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What Is Chivalry? The Real Meaning, 21 Knight’s Codes & Modern Rules for Men

Is chivalry really dead? Learn the importance of chivalry in medieval and modern times and how you can be a man who is chivalrous in love.

what is chivalry

What is chivalry? Does anyone even know the meaning of chivalry these days? It’s said that chivalry may be dying, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Chivalry is still something many men need to understand and use to become better men.

There’s a history of how it all began and how we can learn from it and use it in real life.

Before you can understand how to be chivalrous in modern times, you need to know what a woman expects from a man and what you can do to be that man.

Can a man really be as chivalrous today as they were in medieval times, or would that just be considered stupid? Even worse, would they call him a SIMP? [Read: What is a SIMP? Meet the gen z’s version of the nice guy]

What is chivalry?

Chivalry is derived from the French word cheval and was 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, and this code of ethics or conduct was 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 while there is no definite proof that any one of them is accurate, all of the manuscripts mention similar codes using different words.

What is chivalry in medieval times?

Chivalry meant that a knight was loyal, courteous, protective, honorable, and gentle. He sought love and glory for his king and his lady. A few other traits were having courage and being humble, obedient, and chaste. They lived to serve their king and country and to defend the crown. [Read: The 41 best qualities of a good man that sets him apart from lesser men]

Knights who lived by the code of chivalry were to show self-control, respect for authority and women, and protect the innocent and 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.

These knights were to administer justice, avoid cheating, lying, and torture, and avenge the wronged. They would never abandon a friend or noble cause or betray them. They were to exhibit manners, avoid deception, keep their word of honor, and die with valor.

The knight’s code of chivalry in love

Literature on the codes of knights was written in medieval times and is still followed to an extent. What concerns us are the traits of a chivalrous knight when it comes 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. These days, it may seem out of its element, but if you’re a man who craves knowing the real beginning of modern chivalry, 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.

[Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for a perfect love life]

Understanding chivalry in love

In the medieval days, the code of chivalry in love was a set of rules to follow with women, but when it came to wooing a lady, they were wooed with kindness, care, and respect. [Read: How to woo a woman – 17 secrets to sweep a girl off her feet]

To this day, a lady craves the same bearing that drew her to the medieval knights. She wants to be respected, loved, and taken care of.

Know that chivalry isn’t just about opening doors and pulling back a chair. You can do more to show that you care. 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. [Read: Small gestures to make your woman feel loved and special]

Learning how to be chivalrous

In today’s time, chivalry is more about giving flowers, holding open doors, ensuring that a woman feels safe, respecting a woman, and assisting her in her time of need.

When you place your woman’s feelings and opinions above all others in every aspect, it’s nothing but following the modern code of chivalry. [Read: How to attract women at first sight with the smallest effort]

Hold her hand or guide her by placing your palm on her back while crossing the street. Allow her to walk on the curbside of the street. Listen to her smallest needs and help 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.

A feminine woman wants to be reassured about your love and wants to be taken care of when she’s around you. As long as you can give your lady love, comfort, and security, she will fall more in love with you and your chivalrous nature, even if she isn’t really into chivalry in the first place.

Who needs a horse and shining armor when you can be just as chivalrous without it? [Read: How to be a man the way he really should be]

Why chivalry is important

Chivalry is the foundation for the male code of ethics. These ethics lay out the standards of men to be truthful, helpful, honest, supportive, and confident defenders.

These qualities in a man show that he is courageous, selfless, and mature. Practicing chivalry in modern times means that you’re attentive to other people’s needs and wants. You are able to put yourself in the shoes of other people and care for someone else.

Modern-day chivalry controversy

Many centuries ago, knights of valor and honor trod the earth. They left behind a legacy of chivalry and love. Women still want that. [Read: An opinion on why chivalry is dead – because men are lazy!]

Unfortunately, the men of today don’t know what that legacy was all about, and most men have no idea about the revered knight’s code.

Knights used to take off their cloaks and drop them over puddles so that their lady wouldn’t dirty her feet. They used to pick up a damsel’s scarf when she dropped it on the ground in a trice. Can men really do that today without being called a SIMP? [Read: What is simping? A guide to the suckas who idolize mediocre pussies]

On the one hand, some women swoon over men who show the slightest bit of chivalry. On the other, chivalrous acts are misinterpreted. As a result, this controversy is slowly killing chivalry!

Women and their confusing stance on chivalry

Women can be really confusing at times, and it’s no different when it comes to how they react to acts of chivalry. It can be quite hard to please them when we just don’t know whether or not they’re looking for a guy with a chivalrous streak.

There are some damsels-in-distress that just can’t imagine their life without a chivalrous man. These women expect chivalry and become angry if they aren’t pampered the way they want to be. [Read: The damsel in distress and why men find them so irresistible]

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are women who will scoff at your attempt at chivalry. They won’t acknowledge the lengths you go to please them, and they will assume that you have inappropriate or demeaning ulterior motives driving your acts of chivalry. [Read: Misconceptions about dating a feminist woman all men must know]

Of course, there are also women who appreciate and respect chivalry without expecting it. More often than not, women either hate chivalry or expect it.

How the hell do you figure out how to be chivalrous and show that you respect a woman? It’s simple, just be really nice to her, regardless of how she behaves. [Read: Things girls like to hear from men to feel special and loved]

Chivalry and a woman’s friends

So, you want to date a woman and impress her. The first thing you need to know is how to be chivalrous. The second thing you need to know is that, more often than not, women confide in their friends about men. [Read: How to charm a girl and flatter her into liking you]

If you’re seeing a girl, she will seek her friend’s opinions about you before you even see her again. Irrespective of whether your damsel has noticed something or not, her friends will, so get your chivalry on for the crowd to see.

If you find yourself on a date and your acts of chivalry seem to be going unnoticed, fear not. Perhaps your date is too nervous about what’s to come that she wasn’t able to focus her attention on how you held the door open for her on the way into the room or how you gave her your coat. Her friends will pick up on these gestures and report back to her later on.

Lifelong habits of chivalry

Understanding how to be chivalrous isn’t just a way to impress a woman or get her attention. Instead, chivalry should be practiced because you genuinely want to be a better person. If you’re someone trying to live a more chivalrous lifestyle, here are nine things you can do.

1. Open doors for others

2. Save the last bite of food for someone else

3. Spend time with your family

4. Do activities others are interested in, even if you’re not

5. Send flowers

6. Walk on the outside of the sidewalk closest to the street

7. Kiss on the back of the hand and the forehead

8. Fill up someone’s gas tank

9. Put other’s jackets on for them or offer your jacket

Implementing chivalry in your daily life

Knowing how to be chivalrous isn’t an art to please women. It’s a way of life to appreciate the people around you. It makes you a man of principle and can make you a better man who’s appreciated and trusted by the people around you.

Chivalry is a way of life that can help you show your woman that you care for her, respect her, and appreciate her company.

Some women will think you’re being ridiculous by being chivalrous. Truth be told, they’ll regret having walked out of your life someday. [Read: Things women actually want in a man they want to date]

If anyone ever tells you that chivalry is dead, don’t think twice about it. Chivalry may be dying all around you, but one chivalrous knight is all it takes to make falling in love a fairytale experience for that special woman in your life.

After all, a true understanding of the meaning of chivalry in love can make any guy a more accomplished and a better man in more ways than one.

[Read: 18 qualities of a good man that sets him apart from the lesser men]

So, what is the meaning of 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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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...