Is the idea of gentlemanly behaviour in public an outdated concept that modern society has left behind? Do you consider yourself to be a gentleman? Or is having different manners for men and women now passé? Opinions vary.
For example, I always pause when passing through a door if I am walking with a woman in order to allow her to enter first. It is an ingrained habit that I don’t even think about anymore. I was once taught that this was the polite thing to do, and that has stuck with me. Some people see any behaviour – no matter how benign your intentions – that treats women differently from men is offensive.
A new study has revealed the top 50 signs that you are a real gentleman, and many of them seem like just good manners or life skills to have. Others seem like they may be a bit of a generational backlash.
For example, 41 per cent of survey respondents say that a gentleman should have short hair, with man buns, pony tails, and the quiff (modern pompadour) being out. It’s true that you wouldn’t catch James Bond sporting any of those styles, but it still sounds like older people disliking some current fashion trends of younger guys.
Similarly, the report claims that the modern gentleman should handwrite letters, reads a broadsheet newspaper, and has never taken a selfie. Okay, I’ve never taken a selfie, but seriously: who handwrites a letter anymore? Or reads a paper? The printed newspaper is by definition, yesterday’s news.
Number three on the top 50 gentlemanly behaviours bridges the gap. It calls out a modern bad habit that too many of us have, but is difficult to argue with. A gentleman puts his phone away at the dinner table. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask.
Here they are.
The top behaviours of the modern gentleman
1. Holds the door open for others
2. Listens when other people speak
3. Puts his phone away at the dinner table
4. Keeps good personal hygiene
5. Arrives punctually to social events and meetings
6. Keeps a tidy home
7. Lends his jacket to his partner on a cold night
8. Knows when to admit he is wrong
9. Polishes his shoes
10. Keeps himself in shape
11. Greets guests at the door
12. Tells the truth, even in difficult circumstances
13. Knows when to ask for help
14. Good at remembering names and faces
15. Up to date on current events
16. Never gets too drunk
17. Walks on the road-side of the pavement
18. Avoids gossip and gossiping
19. Keeps a tidy wardrobe
20. Wears a watch
21. Generous in the bedroom
22. Steps in to resolve disputes
23. Refrain from social media over-use
24. Tells witty anecdotes
25. Tech savvy, but not overly so
26. Brings his partner breakfast in bed
27. Gives money to charity
28. Knows how to set a table
29. Knows how to change a tire
30. Can entertain your children
31. Has opinions on the political landscape
32. Knows how to give a toast at dinner
33. Cooks a few signature dishes
34. Knows how to host a mean BBQ
35. Knows how to put up a shelf
36. Good music taste
37. Knows how to carve at the dinner table
38. Knows how to tie a bow tie
39. Has never taken a selfie
40. Knows how to flirt
41. Handwrites letters
42. Reads a broadsheet newspaper
43. Knows their whisky
44. Reads the literary greats
45. Knows a second language
46. Has a signature drink
47. Knows about flowers
48. Knows the offside rule
49. Knows how to make a range of alcohol drinks
50. Knows how to camp/bushcraft
As I mentioned, many of these seem like valuable life skills (men should be able to change a tire, cook a meal, put up a shelf, and start a campfire) and good manners (not using their phone at the table, holding open doors, showing up on time for things).
What do you think? Are the rules of being a gentleman still relevant in 2017, and how many of them to you adhere to?
Bonus question: Do you stand up when a woman arrives at or departs from the table? And should you?