This is a guest post by Claudia Cox, creator of Text Weapon.
There was an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond on the other night. It got me chuckling, but it also got me thinking about what a gentleman is.
In the episode, Frank—a cranky, fairly loveless husband—rages at his wife in front of their family.
“Look what you’ve done to me!” he bellows. “I used to be a gentleman!”
Here was a man for whom chivalry ended when decimal currency was introduced, and who believed it was okay to shout at your wife in public before demanding she makes you a sandwich.
And I couldn’t believe it: He used to be a gentleman?
But then it got me to asking myself a few questions:
What is a gentleman? And how would a gentleman text?
These are pressing questions in 2016, when a lot of men have forgotten everything their forefathers had as second nature: that attractive knack of combining rugged, gritty manliness with politeness and manners.
I have a neighbor who loves to “pull a Frank”. He thinks it’s okay to be rude to his girlfriend in public.
…and he isn’t alone. I see it a lot. I’m not talking all-out physical or verbal abuse, but still a complete and utter disregard of the art of being a gentleman.
So what is the definition of a gentleman?
I read somewhere that a gentleman is someone who doesn’t do what he wants to do, but does what he has to do.
This was interesting.
My friend in particular does not like being told what to do. He does what he WANTS to do, rather than what he HAS to do.
If he wants to watch football and his girlfriend wants them to do something different today, he shrugs and tells her to get over it.
“Go out by yourself, you’re a big girl,” he says.
Guys like my buddy might believe that the concept of being a gentleman was an artificial creation and women really don’t care.
There are a lot of women who are looking for a gentleman.
And these women tend to be attractive, educated and very appealing.
They want you to be nice to them.
They want you to be polite, to have manners, to not bitch, to not curse excessively, to not be afraid of dancing with them and holding them.
They want you to grill for them, help them with their bags, hold doors for them, let them go first, buy them drinks, kill the spiders and so on.
I know this is all going to sound crazy and radical, but here it is: Women want to be treated like ladies.
Your friends might disagree.
Maybe they will even laugh at you if you tell them you want to be a gentleman and woo a special lady.
“Get outta here!” your neighbor might cry while wiping pizza from the corners of his lips and scratching his belly. “That’s 1920’s talk, bro. Women don’t want to be helped with their bags anymore, that’s why they got the vote. They love struggling down the street, man.”
But hey, he’s probably still burning his toast, right?
If you’re tired of dating the “undateables” and want to meet a special woman who is looking for a gentleman, there are a few things you have to do first.
Number one: You need to text like a gentleman.
This isn’t easy. Texting like a gentleman pretty much means you have to forget everything you know about texting.
It means learning new rules, and adopting a new persona.
And it means forgetting everything your buddy taught you about how to talk to women.
If you’ve got a woman’s number and you want to text her like a gentleman, here is how to do it:
Go For The Wow Factor
Try to imagine, if you will, the kinds of texts James Bond would send to his women.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine him shooting off one word texts.
And I definitely can’t imagine him using the dreaded “K” text:
“James, would you like a Martini on the rocks?”
No, that just would never happen.
I can’t picture him over-using “lol” or sending messy, typo-filled messages, either.
I can imagine him going for the whole sha-bang with each text.
To be a gentleman, you need to cut out your small, one-word texts.
You need to limit the emoticons to ONLY when they really add a punch, or make it clear that something’s funny (not sarcastic) and while you’re at it, lose the abbreviations.
Be a master wordsmith with every text. Coat your sentences with diamonds and tantalize her with your linguistic pyrotechnics.
“Just thinking about last night…amazing dinner, beautiful girl and enticing conversation. I want more”
“Wondering if your lips are as soft as they look…”
“Do you always have such an influence over people? Replaying our conversation over and over in my head. You’re intriguing…”
Take your time to craft the kind of text you know will maker her go weak at the knees.
And if you’re ever in doubt, ask yourself, “What would 007 do?”
Say You’re Sorry
We all make mistakes. We all make bad decisions and do the wrong thing. It’s human nature. It happens.
What’s worse than making a mistake is stubbornly refusing to accept responsibility and offer an apology.
This is crucial: An error of judgment is one thing but what you do next is far more important.
As a gentleman, you have to be prepared to admit that you’re wrong.
This is not easy for guys. Most have a lot of pride and don’t want to lose face.
But gentleman aren’t interested in shifting the blame elsewhere. They have empathy and good grace, and they’re always ready to hold their hands up and say “I’m sorry.”
While saying sorry in person is WAY better than via text…you can already start the machine by firing off a genuine, heartfelt “I’m sorry text” (with some strong “I’ll make it up to you later…” type of vibes).
Address Her By Her Name
Always address her by her name, or a cute pet name that you made just for her.
Not “Sup bitch.”
Addressing your girl by her name is not only polite and respectful, but it also fills her with confidence that you’re making this conversation about her.
Using her name is powerful stuff. It suggests you care about her, and it also tells her that, hey, she really is a big deal.
Don’t Bitch About Other People
I’ve got a friend who never stops ranting to me via text about other people.
If he’s not criticizing Mark for not returning his DVDs, he’s calling out Rick for putting on weight or Jeremy for his lame skills on the b-ball court.
I can only hope he doesn’t send similar texts to his girl.
Bitching about other people is bad form. It creates a negative impression of you and suggests that you’re a cynical, pessimistic person who would even bitch about her.
It doesn’t make you good company, either. Rather than someone she wants to text, you become someone she wants to avoid.
Have some self-control and respect others by saying only good things about people.
Make Her Feel Safe
Think back to when you dated a girl for the first time. You were probably fresh out of high school and didn’t really know what you wanted out of life, or even out of a relationship.
Maybe your youthful confusion was obvious and it even concerned your girlfriend.
“You’re too ambiguous,” she probably told you. “I never know where I stand with you.”
You might not have realized it at the time, but looking back you can probably see what she meant. I’m guessing that you didn’t exactly reassure her that you would be together for the long-haul.
Instead, you behavior unwittingly filled her with lots of niggling doubts.
Gentlemen don’t instill doubt in their partners. They make them feel secure and confident.
Texting is a fantastic way of reassuring your woman that she’s got you.
Consistent texting strengthens bonds because it shows that you are investing time in this relationship.
Texting back within a reasonable timeframe is important, too. It shows that she is a priority, and besides, it’s just polite and good manners.
Tell her often how much she means to you. Remind her that she’s amazing and that you love her. Even simple texts like ‘I’m so lucky to have you, Claudia” can make a world of difference (nudge nudge!).
Be a gentleman and make her feel like the most secure, special, amazing woman in the world.
Remember The Little Things
The modern, gritty man who couldn’t give a fig about being a gentleman probably doesn’t remember the little things that make his girl smile.
When she tells him that she’s got a job interview coming up in two weeks time, he grunts before saying she’s in the way of the TV.
The gentleman, though, makes a mental (or physical) note of everything.
Then, when the time draws nearer, he texts her about it.
“Good luck with your interview today! I know you will be fantastic, Claudia!”
It’s a simple text, but it’s loaded with meaning.
It’s quintessential gentlemanly behavior to remember the small things.
Call Her Up
Another mistake many guys make is never calling.
Do you always text? Do you only speak on the phone when she calls you?
I’m sure it’s not that you don’t want to call her, it’s not that you don’t love her, but maybe you didn’t take the time for a phone conversation because you had lots of other stuff to get done.
But remember: A gentleman doesn’t do what he wants to do, but what he has to do.
And one of the things you should be doing in a relationship is calling your girl up now and then.
Don’t just text. Brighten her day by taking the lead and calling her. Don’t make her pick up the phone every. Single. Time.
Take it upon yourself to be the charming, respectful, and all-too-rare modern gentleman, and prove to all us women out there that chivalry isn’t dead.
Best of all, you can get started just by picking up your phone.
Go on—be a gentleman.