If you allow yourself to become more aware of chivalry, you'll start noticing more and more opportunities to put it on display.  The good news is that it offers men a low cost way to get noticed and admired.

Think about it... some men will dip deep into their bank accounts (or their credit lines) to spring for a fancy car, trendy clothes or expensive watch... largely in an effort to get noticed.  It's a never-ending challenge as they have to keep spending more money to stay ahead of everyone else who is doing the same things.  
Now there's nothing wrong with a beautiful car or great clothes and any man would want to look trig, but an astute guy will realize that how he behaves gets him noticed.  In today's world, chivalry is still so infrequent that it catches the eyes of others powerfully when it happens.  Social media is filled with posts and tweets from women who see it happening or receive it from a man.
It's not that the sole or even main purpose of offering chivalry is simply to get noticed.  That would be disingenuous, and sooner or later people would see through it.  But there's also nothing wrong with admitting that like many of the altruistic things we do as humans, some benefits ascribe to the doer.  So bask in the opportunity for the best aspects of your character to create the image you want. 
Man noticed by women
If you are looking to attract more women into your circle, you could take some of the money you'd spend on that extra-fancy car and put it into yourself.  Take chivalry lessons, learn proper etiquette, take a class on stage presence for making presentations... those things will cost less upfront and pay off much longer.

That will have a long-lasting effect that will outlive the car you buy and the latest trendy clothes.  And if you still want to enhance how you stand out in addition to your great character by also driving a better car or having a more eye-catching watch, more power to you.  Just don't make those the sole ways you look to stand out.

© 2015, John Rasiej, Bring Chivalry Back

If you would like to share this article on your blog or other means, you may reprint it only in its entirety, include the photo and the following attribution:
Picture
John Rasiej is a Chivalry and Relationship Expert who founded Bring Chivalry Back™ for the purpose of enhancing the quality and enjoyment of relationships by men and women. He rediscovered the value of chivalry several years ago and has been practicing it both in his marriage of 24 years as well as when he's been among groups made up largely of women. Chivalry and similar gestures resulted in a more satisfying marital relationship and life, and also helped him stand out to many women in those group. He now shares the value of chivalry with more men and couples so they too can have happier results. You can follow him and get a special report how to deepen relationships and attract a woman's admiration at BringChivalryBack.com.  You can follow him on twitter at @YesToChivalry.

 
 
Catello Di Capua
My father-in-law passed away suddenly today.  He'd been ill with bronchitis and general weakness but a heart attack came and took him.  Coming two months after my own father passed away, it feels like a lot of role model energy has been exiting my life, and I take it as a call to step up on my own and be even better as a man.

Rather than writing only about chivalry, I want to focus on a life lesson from these two very different men.  You see, each one of them had an upbringing that could have become an excuse to be less than their best, yet each of them made themselves into accomplished and generous men.  It shows that becoming a man of character isn't about one's circumstances but in the choices a man makes for himself.

Catello Di Capua was born near Napoli in Italy and had an impoverished beginning.  A young boy as World War II was taking place, the economic situation in southern Italy was rough, and he was already working full time by the age of 11.  Some of his early jobs included lugging heavy sacks of coal to people's basements, and even later in life he was working in printing plants that were costing him his hearing.
His mother had passed away when he was very young, and the situation at home wasn't the easiest for a boy to navigate. With that upbringing, it would be easy and understandable to curse the gods, throw up one's hands in despair and succumb to a struggling life.  But he chose a different path.  He wanted to make something of himself and ended up emigrating to Switzerland, to be able to offer his future wife a better future.  Even though they spoke no Swiss German, they settled in Bern and made it work.  This all came at a time when Italians were considered lower class, filth and unwelcome by many of the Swiss people, so nothing came easy.
Tina and Catello
Despite all that, Catello created a strong and prosperous family life, and made sure that he acted in ways he could be proud.  He raised three daughters and always provided a roof over their heads even if jobs had to be switched.  Once he was able to afford a car, he always kept it spotless, the same way he kept the house.  Yes, he was pristine about caring for the appearance of whatever he could -- it was a running amusing story that he kept a comb above a cabinet in the living room to make sure all the fringes on the rug were straight.  And that comb got frequent use; I even used it myself a few times when I would visit.

His three girls all got fine educations and his own marriage was a great one.  When I saw him and my mother-in-law together last month, I marveled at how they still enjoyed each other's company.  There were still smiles and affection openly shown after 54 years, even after all the physical problems he'd been having these last two years.  I wouldn't call him particularly chivalrous in terms of gestures.  His upbringing had been the traditional Southern Italian kind.  The husband's role is to provide and be served; the wife's is to serve him.  In a loving marriage, the roles are done out of love and not obligation; to the end, I witnessed how Tina loved taking care of him, cooking with him and looking to make sure things were right.  On his part there wasn't the overt chivalry of holding out chairs for her, standing when she rose, opening her car door and so on.  That doesn't take away from how he completely stepped into the role of good husband in their own traditions.

That all happened of his own will.  His upbringing was tough and callous.  He'd moved away from his family so didn't have close role models.  The odds were stacked against him succeeding in Switzerland.  Yet he found a way to become the kind of man that succeeded well beyond what you might have expected from a little Neapolitan kid who'd been forced into a hard life before he was a teenager.  That shows the power of a man making a strong, conscious and positive choice. 
My own father had different circumstances, although in many ways they were similar.  He was a teenager in Poland when world War II broke out.  His father was taken away from the family and never seen by them again, slaughtered in the Russian massacre of thousands of Polish men and soldiers at Katyn.  During the war, my father somehow got himself to England where he trained as a pilot with the Royal Air Force.  Again, a man in a country that wasn't his, where the language was foreign and opportunities scarce. 
Steve and Maria Rasiej
After the war, he got his degree, met and married my mother and then left England to embark for America, with no promise of any job or of a successful future.  He hit the pavement to get a job as an engineer.  Making ends meet was difficult and he even served as the building superintendent where they lived to help them make it.  Slowly and steadily he built a highly successful career working for the same firm for almost 40 years, while raising a family of five children in a beautiful house that he maintained like it was a jewel.  He also made himself into a man of gallantry, in terms of how he treated women.  He offered chivalry such as helping them on with their coats, kissing their hands to say goodbye and so on.  He found a way to do this despite having lost his own father as a role model way too young.

Yes, these men would seem so different in their approaches to some things, their languages and attitudes, yet they demonstrate something important for any man to realize:

What you become is completely your own choice.  Anything that may seem to hold you back doesn't stop you from overcoming it.  These two men are my proof that every man has it within himself to hone his own life, his own behavior and his own relationships for the better.

I am grateful to both of them, and the lessons they taught me, whether directly or by example. 

I will always miss you both.
 
 
When it comes to chivalry, the gestures themselves are not really that complicated nor difficult.  They are small rituals that don't generally involve a lot of strength, a lot of time.  Yet in the day-to-day rush we often find ourselves it can get easy to overlook one. I do it myself more frequently than I'd like and I remain focused on becoming more consistent.  So what's the key?
It's important to remember that the things on which you focus expand. That goes for areas such as wealth and abundance, good health and so on.   And it relates to the attitude and perception you bring to your choices of behavior.

An awareness of the circumstances around you and sensing opportunities for chivalry will likewise deepen how much impact it has for you.  Giving it a notch more attention will likely lead to a bit more frequency with ease, develop better habits and result in more times that someone notices what we're doing by offering it.
The public notice is important because you aren't just doing chivalry for yourself.  It also has a ripple effect onto those around you.  Young men of today are faced with role models that don't always send the best messages.  Imagine how helpful it could be for positive behavior to get seen more broadly to counter some of that negative the kids are facing.

Furthermore, by increasing your awareness to notice opportunities you can be supportive and helpful in chivalrous ways will also strengthen your awareness of opportunities to be of service in ways beyond chivalry.  That takes the practice of chivalry from a nice gesture into a state-of-being that can add to any gentleman's self esteem and the way he is perceived by others.

So make a pledge to take a quick pause every so often when you're on your way to or from work or heading out on a date and bring your awareness up.  Watch how easy it gets.
 
 
List of resolutions
It's the time of year when all sorts of people are giving all sorts of advice for making New Year's resolutions.  The most common ones seem to be about losing weight and getting in shape.  Others have to do with being better organized, whether about things or about finances.  

How about a resolution for chivalry?

It's a great time to resolve to be more chivalrous in the coming year!  That can work for anyone at any range of the "chivalry spectrum'" (meaning whether you're already being chivalrous often or whether it would be a brand new concept for you).
Young gentleman opening door
If you're not already doing chivalry as a matter of course, how about a resolution to do just one gesture consistently?  Perhaps choose to offer to open doors for women, including opening her car door before you come around to the other side (and opening hers again when you arrive at your destination).  Another place to start may be offering to help her on with her coat.

If you're already doing some chivalrous gestures, how about a resolution to expand your repertoire?  When I started practicing, it wasn't as if I had all the possibilities nailed right off the bat.  I got good at opening doors and pulling out chairs, but it was a while later that I got into the habit of standing at the table when a woman rises.  There may be gestures that would add more style and distinctiveness to what you do.  Why not resolve to add them this year?

Woman standing on crowded train
It could even be to expand your gestures to more people.  Perhaps you're used to being chivalrous just to your girlfriend or wife.  Why not make this the year of offering chivalry to more women in public situations?  Perhaps resolve to be aware of offering your seat to a woman when she's standing on a crowded train or bus.  

If you want some ideas on ways you can be more chivalrous, drop me an email and we can schedule a chat to see what I may suggest for you!

So how about it: "I resolve to be more chivalrous in 2015."  Easier than you may think, and the results may be bigger than you realize. 
© 2014, John Rasiej, Bring Chivalry Back
If you would like to share this article on your blog or other means, you may reprint it only in its entirety, include the photo and the following attribution:
Picture
John Rasiej is a Chivalry and Relationship Expert who founded Bring Chivalry Back™ for the purpose of enhancing the quality and enjoyment of relationships by men and women. He rediscovered the value of chivalry several years ago and has been practicing it both in his marriage of 24 years as well as when he's been among groups made up largely of women. Chivalry and similar gestures resulted in a more satisfying marital relationship and life, and also helped him stand out to many women in those group. He now shares the value of chivalry with more men and couples so they too can have happier results. You can follow him and get a special report how to deepen relationships and attract a woman's admiration at BringChivalryBack.com.  You can follow him on twitter at @YesToChivalry.

 
 
Pitcher throwing ball
If you're into sports, you've likely heard the term "short-arming the ball."  If not, what it means is not using a full extension of your arm when you are making a pitch, throwing a football etc.  The reason athletes want to avoid "short-arming" the ball is that it causes a loss in distance and velocity.  It's less effective.  Coaches will work with those athletes to help them get more extension and a greater range of motion in their throwing attempts, so they attain more speed and accuracy. 

There's an equivalent to short-arming when it comes to chivalry.  For some guys there's a degree of uncertainty.  Do they really want to do it?  Does she really want it?  Do I look too formal or out-of-place?  What ends up happening for some men is that they pull back and offer something that looks chivalrous but isn't fully extended.  That results in a gesture that looks awkward or not elegant, and it renders the act less effective.


 
 
A lot of times when the word "priorities" gets used, it focuses on business.  That seems to be where a lot of attention gets placed in terms of having a path to get things accomplished.  People will create action plans and strategies to implement steps.  There will be ongoing reviews of progress to make sure those priorities are being met.  It's all done to help provide a measurable path to success.
Less often that word comes up for people in their personal lives.  It's as if life is expected to sort of hum along.  and that we can throw our attention to things as they crop up.
Man labeling priority list
What if you were to give the same evaluation of priorities to your life?  How would things change?  And where would your main relationship (husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend) fit in?

It is frequently heard that on people's deathbeds they express the wish that they had spent more time with family than on building their careers.  So why didn't they?  Could it be because on the job they got pulled into a line of thinking about priorities and goals that remained something on which they could focus?


 
 
Sometimes things hit you between the eyes.  That happened for me recently when I attended an event at the Stamford Yacht Club.  The observation happened as I was going to the restroom!

At first it was just something I noticed.  But then I realized how
this one thing could have big repercussions.

What I saw on the door struck me.  The sign read 'Gentlemen.'  That's not the word you typically see on a restroom door nowadays.  Usually there's just the plain word "men."  Or in other cases the iconic avatar of an amorphous male figure so that words aren't even needed.  No, the word here was  'gentlemen.' 

 
 
The date.  You have a lot riding on it. Maybe it’s early in a new relationship and you want to really stand out and impress her, let her know you’re not a run-of-the mill guy.  Or maybe you’re a couple, always busy between work, kids, the house, and it’s one of those all too rare nights out to enjoy together.  Whatever your personal case it matters for the date to go well.
Think of how many dates you go on during your life.  If it’s just 10 a year, that’s anywhere from 400 to 600 dates.  Hopefully more.  Let’s say each one costs $100 on average, some more, some less.  That’s $40,000!  Of course, if some of those dates turn into "the real thing" they can become priceless.

Realize that if you're married the dating doesn't stop.  Great dates can keep the relationship better and make you both a touch happier so you stay together.  So those dates become worth however much a breakup and divorce could cost you.


Among all those dates, how many of them turn into simply another 'fine' but quickly forgotten time?  How many leave her feeling like the place was nice, the food was good but nothing stood out as memorable?


If the date isn’t memorable, how will you be?
Man helping wife with coat

 
 
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.

 
 
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.