You’ve heard this before. Life is relative. If women want to see more gentlemanly behavior, they need to act more as ladies.
You can start immediately with no fanfare or preparation. Just silently, patiently, and enjoyably turn the following behaviors into daily habits. Almost subliminal body language combined with repetition, silence, and patience can work wonders.
- Two couples ride in the same car. The women sit in back. When car stops they continue talking until the men open the doors. (I know. Women prefer to sit with their man, especially up front. It’s okay but no good for teaching gentlemen to treat women as ladies.)
- Never walk behind your man. Stay up with him so you can nudge ahead and wait at every door, or give some other silent message for him to open it and let you enter first.
- Teach sons to open and hold doors for mom as soon as son is able. If son is grown, teach him the same way as your husband. (I often see helicopter moms opening and holding doors for elementary school sons. Tsk, tsk. Of course they have a reason, but their sons learn to expect women to cater to masculine whims.)
- When being seated in restaurants, avoid booths. Patiently stand behind your chair momentarily. Don’t be quick to seat yourself. Lag enough to attract attention that you want help. (Men like to rescue women.) However, never attract more than subliminal attention, never be obnoxious or foot-stomping exasperated. But repeat the pause each time until someone starts to help you be seated. (The first few times will surprise your husband, which isn’t good. To overcome it, smile, wink, and show approval of him before he starts to seat himself. Once he starts the downward motion anyway, seat yourself.)
- Comment on any gentlemanly behavior you see. Casually praise it in front of all the males present. Cite the behavior which makes you credible for mentioning it; admire the gentleman which impresses the other males that hear you. (You pay attention to their subjects all the time; let them listen to the woman’s side even if it’s not what they want to hear.)
- If not sooner, then just before they reach puberty give sons a list of gentlemanly behaviors that you enjoy seeing in real men. Give in some permanent form those courtesies that you admire in any man. If sons treasure the list, they treasure you.
- Early in childhood, let sons overhear mom teaching daughters what to expect out of well-behaved boys and gentlemen. If sons are older and gentlemanly in their behavior, let them help teach sisters.
- Start giving the civilian salute to servicemen in uniform. (Put your hand over your heart and sweep it forward as if opening your heart.) As you pass, find a greeting that includes “gentlemen” or “sir.” In the case of female warriors, add a nod of the head and “ma’am.” Don’t use masculine or military boldness in such greetings but a ladylike display of respect due to special people. (Such recognition is not too far removed from the respect you should be getting simply because you’re a lady.)
- Develop this habit. Use some unique and special greeting that you give when you see gentlemanly behavior. For example, a man opens the door and holds it for you. Whether husband is with you or not, say this: “Men are never more handsome than when they show courtesy to women. Thank you.” (Add ‘thanks’ at the end so your comment is heard first by all within earshot.) Especially let your sons and daughters hear you use the greeting whenever possible. (The generality keeps it from being personal but its a loud ‘hoo-rah’ of admiration that men like to hear.)
- Walk on every man’s left side (if he’s left-handed he may prefer the right). Make it obvious but not obnoxious when you move to that side. Your movement subliminally registers with him that you expect him to protect you. You freed up his weapon arm. (It’s symbolic of course, but symbols have meaning if but to remind men they have obligations with a lady at their side.)
- Walk alongside but let him lead. (Her Majesty Grace has trouble keeping up sometimes. So, she often slips her hand in mine as inspiration to keep up with my inconsiderate impatience to get wherever I’m going. It has the subliminal effect of slowing me down.)
You no doubt know many other ways to demonstrate ladylike behavior. Try them, you may like them. Not for the effects on your man but for the better way it makes you feel. It can work like 5 mirror time articles starting at post 2123. Keep this in mind whatever you choose to do. Keep a good humor, smile a lot, and enjoy whatever your man does special on your behalf. (To thank him endlessly goes too far. It makes you feel good but not him. He prefers the half-mysterious smile of gratitude that he can translate as admiration.)