How to Practice the Fine Art of Chivalry in a Shifting Culture
Relationships often evolve from the immediate family of origin. Understanding how they work, communication, and conflict resolution are key elements of family life. Social media is now leading the charge in how people pursue relationships in a romantic sense with traditional ways of dating going more and more by the wayside. The popularity of texting reduces the use of phone calls or even email. With the changes in relationship culture, it is common to think of more casual dating than overly romantic gestures. That does not mean chivalry is dead. Quite the opposite, actually, and there are ways to support being chivalrous in a relationship even as culture seems to shift the other way.
Meaning of Chivalry
Chivalry is the act of showing courtesy towards women. The term is analogous with being a gentleman. Origins of the word chivalry date back to a class of feudal times in the European Middle Ages. it refers to men armed as knights and prepared for battle. These knights were expected to behave honorably and courteously. In a dating sense, a man showcases chivalry by displaying the standard act of opening a woman’s door, walking on the street side of the sidewalk, and just being courteous overall.
Long Distance Relationships
People who meet are now finding each other hundreds of miles apart, in some cases. They often date in the same city but live far apart or move into a home together to be closer. Meeting someone across the country and starting a relationship is not unheard of. Traveling the world more quickly and efficiently is putting stress on people’s relationships even as they are more connected. Less talking is going on and more texting. Technology is amazing but it can also remove people from feeling connected to a loved one in the sense of being nearby to see one another frequently and build a bond.
Examples of Chivalry
When men and women think of chivalrous acts, some come to mind for most like opening doors but there are lots of ways men can treat women in a chivalrous way when it comes to relationships:
- Opening the car door for her first or when arriving at a destination
- Giving up a seat if one is not available
- Be concerned for her safety in getting home
- Pull out her chair before she sits
- Offer nice gestures like flowers and surprise dates
- Give compliments
- Have a plan for a date
- Call just to talk on the phone
The relational landscape may be evolving and changing but it is alive and well in terms of chivalry. It depends on relationship expectations and experiences. Men must rise to the occasion and make it a regular practice. With common ground between them, men and women can establish and maintain chivalrous relationships for a long time to come.
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