July 22, 2009

Everyone knows I’m the kind of girl who loves a bit of good old-fashioned chivalry. Several weeks ago, I saw the following (my comments in italics):

How To Treat A Woman On A Date: The Basics

  1. Do not let more than 1 day go by without contacting her – don’t be a stalker, but call if you say you will
  2. Be on time – obviously
  3. Open her car door – I’d appreciate it
  4. Help her put her coat on – hasn’t happened to me, but I can see it being helpful
  5. Hold the door for her to enter/leave an establishment first – pretty standard
  6. Pull her chair out for her in the restaurant – if you can do it without being awkward, go for it!
  7. Order for her (Note – this does not mean tell her what she’s going to have for dinner. Have a conversation about what she wants and then when the waiter comes, order for her.) – discussed below
  8. At the end of your date, don’t drive off until she’s safely inside – go ahead and walk her to the door too

If you click through, you can see many people agreed with these guidelines. Many people also disagreed. Now, admittedly, it’s pretty hard to come up with a list of 8 things that will be a hit with any girl. Although we may be a single gender, we are not a single person. And while this list might not guarantee a second date, it’s a pretty solid foundation.

The biggest upset seemed to be number 7 – ordering for the girl. It’s never happened to me. Given how many girls would apparently be insulted, I’m guessing it never is. However, I would really love if a guy did. Probably would completely throw me off, and probably the waiter too. But I would still be impressed. It’s just one step up from ordering me a drink, which I am completely in favor of doing. And really, I hate making decisions, so if you can suggest something I’d like, you get even more points.

The feminists of the world probably think I’m contributing to the problem, but I just don’t understand how you can be insulted if a guy does any of these things. Exception being if he makes a rude comment while doing so. The poor guy isn’t trying to insinuate that you can’t open doors or put on your coat. Obviously, you have made it thus far doing just fine on your own. He’s just trying to be nice. Give him a break, because everything he’s doing is extra on top of all the expected aspects of the date (hygiene, conversation, etc.). If it’s bothersome or uncomfortable, smile, say “thank you” and nicely let the guy know you’d appreciate it if they didn’t pull out the chair, help you into your coat, etc.



  1. 1,2, 5 and 8 are most definitely.

    3,4 and 6 I’d do if the opportunity comes up, but is generally kind of awkward to pull off.

    7 I find totally presumptuous. I’m actually kind of surprised to hear that you would prefer it. Personally, I’d be totally put off if someone tried to order food for me.

    • 3 – always comes up for me since I don’t have power locks or an alarm to unlock my doors.

      4 – I wish I still lived in Florida and didn’t know what a coat was. I help when it’s not awkward to help

      6 – I don’t pull out chairs, it makes me feel silly, so I wouldn’t be able to do it without being awkward.

      7 – Not my thing. I dunno, it just feels like the kind of thing that a weirdly dominating guy does. Then again, I always read it as “Pick what she wants to eat” not “Tell the waiter what she wants to eat”. Just feels weird to me to not let her do it herself, mostly because I wasn’t allowed to order myself as a kid and that was cool when I got to. Like I said, it just feels weirdly dominating.

      1 – I assume they mean after a date and not forever once you know her. I’d say it’s healthy to wait until the next day before you contact, but not too late in the day. More than that and she’s going to be annoyed (if she’s into you, relieved otherwise)

      8 – I usually walk to the door. On the opposite end, I don’t think that you should sit in your car and wait for her to get in when you arrive after you honk or call her. Walk up to the door if you’re picking her up.

      • Yes, definitely walking up to the door on the pick-up is important. I’m even impressed when friends pick me up and come to my door.

      • I agree with Dan on #7. I always feel like an invalid when someone orders for me – like I’m a child.

        I mean, I always see in the movies where the man says, “She’ll have the blah blah blah”, but I feel weird trying to pull that off like she’s incapable of ordering.

        Also, as Dan says in a comment below, the water (esp in an expensive restaurant) always asks the lady first. So it doesn’t really give a chance unless you agree ahead of time or interrupt the person you’re on a date with. Probably not a good way to begin.

    • Since it hasn’t happened, I could be totally put off by someone ordering for me too. But in my head, it could be handled correctly. I think the hardest part would be the fact that waiters often ask me for my order first, which doesn’t give the guy a chance to do the ordering.

      • Yeah, that’s actually the thing. I find it more polite to let her order first as an extension of the whole “ladies first” chivalry thing, but then again, I’ve never ordered for a girl, so I don’t know how that would go over anyway.

      • I tried the ordering food for the other person thing on Dan when we went to get Indian curry yesterday.

        He was not amused.

      • hahahaha. was it awkward?

      • @min – That’s right, be the man!

  2. Maybe it’s because I’m from Florida and some of that old-fashioned Southern manners leaked into the otherwise non-South South Florida or maybe it’s the way my mother raised me, but I found myself wondering – do guys really need a list like this? Have the feminists caused guys to be in that much doubt over what to do?

    Also, you’ve got to be a pretty dense or asexual guy to not do #8. Or maybe you’ve never seen an American movie. Ever. Because walking to the door is your chance for a kiss. And, if you’re adults and not religious, perhaps your chance for sex. Although movies and TV are admittedly make-believe, I’ve been led to believe that NOT at least trying for a kiss goodnight will send the girl a signal that you thought the date sucked. So why would you just drop the girl off and leave? (Unless the DID suck and you’ve given up the chance for a second to be better)

  3. #7 is super awkward. I would never do that.

    • that seems to be the consensus.

  4. […] January 27, 2010 Well, back to one of the recurring topics on my blog – men and women and their interactions. The Art of Manliness (which I highly recommend) posted What Can Manly Men Expect of Women? It […]

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