What is chivalry? True chivalry may be dying, but it’s still something many men need to understand and use to become better men. Find out more about the code of chivalry in love here.
Read the introduction on the code of modern chivalry in how to be chivalrous, and understand what women really want in a chivalrous man.
Chivalry in love
What is chivalry today? Chivalry may have meant many things in the past, but today, chivalry is given most importance when a man tries to woo a woman.
Chivalry in love is a cliché that’s misunderstood these days, what with many women assuming a man’s pretending to be nice just to convince a girl to get into his pants.
But it’s still something that all men have to understand and learn.
After all, a true understanding of the meaning of chivalry in love can make any guy a more accomplished and better man in more ways than one.
What is chivalry?
Chivalry is derived from the French word cheval from the Latin word caballus, and was to be considered primarily from three points, the military, the social, and the religious.
It is best known as the belief and practices of the knights of medieval times.
It is a code of ethics or conduct upheld by the knights of yore.
These codes were written many centuries ago, and a man who was to be called a knight had to abide by all of the several rules that summed up the “knight’s code.”
Hundreds of manuscripts on chivalry have been found over the years and there is no definite proof that any one of them is the accurate one, but all the manuscripts have mention similar codes using different words.
What is chivalry in medieval times?
Chivalry meant that a knight was loyal, courteous, protective, honorable and gentle. They sought love and glory, for his king and his lady. A few other traits were courage, being humble, obedient and chaste. They lived to serve their king and country and to defend the crown.
Knights who live by the code of chivalry were to show self control, respect to authority and to women, protect the innocent or those weaker or unarmed, they were never to attack an unarmed foe, attack from behind, or use a weapon on an opponent that was not equal to the attack. They were to administer justice, avoid cheating, lying and torture, and were expected to avenge the wronged. [Read: Cheating in a relationship]
They would never abandon a friend or noble cause or betray them. They were to exhibit manners, avoid deception, keep one’s word of honor and die with valor.
The knight’s code of chivalry in love
Literature on the codes of knights were written in the medieval times, and are followed to an extent, even to this day. But what concern us are the traits of a chivalrous knight when it came to his love life in a manner that women would appreciate. Andreas Capellanus, a twelfth century author and courtier wrote the twelve chief rules of chivalrous courtly love. [Read: How to find love]
These days, it may seem out of its elements but if you’re a man who craves to know the real beginning of chivalry in love, here’s your answer.
The knightly code of chivalrous love
#1 Thou shalt avoid avarice like the deadly pestilence and shalt embrace its opposite.
#2 Thou shalt keep thyself chaste for the sake of her whom thou lovest.
#3 Thou shalt not knowingly strive to break up a correct love affair that someone else is engaged in.
#4 Thou shalt not choose for thy love anyone whom a natural sense of shame forbids thee to marry.
#5 Be mindful completely to avoid falsehood.
#6 Thou shalt not have many who know of thy love affair.
#7 Being obedient in all things to the commands of ladies, thou shalt ever strive to ally thyself to the service of love.
#8 In giving and receiving love’s solaces let modesty be ever present.
#9 Thou shalt speak no evil.
#10 Thou shalt not be a revealer of love affairs.
#11 Thou shalt be in all things polite and courteous.
#12 In practicing the solaces of love, thou shalt not exceed the desires of thy lover.
The knight without the horse
To be quite frank, it’s not easy to follow most of the ancient rules of chivalry. And those rules don’t really teach the knight to throw his cloak down for his lady to step on either. In today’s time, chivalry is more about giving flowers, holding open doors, ensuring that a woman’s feeling safe, respecting a woman, assisting her in her time of need, and the works. In those medieval days too, the code of chivalry in love was a set of codes to behave with women, but when it comes to wooing a lady, they were wooed with kindness, care and respect. [Read: How to propose to your girlfriend]
And to this day, a lady craves for the same bearing that drew her to the medieval knights. She just wants to be respected, loved and taken care of.
Knowing what chivalry is isn’t just about opening doors and pulling back seats only though. Really now, if you’re out on a date by a lonely beach or at a park, you obviously can’t pull back imaginary chairs or open doors out of thin air. And if it hasn’t rained in a while, you can’t just take your jacket off and drop it on the ground that she treads on. But you can still do other things that show you care. And that’s what chivalry is all about. Just because a situation doesn’t pop out in front of you when you want to show your concern, don’t assume chivalry is dead on your date.
You don’t really need to save your date from the fire breath of a dragon or from a speeding truck to prove your undying affections. [Read: What do girls like in guys?]
Understanding chivalry in love
When you place your woman’s feelings and opinions above all others in every aspect when she’s around you, it’s nothing but understanding chivalry.
Hold her hands or guide her by placing your palm on her back while crossing the street, allow her to walk on the curb side of the street, listen to her smallest needs and help her or assist her the way she would like. These are just a few knightly ways by which you can let her know how much she means to you.
Women always want to be reassured about your love and want to be taken care of when they’re around you. As long as you can give your lady love, comfort and security, she would fall more in love with you and your chivalrous nature, even if she isn’t really into chivalry in the first place.
Now who needs a horse and shining armor when you can be just as chivalrous without it? [Read: Dating facts]
So what is chivalry today? It’s really nothing but a way to show your lady in little ways that you respect her and love her. Do you think you have what it takes to be chivalrous?
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A proponent of chivalry and romance, Vinod Srinivas sees himself as a gregarious gentleman with an active imagination, who still manages to spend more time livi...