In the feminist world of the 21st century, gentlemen have to walk a tricky and often invisible tightrope between chivalry and equality. We all know the old stereotype of women being mortally offended if you hold the door open, but in reality women will thank you for a little common courtesy. Old-fashioned manners are generally very attractive. Whether you’ve just met on Tinder, have been together for years or have never met before, the chances are these old-school rules will help you make the best impression. They’re hardly revolutionary, but who knows what a simple act of kindness could lead to.
Buy her dinner every now and then
She may be on a higher salary to you and she’ll probably insist on splitting the bill, but once in a while the gesture of treating your girl to a slap-up dinner can go a long way. Similarly, while it can seem incredibly unfair and archaic that gentlemen always have to buy the drinks, especially when you’re on your 6th failed Tinder date in a row, the chances are she’ll be more into you if you at least offer.
Don’t keep her waiting
We all like to play a bit of hard-to-get, but if you leave your date standing in the rain for half an hour before gracing her with your presence, she’s hardly going to be thrilled.
Help carry a buggy on the tube
This is a big one, gentlemen. We’ve all seen women struggle to haul a heavy baby’s buggy up the stairs at the tube station at rush hour, and there’s no doubt that she’ll be grateful for a hand. Even if you never meet again, a bit of old-school courtesy is never in vain, and you never know who you’ll impress.
Make an effort with her parents
Dress up, have a shave and buy a decent bottle of wine before going round to meet the parents – if they like you she’s much more likely to be into you, too. Offer to help her mum in the kitchen and show her dad you’re not a moron and are going to look after her; it’s not rocket science, but it’s likely to show her you’re worth sticking around.
Don’t forget Valentine's Day
It’s the age old girly trick: She might insist you’re not a serious couple, that she’s totally not into soppy cards and you really shouldn’t bother buying her anything… but secretly she’s hoping you’ll read her mind and at least make her breakfast in bed.
Show some dinner table etiquette
Pour her a glass of wine; introduce her to people and draw her into the conversation; let her have the last bite of fillet steak – money can’t buy these simple acts of courtesy, but it’s what makes all the difference between a man and a gentleman. Do yourself proud and be the dinner guest that stands out.
Don’t bail on her
Flakiness is one of the most frustrating faux-pas you can make: Whether or not you’re trying to impress a woman, a true gentleman sticks to his plans no matter what.
Give her unexpected flowers
Girls love flowers. It’s a cliché, it’s out-dated, and they only last a week or so before dying, but few girls will be able to resist a smile on a rainy Tuesday if you turn up with a bunch of pink roses out of the blue.
Make her dinner
You might be the worst cook in the world, and the curry you’ve spent all afternoon making might be borderline inedible, but she’ll appreciate the gesture whatever the food tastes like. What’s more, a gentleman being able to cook is a very attractive quality, so if you’ve got the skills its worth making the effort to impress.