Being male is a matter of birth, being a man is a matter of age, but being a gentleman is a matter of choice. That being said, I –as a man- have made a choice to hold myself to a certain standard, which reads as follows:
1. A man is confident, not arrogant. Know the difference
2. Keep all negative social activities to a minimum, because no gentleman engages in things like Twitter fights or passive-aggressive Facebook statuses. It’s just not classy
3. Hold doors open for everyone, because that’s just a nice thing to do
4. Always text back promptly, even if it is to let someone down gently. The worst thing you can possibly do is leave them hanging.
5. Own and be able to sufficiently rock at least one suit. Suits are the greatest untapped resource that most men have access to. You owe it to yourself
to know your way around a suit.
6. Master a good handshake, so that you are neither depositing your limp sea slug of a hand on someone else’s palm, nor crushing them with your Rock-Biter-from-the-Neverending-Story force.
7. Do not refer to things as “gay” that aren’t homosexual human beings. People who call things “gay” as a derogatory term are truly the raisins in the trail mix of life.
8. Do your best not to put others down in order to elevate yourself, it reeks of the people who categorize men by their Greek letter status.
9. Know how to cook at least a few good meals, because a) there is nothing worse than guys who assume it’s up to the woman to do all the cooking, b) there is nothing sexier than a dude who can cook, and c) everyone deserves to feed themselves well.
10. Make good eye contact, but not so much that it gets into “I’ve been watching you from behind your dumpster” levels.
11. Erase the word “slut” from your vocabulary.
12. Treat every woman with the same amount of respect and humanity that you would your mother, sister, or daughter — and think about why there might have been conditions on how you treated them in the first place.
13. RSVP. Always, even if you are not going, RSVP nonetheless.
14. Always put a little money away at the end of each month, and not because you’re saving for anything in particular.
15. Be up-front about your finances, because it’s unfair for anyone to believe in the outdated gender roles of “the man should pay for everything.” As long as you’re working hard and trying your best, you deserve to be honest.
16. Do not have sex before marriage. Period.
17. Learn how to dance, at least a bit.
18. Be compassionate, and know that you are allowed to experience the full range of human emotion. Where the gentleman of our grandparents’ generation might have prided himself on keeping all of his feelings in check for fear of seeming ‘feminine,’ a real gentleman knows that the best thing about him is his ability to be kind and empathetic.
19. Be humble. Always say thank you
20. Foul language shows no class
21. Listen, don’t just wait to speak.
22. Use good manners, at all times
23. Admit, say you’re wrong. Say sorry. Mean it.
24. Never stand or walk with your hands in your pockets. It displays a blatant lack of respect, not only for yourself, but also for those around you.