WHY CHIVALRY IS DEAD BUT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE

Chivalry is the code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood, originally conceived as an aristocratic warrior code.  Maybe that’s why women have always liked “bad boys” through the centuries. But hard to get is also hard to keep. Perhaps chivalry was something the shining knight used in pursuit of the maiden; after the wedding, perhaps the armor tarnished.

Merriam Webster’s dictionary has four definitions of Chivalry, to which the only modern version is “gallant or distinguished gentlemen.” Maybe the fact that society has slipped several notches in the formal etiquette implies that there are fewer gentlemen out there; or ladies. Pomp and circumstance is now circumstantial punk.

To me, the biggest impact to dating is crowd-sourcing. It started with IM—instant messaging.  I could never understand when my son or daughter had “nothing to do” at 7:00pm on a given Saturday night, and yet at 7:30pm they were headed to a big bash. Why?  The crowd had achieved the tipping point in consensus for where to hang out, i.e. whose parents were out of town. This phenomenon evolved into Facebook and now Twitter. Name me any recent time when a young guy simply asked a girl out for a first date, without first meeting in a group activity. It’s a rarity.

For chivalry to return, the first step is for a man to take the first step and ask a girl out. The next step is to remember that the Greek origin of the word “date” is “didonal” which means “to give.”  Whether you are taking a business colleague, an old friend, one of your relatives, or a potential sweetheart out on a date, it’s up to you to give that person a good time. To give someone a good time, you need to prepare for it, find what they like to do, and extend every effort to honor them on your date.  It’s not that hard. Chivalry doesn’t have to be dead.  It starts with the principles of Dating for Life

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