the time.

13. For a lady, a gentleman always offers his seat and opens the door

It’s not a sign that she’s in any way weak; rather, it’s a time-honoured gentlemanly gesture of care and affection.

14. A gentleman never judges

He knows that judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who he is.

15. A gentleman is always well-presented

No matter what company, occasion or top-secret mission.

16. A gentleman has a firm handshake and always makes eye contact

Weak grips and averting gazes are huge no-no’s when one gentleman meets another.

17. A gentleman always offers his coat to a lady

One of the oldest moves in the gentleman’s playbook, sacrificing one’s comfort for that of a lady projects both attentiveness and selflessness.

18. A gentleman knows how to cook

Being able to prepare one good, full meal should be the bare minimum.

19. A gentleman always walks a woman home

Few things show her that you care more than making sure she’s always home safe and sound.

20. A gentleman always offers to pay

I’ve got this” – one of the most important phrases in the gentleman lexicon. A gentleman should not worry about the price too much either, 1 in 2 women do not care about how much a gentleman spends on a first date.


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