Hello my dear reader!
Here we are again, it’s been quite a while though… Sorry about that!
The article you’re about to read is about courtesy. I wrote this article because courtesy is disappearing. I think that’s quite a shame. Especially since I’m a big fan of manners, etiquette and courtesy. Not that I know all the ‘rules’, but I do uphold the ones that I know of everyday.
What you’ll be reading about are the simple ‘rules’ on how to act in your daily life towards others. Now, don’t think this article is only on how men should act because you’ve read the word courtesy. Girls this is about us too.
FIRST THING FIRST!
I wrote this piece to freshen up some minds regarding courtesy but if you don’t feel like you should adapt these ‘rules’ (to use that terminology) then don’t! I won’t track you down and see if you actually live by these ‘rules’ (there’s that word again) and smack you if you don’t. This article is just to remind you guys, for the ones who wish to be more courteous, to be so 🙂 .
Etiquette and manners are very important. Not only for showing your respect towards others and treat them as they should be treated, but also for yourself.
Why have the simple rules of courtesy lost it’s power over us the past generations? That’s because we’re living with so many strangers. Strangers of which our brains tell us “we’ll probably never see them again so why act properly?” Most of us listen to that big blob in our heads and don’t act as proper as people used to. Another reason why some of the men don’t act courteous towards women anymore is because they are afraid. Afraid of being soft because women neglected the courtesy of men and laughed at it. The thruth is that emancipated women accept the courtesy of men and embrace it -WITHOUT EXPECTING IT OR TAKING IT FOR GRANTED-.
Courtesy is part of the beautiful game between men and women which should never be neglected. It’s in need of revival and I hope to help its revival with this article.
Rule N°1: First date
There is no exact rule concerning who pays on the first date but it’s a well known fact that it’s very much appreciated if a man is the one who pays on the first date (though the woman can pay for herself)! Even when the woman is the ‘asker and planner’ of this first date. This is one of the few rules that hasn’t faded over time and has remained, even in today’s generation. This doesn’t mean that women should EXPECT a man to pay, or take it for granted when he does. Oh no, out of politeness towards the man, women may still offer to pay the bill. It’s the man’s choice of accepting or declining this offer.
When gay couples go on their first date, the most used rule is ‘the asker and planner’ pays. Unless the date him/-herself wants to split the bill. Then again I think it’s the ‘asker and planner’s’ job to decline that offer.
Now, when you’ve been dating for a few months, it’s more than normal as a woman, to also pay every once in a while like when you go out to dinner. You do want to let your other half know that you’re not only dating him/her for the free food right? Then again, when your other half asks you out on an official date (let’s say a valentine’s diner) the ‘asker and planner’ pays the bill (again, as women, we do suggest paying the bill if the man is the ‘asker’ and vice versa).
Rule N°2: Strangers and elders
What is the proper way to address people? That may differ a bit.
When we meet someone we always address them as sir, mr., ma’am, or miss -depending on age and if a weddingband is noticable- unless they tell us to call you by their first name. This is purely done out of respect. Especially towards your elders. When we talk to strangers on buses, trains,… the same rule applies! You keep it formal and respectful until they tell you to address them in a different way.
Rule N°3: Who goes first
The general rule when going through doors is that men let women go first. Not that women can’t open a door themselves but it shows that the man is attentive towards the lady. But again, ladies, don’t expect a man to do this for you! And men, if you open a pull door for a lady, be careful that you don’t slam into each other 🙂
When exiting an elevator, it’s the man who goes first. -This comes from the times where you had to be sure strange places were safe for women-. When entering the elevator, the man let’s the woman enter first. These ‘rules’ also apply when getting on and off buses and trains. This only shows a man’s attentiveness towards a lady but it isn’t obligatory. Most ladies just appreciate this gesture, I know I do :).
When descending a staircase, it’s the man who walks in front of the woman, so he can ‘catch’ the woman if she trips or falls. When ascending a staircase, it’s also the man who goes first. It used to be the woman who ascends the staircase first, but when women began wearing shorter dresses and skirts, this was reversed so men couldn’t look at what the woman was wearing underneath.
These same rules apply with elderly people. Men and women let their elders descend but also ASCEND the staircase first so they can be aided if needed so.
Rule N°4: Women are right
Women are always right! You should take this quite literally. When a man and woman are walking side by side, it’s normally the man who walks left and the woman who walks on the right side of the man. The only exception on this rule is when you’re walking alongside the street. Then it’s the man who walks on the streetside. Just to show the lady you appreciate her and want to protect her.
Last but not least:
– Women shouldn’t take men’s courteousness for granted or should expect it from men.
– For most women it’s greatly appreciated when any man is courteous towards her.
– If men don’t apply these ‘rules’ to their lifestyle, it doesn’t make them any less civilized. As long as they know their table manners and when to say ‘thank you’ and ‘bless you’.
– Anyone can be courteous!
I hope you found this subject as interesting as I did!
References Balfoort, B., & Verbelen, S. (2015). De etiquettebijbel. Antwerp: Houtekiet.