41 Rules to Be a Gentleman Every Girl Would Secretly Dream of Dating

These days, etiquette seems to be disappearing. But if you want to learn how to be a gentleman, follow these rules and see how everyone swoons around you! 

how to be a gentleman

Some girls like them bad, some like them nerdy. However, there is one breed of a man that will forever have a soft spot in the hearts of ladies: the gentleman. True gentlemen, as some ladies lament, are a dying breed. While it was once the gold standard of being a true man, the art of being a gentleman is slowly fading from the modern guy’s consciousness.

Finding a real man, then, is a rare treat. So, by learning how to be a gentleman, you’ll have a true advantage over all other men.

Now, before you go out and ride on a thoroughbred stallion like some period drama character, the ways of a true gentleman actually differ from what Hollywood tropes suggest.

Nope, you don’t need to dress like a dandy and sport a phony British accent, straight from a Jane Austen novel.

Being a gentleman is something you must strive for and should not be treated as an act. You should never dip in and out of character. It should simply become part of who you are, from deep within.

That’s a true gentleman.

[Read: What is chivalry? The real meaning, the Knights code and modern men]

What does it mean to be a gentleman?

Being a gentleman does not mean you are wimpy or overly-sensitive. It does not make you weak or less macho. In fact, being a gentleman gives you a leg up.

A gentleman is a chivalrous, polite, and honorable man. These characteristics that make a gentleman are more than hand-holding and being courteous. They include a proper sense of right and wrong, tolerance, and respect for everyone.

So although you may want to learn how to be a gentleman in the realm of dating, becoming a real gentleman goes far beyond that and takes effect in all parts of your life. [Read: 18 things that turn all girls on and makes you a real catch in their eyes]

How to be a gentleman – The rules of gentlemanly etiquette

So, are you looking to change up your game so you can transform from the guy a woman would never date to a modern gentleman?

If the answer is yes, read on and learn how you can turn into the gentleman that women would be clamoring to go out with.

1. Open the door for her

It simply never gets old. Yes, you’re aware that a woman is just as capable as you of opening doors. But the gesture itself is a sign that you’re willing to do this little thing for her.

Not only does it show that you’re a proper gentleman, but it may also be admired for being such a polite and chivalrous guy. [Read: Is chivalry dead because men are getting lazy?]

2. Let her sit first

Much like getting the door for her, assisting her in settling down onto a chair isn’t something you do because she needs help.

It just shows that you care about her comfort and that you would put it before your own.

In addition, it also gives you an excuse to be a little bit closer to her without being a creep. So, pull out her chair for her before you sit down yourself.

3. Take off your headgear indoors

Hats, caps, and other forms of headgear were made to protect you from the elements. But what elements do you need protection from when you’re inside a house, a restaurant, or a cinema?

We know that fedoras and caps complete your overall look, but it’s simply not polite to keep them on when you’re indoors. No matter how bad you think your hair looks, it can’t possibly look worse than being deemed an uncouth oaf. [Read: The difference between nice guys and chivalrous guys, and why nice guys lose all the time!]

4. Mind your basic table manners

If you don’t practice this at home when you’re eating takeout in front of the TV, make it a point to at least read about it online.

The basics include not resting your elbows on the table, chewing with your mouth closed, and not slurping the soup. Manners are what differentiate a gentleman from an uncivilized slob.

5. Don’t touch other people’s things

This is pretty much a no-brainer, but so many men *and some women* seem to forget this. Let’s consider a scenario, shall we? You’re out on a date with a girl and you notice that her bag is on the table. It’s keeping you from settling your glass down in the proper place.

Moving the bag and pushing it towards her would not only be rude, but it also shows you that you have no respect for her things.

What you should do instead, is request her to please put her bag on the chair or to hang it up on those bag hooks beneath the table.

Remember, you never ever have permission to touch other people’s stuff, so do what’s right and ask first. [Read: The most important rules of dating rules that make the best dates]

6. Control how many drinks you’ll have or don’t drink at all

Manners, chivalry, and politeness can easily fly right out the window once you’ve had a couple of drinks in you.

So unless you know how to hold your alcohol well, avoid ordering that fourth beer. It will help you curb the urge to burp uncontrollably too.

In addition to this, getting drunk on a date is in very bad form. You might say or suggest things that are downright vulgar, while in your mind you’re thinking they’d make for perfectly proper date conversation. Watch what you drink and what you say or else you might get a slap in the face.

7. Listen to what she has to say

Nothing is ruder than blatantly paying attention to other things when someone is clearly trying to talk to you. Even if your date is talking about something you find absolutely boring, make it a point to try and listen to her.

If you can, try to steer the conversation towards something you would both find interesting.

This is one of the many reasons men should not ask a woman out on a date based on her looks alone. You have to have some common ground between the both of you so that you’d actually have something to bond over. [Read: The 25 biggest dating deal breakers for women]

8. Avoid crass or vulgar humor

No one likes a person who’s socially insensitive. If you’re on a date with someone you really like, the last thing you’d want to do is offend her.

So before you whip out your dick jokes *no pun intended*, try to instead make her laugh with something wittier. And don’t think for a moment that insulting other people will immediately get you a laugh from her!

9. Keep your phone off limits while you’re on a date

Just imagine really hitting it off and having a great conversation with your date, and suddenly your phone starts ringing.

Before you even enter the restaurant, you should already keep your phone on silent. Not only will its ringing disrupt your conversation, but it may also disturb other diners.

Also, resist the urge to check your phone every couple of minutes while you’re out. Even if your date is incredibly boring, what could possibly be on your phone that can’t wait until after the date? [Read: 14 charming ways to impress every kind of girl on a date!]

10. When asking a lady out, give her a few days’ notice

Asking her out on the spot may be spontaneous, sure, and some women dig that. But if you’re looking for propriety, ask her out a few days before the intended date.

Do this so that she won’t be caught off guard and so that she won’t have to cancel her plans for your sake.

11. Call more, text less

The problem with texting is that it can sometimes feel so impersonal. There’s no tone and there are no nonverbal cues to get out of them.

Whenever you need to say something important to a lady, make it a point to call her up. Not only does this convey your sincerity better, but it also shows her that you’re willing to make some time to call her. [Read: The sweetest Prince Charming traits that leave girls swooning!]

12. Be clear about what you want, but don’t be tactless

The coquetry of modern dating can sometimes be a problem for both men and women. Going out for lunch or coffee may be misinterpreted as a date or just “hanging out.” The woman you’re dating may find this confusing, so it’s best to tell her your intentions outright.

Don’t go around saying, “I want to sleep with you and maybe be in a relationship with you” because no one in their right mind would say that.

For starters, you can say something like, “I really like your company. I’d like to ask you out on a date.” That will instantly eliminate the ambiguity of why you’re always asking for her company.

It shows her what your intentions are, and allows her to make decisions based on what you just said. [Read: 12 signs to know whether it’s a date or both of you just hanging out]

13. If it’s over for you, break up with her in person

If things don’t work out between you and your date, the least you can do is tell her in person. A text, a phone call, an email, or even a post-it on her refrigerator is never ever acceptable unless you met each other online, or have just been on one date so far.

She deserves to hear it straight from you so that she has the chance to respond. Ignoring her simply because you’re not into her anymore is not only completely rude, but it can be very hurtful, especially if she has already developed feelings for you.

14. Be mindful of how you dress

A true gentleman bears his clothes properly in every situation; both in the presence of his rowdy mates and in the presence of a lady.

No, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend all your money on signature clothes to nail the preppy look. The key is to dress appropriately and tastefully.

Make sure you do not wear ill-fitting, dirty, stained, or bedraggled clothes. In choosing what to wear, always consider if it’s appropriate for the occasion.

Go with it if it’s comfortable, and if it makes you feel confident. In that particular order. Dressing slovenly even in high-end, new clothes won’t make much difference.

15. Adopt good posture

Posture reveals a great deal about your personality, so it is advisable for guys to practice maintaining proper posture.

Gentlemen should always stand straight, sit properly, and maintain a steady gait when walking. Not only does it look good, but it also exhibits confidence and self-assurance. A guy who stands hunched and walks awkwardly can be perceived as indecisive and insecure.

16. Always be courteous and respectful when talking to a lady *or anyone*

Like Sir Colin “Mr. Wet Shirt Darcy” Firth himself said, in the equally gentlemanly film Kingsman, “Manners maketh man.”

This shows that the measure of a true gentleman is how he treats the people around him. Also, if you have no clue who Colin Firth is, Google him and you’ll get a pretty good representation of a gentleman.

Using the “gentleman” facade in the presence of a visually-appealing lady, but treating the rest of the people around you otherwise, is false gentlemanliness. A true gentleman will be courteous to everyone. [Read: 15 good qualities of a person that make them a very good human being]

17. Be considerate to your female companions

Be it a sister, a co-worker, or your date, always be considerate towards a female companion. You are all familiar with the classic moves in the gentleman’s handbook:

a. Open doors

Upon entering or exiting a building, always hold the door open for your female companion. This also applies when entering or exiting a vehicle.

b. Stand up to greet a lady approaching you

Also, stand up when a lady excuses herself from the table.

c. Pull out the chair for a female companion

Don’t forget to take her coat when she sits down.

d. Offer your arm

Your female companion will appreciate your arm when walking or going up the stairs—especially when your companion is elderly.

e. Offer to walk her home

If this isn’t possible, at least hail your female companion a cab after a date.

f. When using public transport, offer up your seat

Offer your chair to a person who might need it more than you do. This includes ladies, the elderly, and disabled persons.

These are brief points that mean a lot to every single female, not just the one you’re trying to date.

18. Mind your language

Being foulmouthed—especially in social gatherings—does not make you cool, at all. Never swear or use obscene language when talking to a lady.

To be safe, use neutral words in conversations and never use words that you don’t really know the meaning of, just for the sake of a good impression.

A true gentleman would never bring up disturbing stories and inappropriate remarks, even in a casual atmosphere. [Read: 20 effortless ways to be nice and loved by all, wherever you are]

19. Always be on time, if not ten minutes early

Never, ever allow your date to wait for you. It is expected of a gentleman to arrive earlier than the usual time, to give you time to prepare yourself and do some last-minute preening.

20. Compliment your date, but never be sleazy

Make it a habit to compliment your date on her looks, as she probably spent a lot of time trying to look good. Make your compliments genuine, not far-fetched sweet-talk. She might take it another way if you take it too far. [Read: How to compliment a girl – 15 must-know tips and 35 of the best lines]

21. Make meaningful conversation

Small talk is acceptable for the first ten minutes. By then, the conversation should have gotten deeper and more meaningful.

If on a first date, try to ask questions and initiate the conversation. This will give the impression that you are genuinely interested in her.

Never dominate the conversation by talking more. Practice active listening and good manners by allowing your date to finish speaking before you contribute your own story or response. [Read: 16 first date tips and advice to charm your date in no time]

22. Be prepared to pay for the bill during dates

Even if your date offers to split the bill, kindly refuse and insist on paying. Doing the “forgotten wallet” ruse is ungentlemanly and shameful, even if you really forgot your wallet.

Nowadays, there may be instances where your date will insist that you split the bill, but you can refuse by suggesting that she can pay the bill on the next date.

This is both gentlemanly and a good ruse to get to a second date.

23. Look for moments to show your gentlemanliness

You know in a movie when the girl says, “Oh what a gentleman.” Isn’t that the moment you want? Well, you can have it. And once you get the hang of it, it will become like second nature.

When it is raining, offer to share your umbrella with a woman lacking one. Offer to help someone struggling to load their car. Reach something off a high shelf.

Be aware of those around you that could use a gentlemanly act. Being a gentleman is all about helping others, not just yourself.

24. Put in the effort at all times

Being a gentleman isn’t about having the ideal wardrobe, it is about what you do with the one you have.

You might love jeans as much as the next person, but if you are going to meet your girlfriend’s parents, you may want to put in that extra bit of effort with some nice ironed slacks.

Bring flowers for her mother and maybe wine or scotch for her father. It is about making a good first impression and you never go to someone’s house empty-handed.

Think back to the shows from the olden days when men knew how to behave like a gentleman, making that extra effort isn’t showing off, it is showing your intentions and thoughtfulness. [Read:  How to impress a girl – 21 atypical secrets every guy should know]

25. Keep private things, private

Something that can make all the kind gestures in the world useless is spreading secrets.

A man can appear to be a gentleman at first glance, but once he goes off and tells his friends or even strangers something he shouldn’t, he loses that gentleman title.

Now, what sorts of things shouldn’t you tell? Well, we like to say if you wouldn’t tell your mom you shouldn’t tell anyone else. You can tell your friends that you are seeing a girl and she is cute and funny, but telling them anything personal, private, or intimate is a big no-no.

26. Have patience

Gentlemen can be in a rush, but they always show signs of patience. You say excuse me when you are rushing through a crowd. Wait your turn. You may be charming, classy, and confident, but being a gentleman is not playing a part. That means in all circumstances your gentlemanly ways should shine.

This also goes for dating. Whether she wants to wait to meet your parents, wait to kiss, or for anything else, be patient. Any decent gentleman knows that the right lady is worth the work and the wait. [Read: 18 overlooked secrets that’ll make any girl fall hard for you]

27. Respect all women and elders

If you want to know how to be a gentleman, remember that respect is a big one because without it, all the other things don’t even matter. Knowing that everyone deserves to be valued is a big part of being a gentleman.

28. Always be honest

A gentleman never lies. It is as simple as that. [Read: Why do men lie? Understanding why men fib the way they do]

29. Mind your manners

Manners are for more than toddlers. Saying please and thank you is just the beginning. There is a time and place for a curse or two, maybe at a game or when you stub your toe, but shut down the foul language in almost all other circumstances.

And remember that manners are not just for those you want to impress. Be polite and courteous to service workers, employees, the elderly, and children.

30. Be open-minded

Being a gentleman does not mean you can’t have your opinions and be sure of them. But it does mean that you keep an open mind about others’ opinions too.

You may disagree with others, but you don’t judge them for their thoughts or beliefs and you don’t get into heated arguments. [Read: 20 intellectual conversation topics that ignite meaningful conversation]

31. Read signals

Gentlemen are always aware of their surroundings. Having attention to detail is an important quality for a gentleman. What makes you stand out is that you pick up on things that others may not notice.

Is your girlfriend chilly? Offer your jacket without her having to ask. Is she uncomfortable at an event you went to? Offer to take her outside.

If you want to master the art of knowing how to be a gentleman, being aware of what other people want before they say anything or even know themselves is a wonderful trait to have.

32. Make the first move

Making the first move does not have to be aggressive or pushy. In fact, it is romantic and endearing. It shows you are a risk-taker, but that you can also read the situation.

Being able to make the first move portrays confidence and shows initiative. [Read: 15 best ways to ask a girl out and warm her up to a definite yes]

33. Always show understanding

We know that part of being a gentleman is being a spectacular listener. And that doesn’t mean being silent while the other person, especially a woman, speaks.

That means actually absorbing what others are saying so that you can give an appropriate and thoughtful response. Being sympathetic to others’ situations mean actually understanding where they are coming from. [Read: How to understand women – 12 truth behind how they think and behave]

34. Keep your word

We know we already said that gentlemen never lie, but keeping your word is different. No one intends to break their word when they give it, but it tends to happen. A gentleman doesn’t let it.

If a gentleman makes a promise or gives someone their word, they find a way to keep it and know that from the moment they initiate it.

35. Protect others

This does not mean you have to sign up for the police academy, but it means you stand up for others. If a woman is being harassed, you offer to step in and walk with her. You never let a woman walk home alone, especially at night.

If a child is missing his mother or an elderly woman is lost, you help. As we said, a gentleman always puts the needs of others before himself. [Read: Key differences – Protective boyfriend or a controlling boyfriend?]

36. Don’t make promises you can’t keep

The most annoying thing about a man who makes empty promises is that he comes off as unreliable. In a relationship, partners have to be able to trust each other, and count on one another.

If you keep breaking promises, she will learn to never let you in on what may be going on, because…well, what’s the point? This can lead to serious problems in the relationship, making you seem like you take her for granted, or leading her to feel she could do better. [Read: 20 things that women look for in a man that make him totally irresistible]

37. Be open and honest

While men are visual thinkers, women are all about communication. Opening up and telling her about work, your friends and family, or your innermost thoughts and fears will have more of a positive impact than going out and getting her flowers.

She knows how difficult it is for you, and the fact that you still find a way to open up means that she’s special to you.

38. Don’t hide things from the person you’re dating

What most men don’t realize is that women don’t expect men to be perfect. When women nag, oftentimes it’s because their partners didn’t tell them something until much, much later, or they find out another way.

Informing her when something serious happens will show her that even though you’re not perfect, you know how to let her in on the details, and maintain an honest relationship.

Even if she’s upset at first, she’ll come around, and you can work things out calmly together. [Read: Being brutally honest – 13 scenarios when it’s an obligation]

39. Be there when times get tough

One of the main reasons, if not the main reason, some women leave their partners for other men is because their partners were never there when they needed them.

If you’re not there for her when she needs help, or someone to talk to, someone else will be. That friend you hate, that clearly thinks she’s cute? He’ll be there, not you, so why should you get to keep her?

Being there for your girl during the bad times will show her that you’re willing to help, should the need arise. That’s gentlemanly behavior. [Read: 18 clear signs your girl may be having an emotional affair with another guy]

40. Don’t dominate the relationship

Being dominating can be sexy, when done correctly. For instance, dominating every aspect of her life isn’t going to work, but dominating her in the bedroom very well might.

Keep a balance, and let her take the reins too, because let’s face it: she’s probably better at certain things than you are. Play up each other’s strengths!

41. Reciprocate in the bedroom

Certainly not least, make sure that when you’re getting it on, it isn’t all about you. If you spend more than half the time getting attended to, you need to make it up to her right away. Not just time, but content. Do the things you know she enjoys, and watch as she has the time of her life. [Read: What makes a man attractive? 38 traits that make women truly desire you]

Learning how to be a gentleman may seem like a lot of work, but it’s really about being decent. Respecting people, listening, and showing your manners isn’t that difficult.

It’s odd how much of this has eroded away in modern society. But, by learning how to show your gentlemanly ways *they’re sure to be in there somewhere*, you’ll not only impress anyone you want to date, but you’ll obtain a reputation as a true gentleman too. There’s nothing better than that! 

[Read: How to be a man – 25 ways to define masculinity the way it should be]

There are many rules to being a refined gentleman, but if you can master these rules on how to be a gentleman, you’ll inch your way closer to being an ideal chivalrous man in a world of ill-mannered brats!

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...