Manners Maketh Man: 7 Dating Habits to Bring Back


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Times change, and along with them – social norms change. Technology changes. Acceptable behavior changes (sometimes for better, sometimes for worse), and basically, well, everything changes.

For this reason, we cannot always simply ‘bring back’ certain concepts that were once widely accepted or appreciated, and for good reason. But what we can do is glance back at the past and pull the frosting off the top, so to speak. Particularly when it comes to dating and relationships, there have been noticeable changes in the way we approach and treat each other.

The origins of chivalry may be ancient, and not all considered appropriate for modern society. But, we can take the parts we want that we feel will make the dating process better, and leave the rest to lay where it is. Here are a few practices that I feel are the ‘frosting off the top’ of the way things were, but often are no longer. We can learn, adjust, and mold them to fit current trends.


Actually take the time to plan a date.

One of the most common complaints I hear from women is that men expect a casual text invitation to ‘hang out’ to pass as a date, and to send the same message. It most definitely does not – the effort you put into planning a date sends a woman the message of how much you are [or aren’t] truly interested in her.

In the age of technology, you are likely texting or chatting for awhile before you actually see each other. Use this time to discover some of her interests and plan something accordingly. In an age of apathy, your efforts will be well received.

Open doors for her.

I have countless articles with this point already in them, but it’s one of the staples of chivalrous respect and probably the easiest to perform, as we all walk through doors every day. I don’t want to make any assumptions, but something tells me the extra few seconds it takes to open a door or let someone walk through first won’t ruin your day.

The same goes for car doors, a woman will appreciate you getting out of the car to open the door for her, or walking around to her side first, when you’re picking her up. It’s amazing to me how many men don’t do this.

No cell phones.

This point is a bit cringe-worthy because it certainly should be the stuff of common sense – not of perceived chivalry or exceptional courtesy. Unfortunately, though, it is necessary.

Do not touch your cell phone during your date. Leave it in your pocket. Glance at it when you use the restroom if you must. If you are expecting an emergency call or text, inform your date at the beginning of the evening.

If you are constantly tempted to use your cell phone, perhaps you should take it as a sign that you are not out with someone who is a great match for you, anyway. But regardless – keep it away as a sign of respect. She will notice.


Walking her to her door.

At the end of your date, especially early on in the relationship, walk her safely to her door. This is especially important if she lives in a city. It shows you’re willing to put effort into protecting her and makes her feel safe – two important aspects of building her trust and comfort.

Walking on the street side of the sidewalk.

The purpose of this lost art is to show your willingness to be splashed instead of a woman should a passing car run through a puddle. Furthermore, in some countries people would throw trash out of windows, and the person walking closer to the building, was less likely to be hit.

It’s an effortless way to show her that you care.

Pay the bill.

All of it.

Dress appropriately.

How can the way you dress be considered an act of chivalry? Well, because the way you dress not only speaks to the respect you have for yourself, but also for the respect you have for the people you are dressing to be around. The more effort you put into how you look, the more it shows you value how the other person is going to perceive you and act towards you in return.

As a general rule of thumb, do your best to wear a blazer or sports jacket. Not yet convinced? It will help to make your shoulders look broader and your waist look trimmer. Both attractive qualities to women. As Tom Ford says: You should always keep your jacket buttoned, it will make you look ten pounds lighter.


Chivalry has evolved, as it should. It is not reasonable to expect to read articles telling us to lay our jackets across a puddle so that our date may walk across it, but it is reasonable to understand that common courtesy and respect never go out of style.

While many of today’s men have lost sight of these simple acts, or perhaps never learned them in the first place – the gentleman who holds himself to higher standards will always work to keep them alive.

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  1. Maria Matthews on July 19, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    From a happily married woman of 33 years, point of view I was focusing on the section of your post that concentrated on manners (as our parents used to call them). I love it when a man opens a door for me, such a simple gesture can raise your spirits, make you feel noticed, included etc. However my husband encountered a young woman one day who was annoyed he did this for her so perhaps, these few nicities are doomed for extinction over time. I for one, hope this will not be the case.

    • Susan L. Edelman, MD on August 1, 2016 at 12:56 am

      I agree with you Maria! I talked to a man about my book and he told me a woman slapped him when he opened a door for her. I hope women will begin to appreciate the manners of nice men, instead of being insulted by them. Then men can feel comfortable being gentlemen. How can it be bad for women to be treated better?

  2. Susan L. Edelman, MD on July 19, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    As a practicing psychiatrist, I’m very concerned about how many women have trouble figuring out that a man isn’t into them because these norms have changed so much.That’s why I wrote my books. I wanted to help women stop putting up with poor treatment from men. We can bring back these manners if we stop making excuses for men who don’t treat us well. It’s time for a revolution! What do you think?

    • The Re-Invention of Me on July 28, 2016 at 1:02 am

      I agree with you! Unfortunately, I have been one of those women who put up with bad manners/bad behavior until I said goodbye to this bloke for good. I think when we’re vulnerable and hurting, we make the mistake of inviting the wrong partner into our lives. However, when we’re in a good place or positive mindset, I think we make healthier choices.

      • Susan L. Edelman, MD on August 1, 2016 at 1:01 am

        That’s wonderful that you’ve re-invented yourself! You’re an inspiration to all those people hurting with the wrong partner!

      • The Re-Invention of Me on August 1, 2016 at 4:56 pm

        Thank you! I’m grateful to be an inspiration so that my pain isn’t wasted.

  3. Keabetswe on July 20, 2016 at 10:25 am

    All these traits are those of Alpha males, which thereof includes my dearest partner. If a man is really interested in you amd wants u to be his Queen, u need not even question the way he treats you. You will actuall know it, feel it deep down that right there is an Alpha, and above all u also as a woman be an Alpha female. These traits mentioned have never changed, it only takes a real man to do all that

  4. Ceece's Travel on July 24, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Can I get a hell yeah for this post! And as a openly bi sexual woman, can I ask that the ladies of the world also treat men with the same respect.

    Let him pay for the bill but ask if you can contribute.
    Open doors for him.
    Tell him he looks good when you can see he has made an effort in his dress.
    Tell him when he does things for you that you appreciate them.
    Ask him how he’s day went?

    I think that both men and woman need to bring a little more love, respect and happiness back to the dating game. It takes two to tango!

  5. The Re-Invention of Me on July 28, 2016 at 1:05 am

    We teach people how to treat us. If we let someone know from the beginning that we don’t tolerate disrespect /bad behavior then we’re less inclined to be mistreated. It’s a learning process and part of growing from our experiences.

  6. […] – aren’t guys complicated? Sometimes just ridiculously complicated? They run hot and cold, they stop texting you out of nowhere, or ALL they do is text you and NEVER seem to try to make plans. What […]

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