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How To Be Chivalrous

How to be a gentleman in 2015 is hard. Some new research from Lindeman’s shows that expectations on what constitutes a gentleman in 2015 have evolved to reflect modern-day values and traditional stereotypes are now outdated.

The research revealed that men want to be seen as a gentleman and women want their men to behave as a gentleman, but four out of five men agree that the art of being a gentleman is not as simple and well-defined as it used to be.

The Etiquette Of It All

Anna Musson, Lindeman’s Etiquette Expert says Australian men should take a leaf from traditional etiquette rules of what makes a gentleman but always be open to modifying behaviours for new technology and ever-changing modern values.

“Two in three millennial men (65%) still aspire to be a gentleman and three quarters of millennial women want to date one (76%) but less than half of millennial males (45%) would actually describe themselves as such. Men are no longer confident in their ‘gentlemanliness’,” said Musson.

“A lot of our popular culture, including reality TV, reinforces outdated notions of what women want and what it takes to be considered a gentlemen. Some of the old-fashioned rules, particularly those that are very formal or don’t recognise equality between the sexes, they simply don’t reflect today’s society and expectations from women, families and peers,” said Musson.

“This research shows that the definition of a modern gentleman has changed and is much more relevant to how we live today,” said Musson.

The independent research conducted for Lindeman’s by Galaxy looked at all aspects of being a gentleman, from gentlemanly traits and characteristics, dress codes and grooming and behaviours when dating, dining out and using digital and social media. The results reveal a significant shift between the old rules and new, including:


  1. Forget the brawn – personality comes first: Almost three quarters of millennials (73%) agree that it’s no longer important for a gentlemen to be brave and gallant, or strong or manly (70%). Far more important is having a good sense of humour, according to 64% of millennial females.


  1. Hallelujah! She’s happy to go ‘halves’ when dining out: Over half of females (60%) believe it’s no longer important for the gentleman to be the one to pick up the cheque at dinner.


  1. Lads, put the suit and tie away. Your date is good with jeans and a tee: Only 8% of millennials thought it would be ‘ungentlemanly’ to dress casually for a first date and only 26% think it’s inappropriate to wear tracksuits outside of the home. Only 17% of millennials think a gentleman would tend towards overdressing for an occasion, however making an effort with appearance is important according to 63%, as is understanding dress codes (67%).


  1. Sayonara to those awkward chats with her old man. Less than a third of millennial females and males (32% and 30% respectively) believe that a gentleman should ask parental permission before popping the question.


  1. Get comfy and rest those tired limbs. She’s good to get the door and doesn’t expect you to wait: Less than half of millennials (40%) think that a gentleman should open the car door for his date and only a third (30%) of millennial females agree that a gentleman should wait for his partner to take a seat at the table first.


  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. She’ll be right! Two thirds of millennial females (68%) no longer think it’s important for a gentleman to help a lady with her coat.


  1. Blooms are out of season. Spend your money wisely: Just over one quarter of millennial females (27%) believe that a gentleman should spend money on flowers for no reason.

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  1. Remember how mum told you to behave when you were a boy? Exactly, do that. According to nine in 10 millennials (90%), a modern gentleman should show good manners, be polite and considerate (91%), be honest and trustworthy (79%), punctual and reliable (85%).


  1. It may only be her second cousin’s niece’s wedding but it’s important to be by her side: Almost three quarters (72%) of millennial females agree that a gentleman should make an effort with his partner’s family.


  1. The home is a shared domain: A modern gentleman should pick his dirty clothes up off the floor; unsurprisingly over half of females (54%) think it’s just as important for a gentleman to pick their clothes up off the floor as it is to pick out an outfit to wear.


  1. A modern gentleman need not be prudish: Only one in three millennials (32%) think it’s ungentlemanly to have sex on the first date and only 29% of millennials believe that sexting is unacceptable.


  1. Texting is a wonder of modern technology, but know when enough is enough: A modern gentleman should send a text or call if he is running late for a date according to two thirds (67%) of millennials. However, almost three quarters of millennial females (72%) agree he should not get distracted by calls or texts during a date and forget about breaking up via text – 80% of millennial females say this is unacceptable.


  1. Show you care and listen up: Almost nine in 10 millennial females (88%) think it’s gentlemanly to listen intently whilst being spoken to and 81% think it’s important not to interrupt or talk over others.


  1. Consideration is a big part of social: Three in five millennial females (59%) think a gentleman should ask their partner before changing their relationship status on Facebook and almost three quarters of millennial females (73%) think it’s inappropriate to take photos of their partner in a compromising position.


  1. Everyone agrees – not every weekend can be a boys’ weekend: 54% of millennials (and 56% of millennial females) think that a gentleman should prioritise time with their partner over their mates. Three in five millennial females (60%) think a modern gentleman should know when it’s appropriate to be romantic.


  1. Safety comes first: 60% of all millennials and 72% of millennial females think that a gentleman should either drop their partner home after a date or make sure they get home safely.


  1. The time has come. She’s finally ready to hear about your day on the golf course: Less than 13% of millennials have a problem with talking about sport when dining out.


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James Banham
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James Banham

Editor at THE F
James Banham is an Australian lifestyle, fashion and entertainment journalist. His writing can be found on these many topics and more in print and online publications around the country.
James Banham
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