It pains me to write this piece; it really does.
In fact, I really wish I didn’t have to write it…but I do. Enough is more than enough, I say. So do each one of my single (yet fabulous) girlfriends.
I don’t know whether some men (keyword: some, I don’t want to generalize) mistook the recent – and long overdue – surge in mass feminism as an excuse to throw not only their chivalry but basic consideration for women out the window, but their behaviour is leaving a lot to be desired. And I am not even talking about added bonuses like holding doors, sending flowers or walking on the outer side of the sidewalk. I am talking about plain, old-fashioned respect; the most defining characteristic of a gentleman.
Because a few reminders are clealry in order, here are 5 tips that may help your gentleman cause.
Don’t make it convenient for you.
This one blows my mind, mainly because it’s an inconsiderate thing to suggest for anyone – whether you’re my family member, friend, acquaintance or guy I met online. When deciding on a place to meet up for a first date (or a second or third date, for that matter), don’t suggest a place that happens to be conveniently in your neighbourhood and on the other side of town for me. Not only does it scream laziness and that you don’t want to make an effort (immediate red flags when it comes to relationship potential), it also suggests that you’d like us to end up at your place. Rude. Either suggest meeting halfway or going to their ‘hood.
Just because we hooked up with you years ago doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again when we “catch up.”
I don’t know if it was the breezy summer air or what, but over the past few months, a couple of guys from my past – both of whom I had dated – have reached out wanting to “catch up.” While I genuinely care for both of these people and wouldn’t mind chatting over coffee or cocktails, I find it disconcerting that the assumption is that we are going to hook up once the bill is paid – even if its been years since we’ve spoken – because that’s what we’ve always done. A lot can change in a few years.
The fact that we’re on a date doesn’t give you permission to touch me.
Despite the powerful and impossible-to-ignore dialogue when it comes to sexual assault and consent, I am constantly surprised at the many men who think the merit that they are on a date with you alone gives them the permission to rest their hand on your leg, put their arm around you or wrap their hands around your waist – all without any invitation whatsoever that such an advance is wanted or invited. It’s weird and it’s happening to too many of my friends on first dates.
Don’t ask a question only to ignore my response.
It’s one thing not to reach out or to ignore a text message – both of which send a message loud and clear that you’re not into it. Fair. We’ve all been on that end of things. But please, for the love of god, don’t make an effort to engage – to send a first text or to ask a question – only to have the other person write back, perhaps ask their own question, then leave them hanging. That’s even worse.
Stop interrupting and listen.
I once knew a date – one I had thought was full of potential – was going nowhere two minutes in after he has interrupted me twice. Equally as annoying as the perpetual interrupter is someone who doesn’t listen to what you’re saying. It’s important to actively listen on first dates so that potential second dates don’t end up a replicate of the first. And, a friendly reminder, being on your phone is just as bad as interrupting. Neither of us has time to have the exact same conversations on a second date, if you even make it that far.
In general, in comes down to respect. If there’s any questioning, treat her the same way you’d treat your mom, sister or daughter. It’s really that easy.