7 Interesting Habits & Traits A Man Needs To Have In Order To Be Considered A True Gentleman
When you hear the word "gentleman" your mind probably goes to three descriptors: respectful, caring, and considerate. A gentleman is someone you can count on to lift you up. He would never forget your birthday, speak negatively about you, or make you feel inadequate. He understands your needs, hopes, and desires, and — even better — has learned how to properly communicate his. So, what traits does someone need to have to be a true gentleman?
While stereotypical gender roles and the meaning of a gentleman has, thankfully, evolved over time, the traditional essence of the word, can still ring true. "The definition of a gentleman dating back to the 1600s is 'a man of good, courteous conduct.' There are many terms that I feel are in fact antiquated, but this definition of a gentleman still stands true today," Meredith Davis, Communications and Partnerships at The League, tells Bustle. "Why should this be any different for a modern day gentleman?"
Many things, however, have changed since the 1600s. Today's gentleman isn't about holding the door or standing up when you get up from the table, today it's about someone who views you as his equal. He's not afraid to call himself a feminist because he believes there is room for everyone to succeed. The modern day gentleman allows himself to be sensitive because he knows the degree of his masculinity does not define his worth.
Today, being a gentleman isn't about traditional gender roles — it's all about respect. And it's just as important that their partner, regardless of gender, possesses these qualities too. Here are the traits to look out for, according to experts.
1He Puts Himself In Your Shoes
Communication is a two-way street and a gentleman makes sure he hears everything you have to say. He not only listens but he also digests it, making sure you know that you're being heard. "He attunes to his [partner]," Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT, and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love, tells Bustle. "Instead of trying to fix [their] emotions or [their] problems, he listens and empathizes. He tries to understand [their] feelings and perspective by showing genuine interest and attempting to understand why the issue at hand is important to [them]."
2He Opens His Mind Up To Life
"He believes in equality [over] elitism," Davis says. "He values a partner that will challenge him with different opinions and ideas, even if sometimes that means he has to be wrong." A gentleman knows that his opinion isn't the only one and is curious to learn about how others view the world.
3He Works For The Good Of Humanity
4His Actions Mirror His Words
When a gentleman says something, like he's a feminist, it doesn't stop there. He believes that actions should match words. "I think a gentleman is somebody who listens and tries to understand the experiences and emotional impact of another person," Rubin says. "His actions match along with his words."
5He Makes You Feel Comfortable
A gentleman will always make sure you're comfortable. "I think what’s important about being a gentleman is to be consciously aware of making [your partner] feel comfortable and secure (safe) with you while enjoying the experience," Thomas Edwards Jr., founder of The Professional Wingman, tells Bustle. "It’s not anything a guy goes out of his way to ensure. In fact, it’s purely natural to the point where it may not even be noticed by anyone except for the one experiencing it."
6He Communicates Calmly
A gentleman is aware of his anger and does his best to channel it in a healthy manner. "He doesn’t escalate conflict," says Chlipala. "Escalating conflict inevitably increases negative behaviors."
Those who can keep clam during an argument and even help their partner do the same through empathizing, will have healthy relationships, Chipala says.
7He Anticipates Your Needs
"Really, it’s anticipating situations and instead of asking, just leading," Edwards Jr. says. "Leadership is one of the definitive qualities that make a gentleman," Knowing when your partner might need a little help, even if they don't say anything, is a perfect example of being a good partner.
The truth is, a gentleman is made up of a variety of characteristics that are important for anyone — no matter their gender — to possess. No one is a perfect partner, but making a genuine effort to listen, communicate, and anticipate your partner's needs is important for anyone who wants their relationship to last.