How to Be a Gentleman on Valentine’s Day
“I love an old school gentleman. Picking me up for dates, sending flowers, holding the door open. I love it all.” –Mollie King
Nothing is more attractive to others than a gentleman or gentlemanly behavior. And nothing is more flattering to a date than being with a man who behaves like a gentleman when he is in her presence. It is the ultimate compliment he can pay her. This Valentine’s Day charm her with your old-school gentlemanly manners. Here’s how:
Make an effort and dress appropriately. Do make an effort to look especially nice for your date; and dress appropriately for the restaurant or event you will be attending. When you are dressed appropriately, it shows respect for your date as well as the event you will be attending.
Be well groomed. Of course you will have shaved, brushed your teeth, and combed your hair; but you should also check for nose or ear hairs, as well as polish your shoes. Research shows that the one of the first things a female notices about a male is his shoes.
Be on time. Being on time is essential if you want to make a good impression and start the date off on a positive note. It shows that you respect your date and consider her time as valuable as yours. If you are going to be late—and it better be for a good reason—call your date and let her know you will be late.
Be complimentary. Tell your date how great she looks. Your date will have made a real effort to look good for you, and she will appreciate a sincere compliment from you.
Help your date with her coat. Hold her coat at waist length while she slips in one arm, and then the other– after which you will pull it up and over her shoulders. (You don’t have to button it for her.)
Open doors. When she is about to enter your car, a restaurant, or anywhere with a door, you should always open it for her. If you are going through a revolving door, and the door is already in motion, let her go through first. If the door is not moving, go through it first, and let her follow you through it.
Slide over in the taxi. If you are taking a taxi to your destination, and the two of you have to enter the taxi from the curb side, you should get in the taxi first, and slide over to the other side of the taxi. Your date should not have to slide over. If you can enter from the street side, you would open the curb side door for your date, let her enter, close the door, and go to the street side of the taxi to enter it.
Walk on the curb side. A gentleman should always walk on the curb side when walking down the sidewalk–unless there appears to be more danger on the inside. The idea behind this is for the gentleman to protect the lady; or in the case of inclement weather to keep her from getting splashed by cars on the street side.
Give her your arm. When walking with your date outside, give her your arm—particularly if she is wearing her four inch high designer heels. And you would also give her your arm if you escorting to and from social events, and especially into a formal dining room.
At the theater. If you are taking your date to the theater, and there is an usher to take you to your seats, you would let her follow the usher, ahead of you. If there is not an usher, or he is half way down the aisle, you would go first until you reach the usher, then you would let your date step in front of you to go behind the usher. If the two of you are sitting at the end of the aisle, the man should sit on the aisle, with the lady on the inside.
At the restaurant. Always pull out the chair and “seat” your date if she will be sitting in a chair. If you are seated at a banquette, be sure to give her the seat that looks out into the room.
Mind your manners at the table. You should have—at the very least—a basic understanding of dining etiquette and table manners. If not, make it a point to learn what it means to conduct oneself with decorum at the table before going out to eat with your date. There is not better or worse place to make an impression than at the table.
Give her your full attention. Nothing is more charming than having someone give you his or her full attention. By giving her your full attention, you will make her feel like the most important person in the room. Make eye contact when she speaks, don’t interrupt, and avoid talking about yourself too much. And do not answer or text on your smartphone while you are at the restaurant.
Pay the check. A gentleman pays the check—at least on Valentine’s Day and a first date. Even if she offers to help with the check, don’t accept her offer.
End the date on a pleasant note. You may have decided that you liked your date and found her to be interesting, but that she is not the one for you. Even so, be a gentleman, and make sure she gets home safely.
By: Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick
Updated: February 2018