How to Be a Modern Gentleman

How to Be a Modern Gentleman

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

If it seems like chivalry is dead, you’d be incorrect in assuming such. However, women recognize that it is becoming harder and harder to find the type of man who has long been termed “a gentleman”.[1]
Men, let’s be frank; this article is for you. If you haven’t scored a second date recently – or ever – it may be time to reevaluate your dating technique. There’s no need to be in the dark when it comes to the right way to treat women. Becoming a modern gentleman is just a few steps away.


  1. Understand that equality doesn’t mean throwing your manners and good taste out of the window. The dating game is still about captivating one another, impressing one another, and being on your best behavior. Behaving in an ungentlemanly manner might get some laughs in the retelling and it might even temporarily attract a woman who is into the date for a lark but it won’t get you a long-term commitment and it definitely won’t win you respect. Boldly stating that women are equal so they can jolly well pay and put up with you as you are is a blinkered approach to dating. The importance of indulging in a little etiquette when dating will be repaid by a dating experience that is considerate, caring, and most of all, more fun because your date will definitely be impressed by your manners and what used to be referred to as “good breeding”. So, it’s time to dress well, plan a decent date, and polish up your gentlemanly ways.
  2. Be on time. A gentleman never keeps his date waiting but is punctual and ready to go at the appointed hour. Set your alarm if needed, and plan how long it will take to arrive at your destination ahead of time.
    • Don’t be late without a very good excuse and be sure to phone her to explain what has happened to hold you up. She may not wait long, especially if she’s had previous experiences with non-gentleman types standing her up.
  3. Compliment your date. Women like reassurance when it comes to their appearance. A great way to make a positive first impression is by offering a compliment on your date’s appearance. Be cautious though. Using cliched pick-up lines and corny compliments would make most women sprint back to their apartments. Be careful not to come across as creepy. No girl likes to feel objectified. Keep the compliments light and innocent.
    • Never insult your date. One quick way to guarantee you don’t get a second date is to insult your date. If you recognize that you are a person prone to criticizing, try to hold back on even the slightest criticism. Making any criticism, no matter how constructive you feel it to be, will probably come across as an insult which will start the downhill spiral of your date. If you recognize that you are a sarcastic or humorous person, be careful not to take a joke too far. Even if you’re joking, a woman may take your joke the wrong way. It’s best to avoid anything resembling an insult or a sarcastic tone altogether, and if it’s politically incorrect, volatile, or gossip, don’t say it.
  4. Open doors for your date. Men, this is chivalry 101. When walking out of any door, make sure you hold the door open for your date and let her walk out first.[2] This will make your date feel special and respected. There’s no need to do this with flamboyant gestures though; just do it subtly and thoughtfully.
    • Don’t let the door slam on your date. This should be a given. When walking out of doors, it’s rude to walk out first, especially when that means letting the door close on your date. To women, this action signals selfishness. Men, if you’re afraid of looking like you care too much, don’t. It’s not a sign of weakness to open doors for your dates, in fact, it is just the opposite.
  5. Help your date to her chair before you sit down. This may seem odd because it doesn’t happen very often these days, but by pulling out the chair for your date so she can sit down first, this shows your date that you care about her interests before your own. It is also a very gentlemanly gesture liable to score you a big win in the manners stakes.
    • Don’t pull the chair out so she falls down. Remember how old you are; this kind of prank didn’t work in the sixth grade, and it definitely won’t work now. Your date will be embarrassed or shocked and if she doesn’t leave right then and there, she definitely won’t stick around for a second date.
    • If you are eating with others at the table, wait until everyone is seated and ready to eat before beginning to eat. A gentleman does not bolt down his dinner.
  6. Ask questions about your date. Be a good conversationalist. Don’t be afraid of awkward silence; instead, keep the conversation rolling by coming prepared with plenty of things to talk about. Your date will feel respected if you listen to what she has to say and she will be impressed if you don’t let the conversation drop.
    • Don’t play with your food, talk while chewing, yawn, etc. Being a modern gentleman means sitting up straight and looking your date in the eye when you’re talking to each other. Don’t spend too much time looking down at your plate – your mashed potatoes can’t talk back.
    • Don’t flaunt being wealthy or talk derogatorily about people who are wealthy. Both approaches show a total lack of refinement and cause the listener to squirm uncomfortably, wondering what personal takeover or revolution you’re planning next. If you are wealthy and you want to make this evident, wear quality clothing but don’t brag.[3] On the other hand, no man needs to be wealthy to have good taste, so wear good, clean, and well-pressed clothing whatever your means.
    • Read How to make small talk for more ideas on finding topics to talk about.
  7. Be prepared to pay for you and your date’s meals. If she offers to pay, kindly refuse. Remind her that you are on a date and it is your pleasure to take the bill. There is a lot of confusion about this aspect of a date but a gentleman is never confused; a gentleman simply gets on with paying.
    • Don’t use the ruse of leaving your wallet behind and expecting your date to pay. Even if you don’t “forget” your wallet, don’t expect your date to pay for her own meal. When the waitress comes by with the bill, don’t hesitate to grab it. By leaving it on the table for too long, your date might get nervous wondering if you’re going to pay.
  8. Offer your arm when walking with your date. This is a gentlemanly act and it is also one guaranteed to help your date when she’s walking on uneven ground in her high heels. While it is an intimate act, it is perfectly acceptable for a gentleman and means nothing more than being respectful.[4] Always walk alongside a woman when walking down stairs, not behind her.[5]
    • It’s also a good idea to help her to put on her coat when leaving a building during the colder weather.[6]
    • Always walk next to the road on a roadside; that way if there is any splashing from puddles, it’ll hit you, not her.
  9. Let your date know how much fun you had and offer a possible second date. Keep your boundaries by being polite and respectful. Women don’t like to feel forced into a goodnight kiss or anything more.
    • Don’t try to force any moves, especially if she seems unwilling. Treat her with respect. It is a huge turnoff when a man assumes his right to move in on his date.
    • Maintain her honor. Never kiss and tell.


How to be a modern gentleman and to win your lady’s heart with good manners!


  • If you want a second date, be respectful. Apologize if you err, such as bumping into her. Be polite and say “excuse me”, or “I beg your pardon” by way of beginning or settling an apology.[7]
  • Let your date talk about herself, but don’t tune out! Women value a good listener. There is a good chance she’ll expect you to remember something she shared with you later.
  • Don’t be afraid to show interest – swallow your pride! Some men are afraid to show too much interest in a woman because they don’t want to come across as weak. This really just serves to harm you. Women like knowing that you’re interested. So while you don’t have to come out with an exuberant “I love you!” in the middle of your date, there’s no harm in showing a little interest.
  • Take initiative. Being a gentleman means being a leader. Women aren’t impressed with timid men who force them to make all the decisions.
  • Raining? Offer her your umbrella for shelter.
  • Avoid speaking ill of family members. This bodes poorly and a gentleman does not discuss his personal concerns on the initial date.
  • If dining with others, stand whenever a lady enters the room.[8] And never speak with food in your mouth!
  • A gentleman knows how to deal with a lady who cries; read How to comfort a crying woman for more information on what to do in this awkward situation.
  • If she smokes, light her cigarette. This can be a graceful, romantic touch of approval and acceptance for her habit. If you smoke too, offer her a cigarette. There’s a whole series of romantic customs smokers share that non-smokers don’t, easy to find them in 1940s movies. Not only is this romantic, it establishes that you’re both on the same page where smoking is concerned.
  • Declarative statements are more intimate than questions – think about how you talk to close friends, for example – and so are an important counterpoint to quizzing your date. But do try to make the statements about something more than yourself.


  • Don’t curse or speak crudely. This simply says that you lack respect for others and it shows that you haven’t got the ability to articulate your feelings, thoughts, and opinions with real words.
  • Don’t get angry or show your temper. Showing this side of yourself will send your date running; who could possibly see a future with someone who needs babysitting, calming down, or having to always be deferent to?
  • Don’t be a loud lout; gentlemen speak with a calm and even tone and do not need to raise their voices to be heard or heeded.
  • Don’t interrupt. Women hate to be interrupted. And, the interrupting rule should extend to everyone you speak to in front of your date. Show your date that you’re a gentleman by letting others finish their thoughts before interjecting your own.
  • Avoid staring; it’s impolite at best, lewd at worst.
  • Don’t pick your nose, scratch your ear, preen your hair, or perform any other personal grooming gestures in public, and especially not before your date.
  • Avoid smoking unless she invites you to do so. This is one thing that gentleman of the past probably did differently but today’s etiquette requires consideration of the changing values surrounding the right time and place for puffing in another person’s face.[9]

Things You’ll Need

  • Quality clothing

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. Ask, Etiquette of a Gentleman,
  2. Ask, Etiquette of a Gentleman,
  3. Ask, Etiquette of a Gentleman: Part II,
  4. Ask, Etiquette of a Gentleman,
  5. Ask, Etiquette of a Gentleman: Part III,
  6. Ask, Etiquette of a Gentleman,
  7. Ask, Etiquette of a Gentleman: Part II,
  8. Ask, Etiquette of a Gentleman,
  9. Ask, Etiquette of a Gentleman: Part II,

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