In a world still striving to gain gender equality, the concept of chivalry may seem like the antithesis of progress. Chivalry began as a code of conduct for Medieval Knights that included oaths of loyalty, honor, bravery and gallantry toward women. By this definition, chivalry may seem to have no place in today’s society. The door opening deference of one gender to the other would appear to only emphasize an imbalance of the genders. Yet, the message chivalrous behavior gives our partner is not one of inequality, but rather one of courtesy and consideration. In today’s world, chivalry is neither exclusively for males, nor is it solely a heterosexual practice. Women can, and should, show the same level of attentiveness to their partners and any couple whether gay or straight can enjoy the benefits chivalry brings to a relationship.
Here are three ways chivalry can improve your relationship.
Chivalrous behaviors are good manners and responsiveness concerning your partner’s needs and safety. Some traditional examples might include holding a chair while someone sits down or carrying someone’s books for them. Taking care of your partner is an important way to form a bond between you. Whether you are sharing your umbrella when it’s raining, walking on the outside of the sidewalk or merely checking to make sure your partner got to their destination safely, chivalry shows your partner you care about them.
Chivalry allows partners to build trust in one another. Remember that game we played as children in which you stood with your back to a group of your peers and fell backward? You had to trust that someone in the group would catch you. Couples who regularly lean on one another have developed that same kind of blind trust. They know they can fall and their partner will be there to catch them. By regularly giving your partner the consideration typical of chivalrous manners your partner will know they can depend on you.
Chivalrous gestures are romantic and make your partner feel good. While your partner is perfectly capable of opening doors or carrying their own umbrella, there is a tenderness in doing these things for your partner. Simply offering your arm while walking creates a sense of intimacy between you.
While the days of a man being expected to pick up the tab for a dinner date may be long gone, chivalry is not dead. Making chivalrous gestures to show your partner that you are attentive to their needs will show that you care, secure trust in your relationship and help keep your romance strong. Is chivalry alive in your relationship?
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