Okay, so I have to admit this: I strive hard to be a gentleman. I know that it may sound off for some. However, I know that I was raised to “treat people right”. So yes, I open doors for people (especially females). Of course, I make sure I walk old ladies across the street and grab their bags. I must admit: I’m just an all-around nice guy.

Then again, there is another part of the equation that I rarely mention: I suck at having ulterior motives.

Hey, I get this look all the time. I probably get it as much as I give it.

Hey, I get this look all the time. I probably get it as much as I give it.

Oh, yes. I can imagine it now: the furrowed brow or the Shaq face of disbelief. I understand why many may feel this way. If I was one of you out there, I would have that same look on my face. Still, there is much more for me to actually explain.

I don’t deal with ulterior motives because they have never gotten me anywhere. Oh, there were quite a few instances where I tried to get with a female for the sake of “conquering the plain in Spain” (or whatever). However, most of those situations were like a bowl of Fail Flakes in the morning towards an awful day: I started wrong just to end off worse. They were disasters from beginning to end. Thus, the use of ulterior motives in my world has led to letdowns.

bowl of fail flakes

Still, many men are letting their undercover desires guide their goodwill. Actually, they think that this is “acceptable reciprocity”. I’m going to dispel that myth once and for all.

Chocolate covered lie: all chivalrous acts should come with expectations.

The Understanding

I can tell you why this is done: male/female relationships have “evolved” (or devolved depending on the perspective). From the times of King Arthur to the days of John F. Kennedy being in office, chivalry was the norm [1]. However, things took a change once the women liberation movement hit. J.R. Bruns, M.D. took note of all the occurrences:

Basically in the last half century, courtship rules have become as vague and uncertain as the unwritten rules of baseball or the judging of Dances With the Stars. Today’s men express frustration because they accept the equality of women but are afraid that acting romantic will be interpreted as being antiquainted, sexist and offensive. And chivalry by men was interpreted by many politically active women as wanting to control and keep them down. So for many men, doing nothing is better than risking being offensive. [2]

Thefore, it should be noted that chivalry has taken a hit over the past few decades.

The Re-Establishment

Still, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to not include a proper case for chivalry to still exist. The author of Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert) observed that both men and women have no role models to emulate in this Brave New World of courtship and marriage [3]. As opinionated as this is, there is some truth to this statement. As a society, we have succumbed to thinking that there should be a reward for having good manners [4]. The bigger thing is this: why should we concern ourselves about “getting retribution” when good manners should be the everyday decorum?

Not the top one. The bottom one.

Not the top one. The bottom one.

I mean, let us be serious: should I expect something in return every time I do something respectable? Has our society decomposed culturally to the point that we can’t be good for the sake of being good? I shouldn’t expect a knitted blanket every time I help someone’s grandma with their groceries. And I bet your bottom green George Washington that I shouldn’t expect sexual gratification for every moment that I treat a woman like she is worth the air that the water cycle allows us to breathe. Thus, why can’t we be good to each other because it is the right thing to do?

The Skinny

As a culture, we need to lose the ulterior motives and get back to doing what is good for others. I understand that times, and plenty of gender roles, have changed. However, that should not change the position of gratitude, graciousness, and good old fashioned manners. At the end of the day, many of us should be motivated by kindness and generosity. Once we let that motivate us, the world has a tendency to open up in the palms of our hands.

‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!

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