I’m continually shocked at the messages I read on women’s dating and lifestyle websites, where single women complain about guys that open doors for them, pull out their chair, or help them with their coat. Somehow they find this offensive, intrusive or anti-feminist. They seem to have missed a fundamental point. If a guy does things for you because he thinks you’re incapable of doing them yourself, that’s offensive. If he’s doing it because he wants to be nice and treat you with kindness and respect, then that’s being a gentleman. Here are three big reasons why that’s exactly the kind of guy you want to date–and hopefully marry.
You Feel Special
Most of us have fantasized about the perks of being royalty and being waited on hand and foot. So when you get to sit in the car and wait for your date to open the door for you, and then he holds your hand to help you out, it’s a little taste of being a princess. Why wouldn’t you want a guy to lift you over a mud puddle or icy step to prevent ruining your designer shoes or falling and breaking your neck? A guy that’s considerate of your well-being and happiness is the kind of guy you want around.
Once you’ve dated a gentleman, the contrast with other guys is actually shocking. I remember driving to an event with a guy friend, and though we weren’t dating, I was expecting some of the same courtesies I was used to. When we arrived, he got out of the car and started across the parking lot, leaving me far behind. Wearing a long dress, I had to clamber out of the car myself, and then try to rush through the rain in my high heels. Some women might say he was treating me as an equal, but I would have preferred an umbrella over my head and an arm to hold onto.
Gentlemanly Behavior Creates Intimacy
Doing everything yourself may make you independent, but it naturally creates a distance between you and your guy. A gentleman is always very close to you. He uses his body as a wall to protect you from the crush of a crowded party. He puts his hands on your shoulders to take your coat, or holds your arm to help you balance on steep stairs. He gives you his jacket and puts his arms around you when you are cold. All of these acts create a feeling of warmth and affection, and they can be pretty seductive as well.
You Get a True Partnership
You may worry that letting a guy open doors for you will lead to an old-fashioned relationship, with the woman as the weaker partner. The truth is, a relationship is what you make it, and it’s easy to mix traditional practices in with more modern sensibilities. My husband opens the door for me most of the time, but if he’s carrying four bags of groceries, I will open the door for him. He cleans the snow off of the car while I sit inside and stay warm; I help him carry and then pack all of the 400lb boxes of DIY furniture into the car so he doesn’t get a hernia.
When I go shopping alone, my arm gets tired from carrying all of the packages, I get flustered trying to make decisions, and I usually lose an earring. Telling my husband that I can’t shop without him doesn’t make me weak, and doesn’t make him think less of me. Instead it makes him feel needed and appreciated. When he tells me he can’t talk to his boss without getting my input first, I still respect him, and I feel needed and appreciated, too.
You can feel independent as you each pay your own bills, cook your own meals, and open your own doors. But when a guy opens the door for you, it creates an instant atmosphere of give and take. You both want to do things for each other, rather than just for yourselves, and that’s a great foundation for a relationship.
More from this contributor:
Is Putting Your Hand on Your Man’s Inner Thigh Appropriate in Public?
What you Hate About Your Man’s Morning Ritual
Chicago Date Night Ideas