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Chivalry Is Not Abuse

I was trolling the internet and tripped across something that has nothing to with politics, politicians, elections, public policy or much else that I typically write about.  But I had to write about this.

In a post at Corkin.com Sanford Kahn makes a weak attempt to explain that you can out a male control freak by seeing how he reacts if the woman want to pay for the meal while dating.

On the next date, why don’t you suggest taking him out to dinner and see how he reacts? It doesn’t have to be an expensive restaurant. What is important is his reaction.

If he reacts in the negative and makes a fuss about how that is not important, it could be an early indication that he likes to be in charge and in control..

Not every woman desires a traditional man.  Perhaps this test could have been better positioned as a filter for those women to prevent them from dating a gentleman for far too long.

I was raised by a very traditional and conservative family.  My Grandfather would have rolled in his grave if I had ever not paid for a meal on  date or failed to open a door for a lady.  I don’t see these actions as my exerting my manly authority over a building entrance, car door or restaurant tab – it’s taking care of my partner.

After 13 years of marriage, my wife and I make the decisions on different things.  Certain topics we go with what she wants, on others my decision may stand.  It’s not because we are both control freaks, but that we know each others strengths and weaknesses.  Why would I make a call on something where she is clearly better informed?

As far as restaurant bills, to this day, my wife has never paid the bill when we went out together.  The money all comes from the same account and we tend to carry the same amount around.  The action of signing the bill or leaving the money is the same today as it was 15 years ago when we dated – its my way of saying that I will take care of my partner and that I take my responsibility to the family seriously.  Yes, it’s symbolic – but so is a hug, a kiss, holding hands.

If Sanford wanted to offer advice on how to find out if your date is a control freak, there are far better signs.  Can you pick the restaurant?  Does he try to pick your food for you?  Or a billion other signals that should be easy to pick up on.

Being a gentleman means taking care of a lady.  If you prefer living in a world where chivalry is dead, this test is indeed for you.  I am not sure how long you will enjoy your relationship with someone that does not think he needs to do much at all for you – least of all something so simple as paying for a meal.

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