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Is the age of chivalry dead? In an age where “you’re fit” and “grab your coat you’ve pulled” seem to be the ways in which so many lads attempt to woo the ones that catch their eye, I can’t help but be saddened that the days where genuine gentlemanly ways are long gone.
On the other hand, perhaps the tragedy here is that chivalry is not dead, but is being used as a weapon now. What was once considered to be simple manners from a male to a female have now become the very things that make a girl be fooled by all the things that aren’t right about the relationship. Don’t get me wrong, us females all have it in us to be complete and utter suckers for sweet lines and adorable attributes. For example, when a guy holds a door open for me, an undeniable and entirely uncontrollable smile always paints my face. I fear a few too many guys around campus think I fancy them!
When I was little I remember my Grandma telling my brother about how to be a gentleman to a girl. She told him to always stand on the side closest to the road when walking on the pavement, always stand in front of her when going downstairs, hold the door for her, stand up when she comes to the table and pull out her chair. Today, most of these are not considered necessary and many of us would even dislike being doted on to such an extent.
Gone are the days when the set up of a date starts with flowers and a kiss on the cheek and ends with a hand held walk home and stolen kiss at the end of the night. You’ve probably kissed within seconds of meeting in a dark club where you can’t even see their face properly and slept together before knowing their full name. So where did the romance go? Did it disappear or are we pushing against it? With more and more women swearing off men and doing everything within their power to avoid falling for someone at the first hurdle, romance seems to have gone on strike. But do we do deserve it if we are not going to put ourselves out there?
So, there are two things that concern me. Firstly, that the age of chivalry is gone and the age of “wanna come back to mine” is all that is left in the stages of being wooed. The second thing that concerns me is that the age of chivalry is not dead and we will either overlook such acts because we have become so obsessed with being independent women or perhaps even worse, girls will fall at the feet of the first guy that holds a door for her. I know girls who are dating guys who are the absolute definition of jerk, but they are blinded by the occasional “you’re beautiful”. It seems that using the words “stunning” or “beautiful” instead of “fit” has become cute enough to forgive the various jerk behaviour that dominates his personality.
When I hear stories such as these, it really does make me wonder, as the Black Eyed Peas would say- where is the love?… The other day I was sat in the pub and there was a couple in front of me who appeared to be on a first date. They seemed to be getting on well but there was a certain awkwardness about them. Next thing I know they are both looking over the woman’s iPhone, so I assumed they had managed to save the conversation by showing pictures of family, or something relevant to the conversation. To my surprise, after smiling over the phone for a while, I watched the guy sit back in his chair while she continued tapping her phone. So naturally, I sent a spy to ‘casually’ walk past to see what she was doing. Sure enough, on her iPhone, in the midst of what could only be the first of very few dates, she was playing games. I couldn’t believe it, is this what romance has come to?
Similarly, I was told another story that places further doubt on the sanctity of romance. A friend told me of a couple she knew who recently went on holiday and to ensure that they paid the same amount towards spending money they put the same amount into a ‘kitty’ every morning- that seems fair enough. On this particular occasion, they were £5 short of what they needed for a dinner bill so the guy put the extra in, only to clarify afterwards, “remember that I have put extra in so you will need to put the same in tomorrow”. I’m all for going ‘dutch’, and it shouldn’t have to always be the man that pays, but talk about taking any spark or spontaneity out of a relationship! I’m guessing any flowers she receives she’ll be paying half towards! Even though it would probably be laughable to see a guy kiss a girl on the hand, quite frankly it would be a breath of fresh air compared to being groped or – I tell no lie- bitten on the shoulder in Sugarhouse.
Hopefully there are some old romantics still out there, or at least some lads that remember what their Grandma’s told them when they were little! We’ve all had bad experiences in love, unfortunately it’s a fact, while you’re looking for the one that makes your heart race, you’re bound to come across some flat liners. I’d like to think chivalry is not dead, it’s just hiding.