“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 life. 2 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.
Love gentlemanly things? Learn how to be even better at them.