How to Treat a Gentleman***

I was recently talking to a male friend about relationships. Somehow we got into a discussion about books on relationships, and I pointed out that many of the books giving out relationship advice focus on men and how to treat women. I got to wondering, “Where are the books about how to treat men?”

So here it is…v55173w presents…How to Treat a Gentleman

1.) Let him be a gentleman. I consider myself to be a feminist, but I also consider myself to be feminine. I’ll leave it up to the men to be masculine. If a man ever shows you in any way that he is a gentleman, let him do it. Don’t tell him “I can open the door/pull out my chair/take off my jacket all by myself” when he offers to do these things for you. And when it comes time to pay the check at dinner, don’t assume that he’s going to pay for it, but if he puts his card down, let him. It’s fine to offer to pay your piece or help out with the tip, but if he insists on paying, let him do it ’cause you know that if he lets you pay the first thing you’re gonna do is go home and whine to your girlfriends that he’s a cheapskate who didn’t pay for your plate of rabbit food. And to be honest, I think that when you play the “let me pay” game too much, it hurts his manhood.

2.) Give him a day off from the need to embody effortless perfection-Women have it hard with the images of size -5 women with doctorate degrees from Harvard, perfect birthing hips, millions in her bank account, and the ability to have a freshly made homecooked organic meal on the table each night. Despite these unrealistic, unattainable gender roles, I’m not sure women often pause and think about the unrealistic images that men face. It can’t be easy to be 6′ plus, have that Ivy League degree, money in the bank, nice muscles, a flashy car, the ability to provide for a perfect family, pick up flowers on the way from home AND help old ladies across the street all at the same time. True gentlemen really are good at heart, but if they slip every now and then, give them a break.

3.) Let him know that he’s better than the thugs and meatheads.-I’ve never been the type to be attracted to the bad boy or anyone from the cast of Jersey Shore (Give me a suit and tie over gelled hair and a leather jacket any day!), so I’ve never really understand why the nice guys feel the need to be “the bad boy” or to live on the edge in order to get a woman’s attention. Then I looked around at some of the most attractive women I know, and they go for the bad boys because they’re looking for adventure or they’re attracted to the men who take risks. These guys usually end up breaking hearts and the nice guy is the one who picks up the pieces. Ladies, stop going after the bad boys. Stick with the sweetheart that’s going to be there for you no matter what, and let him know that he’s worth it.

4.) Be grateful and sharing is caring.-Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard it all before that it’s the job of the man to buy the chocolates, champagne and flowers on Valentines Day/anniversaries/birthdays/Christmas/Groundhogs Day. It’s chivalry, and it’s how men are supposed to prove that they’re romantic and not just a bag of bones. But danggit, be grateful! Don’t return the heart-shaped box and say “Get me something better.” If you have a man that’s willing to spoil you with gifts on special occasions, don’t tell him to upgrade those gifts if they’re not exactly what you wanted. And when you crack open the bottle of bubbly, pour a glass for him, and let him have first pick at the box of chocolates.

5.) Take advice from him and let him win when he’s right.-Yes, sometimes he knows better than you do and is right. ‘Nuff said.

6.) Give him space to breathe-Together time is great, but you know how you feel when you’ve been wearing those really cute 4-inch heels that look great and give you confidence but hurt really bad if you wear them for way too long? Don’t be those shoes to a gentleman. Sometimes he needs to get away to have a beer and watch the playoffs without you. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you anymore or that he’s more dedicated to the can of Bud or the ballgame. It just means he needs some alone time and when he returns to you, it will feel like the first day you did the sign and swipe and made that pretty pair of heels your own.

7.) Occasionally, revert to the old-timer hunter-gatherer roles.-Tarzan=hunter. Jane=gatherer. It’s in men’s nature to want to hunt and chase. If everything they want is right there, they’ve got nothing left to do and they get bored. BUT they’ll chase if they see something (or someone) they want and they’ll find it more rewarding when they get it (or her). It works both ways–when a man is allowed to chase a woman, she knows he’s interested because he keeps up with the pursuit. But don’t be too coy. The way I put it is that you let a man chase you, but leave breadcrumbs so he knows he’s going in the right direction!

8. When you get a good one, don’t let him get away.-Can’t get any clearer than that.

***Disclaimer-I’m a single lady, so if the above are ineffective, don’t blame me. I really don’t know what I’m talking about.

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