You may see this and think: "Wait!  Did I read that right?  You're telling me you shouldn't be chivalrous?  I thought that's what you've been telling me to be!"
It's all about the should.  To practice chivalry is a choice.  A choice for the man whether to offer the gesture and a choice for the woman as to whether to accept.  When either feels that it should be done only because the other person demands it then the meaning behind the gesture has been lost.  If chivalry is done without sincerity, what good is it?
I choose to practice chivalry because I want to!  It's my choice.
If I offered acts of chivalry just because of some sense that I should, only because my wife or any woman asked me or expected it and made me feel bad if I didn't, what would it even mean to the woman?  Because it's not about the gesture as something a woman physically requires.  No woman I've met couldn't have opened that door herself.  Put on her coat.  Or pulled out her own chair at a restaurant.  To offer chivalry isn't implying that a woman needs a man's help to do something she'd be unable to on her own.  The whole point is the display of caring and respect that is the underpinning of the chivalrous gesture.

 
 
I've been reading lots of the blog posts, articles and some of the books that are written as guides for the gentleman of today.  So many of the pieces published seek to somehow remake chivalry into something different, or deny that it has a value or purpose in modern society.

There are viewpoints expressed that chivalry should be redefined as common courtesy and that it should be extended to everyone of either gender.  Of course we want to encourage politeness and courtesy to everyone (certainly our society can do with more of that).  However, eliminating the concept of chivalry in an attempt to fit into a bland same thing for everyone approach minimizes the value that it can have in the dealings between women and men.  It's as if in an effort to modernize, everything from the past is supposed to be discarded.


 
 
Valentine's Day is around the corner.  And with it come all sorts of reminders to display affection, buy flowers, candy or other gifts.  So much effort seems to go into thinking about it.  And while it's a special day, cramming all your attention into that one day can make the rest of the time feel a bit flat.

Well, it's what you do the other 364 days that decides the strength of the foundation for your relationship with her.  That goes whether you're married 23 years as I am, or you've been together just a few months.  It even affects how women may notice you standing out from the vast crowd of men if you are searching for that special someone.