Chivalrous Acts

Congrats!

I’m a modern girl. I’m independent and I’m single. I have built a career from the ground up, read everyone from C.S. Lewis to Suzanne Collins, can navigate social media with relative ease, and watch New Girl every week like it’s my job.

And? I know I can take care of myself. But hey, call me old-fashioned, too. It’s fine. I can appreciate aspects of feminism, but I prefer gender roles. I like when a guy volunteers to kill a massive spider without complaint, or lift a heavy box in my stead.

I find chivalry to be a gorgeous thing. 

Most women I know are a little like that. We love our modern independence in life and in love, but deep down, we want guys to treat us like ladies. As most women will attest, it’s become increasingly rare. Gentlemanly behavior sets our hearts aflutter. We want to see it, and many of us are waiting on it.

Some men make us question why chivalrous acts have died out. However, other men prove that sweetness still exists. I want a guy to court me a bit. In fact, I’m sort of holding out for that. Someone to sweep me off my feet? No, gosh no. Grand gestures are wholly unnecessary. I just want someone I can count on. I just want him to do little things to make me sure he’s the real deal.

Dating today is tough, and we women always seem to have doubts about the guys that roll into our lives. Does he like me? Are his motives genuine? Can I trust him completely? Guessing means you usually can’t, and confusion isn’t a good thing.

Most women would like to erase that. So if he puts in the time and does the little things, it’s like a screening process for us. He’s more likely to be into us as human beings, not hookups. He’s more likely to be Mr. Right when we’re over dealing with all those Mr. Wrongs. That’s why chivalry is as important now as it ever was.

Here’s to all the women who are looking for that chivalrous, good-hearted guy. He’s out there. These are the things he does to make us swoon. (And to all those chivalrous, good-hearted guys, keep doing what you’re doing. We love you for it.)

Here are a few of the cutest ones that would make any girl swoon:

1. Call. It would be nice to receive a phone call instead of text messages. While a text shows you were on his mind, a phone call is more personal. Call, don’t text a date invitation. Just the fact that you would take the time to actually call a woman to ask her out on a date will put you light years ahead of your competition (of which there is a lot).

2. Offer you his jacket. When the weather turns colder, and you have on light clothing, it’s cute when he offers you his jacket. It’s a sweet gesture.

3. Put your hand on the small of her back when introducing her to someone. This is something I read a long time ago and it stuck with me for some reason. This is a passive sign of affection and isn’t inappropriate in a public setting, but it bonds the two of you together and helps her feel more comfortable.

4. Open the door for her. The door to the restaurant, the car door, the door to the car picking you up. Whatever door is relevant to you both walking through, please do not lose sight of this simple but often overlooked act of kindness.

5. Suffering through a girly movie. When a man volunteers to endure a girly show or movie because he knows you’ll enjoy it, he earns major bonus points. (Even more if he does so without complaining or expecting something in return.)

Women in turn should respect the act of chivalry. I know many women out there who do not want the door opened for them because it makes them feel like their power or independence is somehow being taken away from them. They are aggressive and headstrong in society. It may not be because they want to be, but because to make it in the world, they have to be. This is true. However, can you imagine a world where chivalry didn’t exist at all? Would you want your daughter marrying a man that didn’t show her this appreciation for being the amazing, strong, supporting, dynamic woman that she is?

In short, that’s what chivalry is — a choice. The choice to do the right things, for the right reasons, at the right times.

XOXO
April McManus

50 THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

I know that being happy can sometimes feel quite temporary and the little joys can easily get lost when you’ve had a bad day at work or been sat in traffic for two hours, so it’s great to remind ourselves of those little quirks that make us happy every now and again.

Without further ado, here are fifty of the things that make me happy (in no particular order).

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XOXO –

April

The Fight Goes On …

The Way We’re Told It Goes:
Meet The One…

1. Fall In BUTTERFLY Love
2. Have all the Feelings
3. Date
4. Move Into Together: AKA YOU’VE CROSSED THE FINISH LINE! You’re done! Congrats, Cinderella! All that’s left now is: Happily Ever After!!!!!

The Way It Has Worked For Me:
Meet A Special One…

1. Fall in Butterfly Love
2. Have all the feelings
3. Date
4. Move In Together  – AKA Cross the STARTING LINE.

5. You’ve begun. Shit gets real.  Grocery shopping and children and assembling furniture and navigating each other’s families and demons and other confusing, terrifying things keep happening.

6. Slowly understand that relationships are not what you thought it would be and your signicant other is not who you thought he’d be and additionally you are not who you thought you’d be.

7. Notice there are no more butterflies. Panic like bloody hell. Understand with mounting dread that LIFE has killed the butterflies and this must mean you have “fallen out of love.”

8. Look into separation.

9. Start to learn how horribly difficult it will be to separate for you and everyone you love and also – HOLY CRAP IT COSTS A LOT. Try to locate a path of less resistance. Search for some solution that is less emotionally and physically and mentally and financially expensive. It’s often not LOVE that makes us stay – but the expense of leaving. AND THAT’S OKAY.

10. Ask for help. Suggest meeting with experts, talk to wise people, read good books. Mostly, Be still and listen for The Next Right Thing in the quiet.Wait. Keep waiting. Make no decisions except what to do EXACTLY RIGHT NOW. Sit with the pain. Sit with the struggle. Sit with the uncertainty. Resist the relentless urge to deflect the pain, run from the pain, numb the pain with food- booze -work –future tripping- unkindness- false certainty -busyness or any other Wisdom Killer.  Just Be Still and Wait.

11. SLOWLY embrace the truth that a million warriors have discovered before you  – You have not FALLEN OUT OF LOVE. You have fallen out of infatuation AND INTO LOVE.  Like it or NOT- THIS IS IT, SISTER. This is Love. It ain’t the Disney version- it’s the REAL version. The Disney version is easy and shiny and struggle free and happily ever after but the Real Version is about allowing struggle to morph you into a bigger, more spiritual being. Real love is about METAMORPHOSIS, and metamorphosis IS FIFTY SHADES OF PAIN – just ask the butterfly.

12. Start over every freaking morning.

13. Go to sleep every night feeling exhausted and blessed as hell.

Much Love,

April

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Baby we can talk all night
But that ain’t getting us nowhere
I told you everything I possibly can
There’s nothing left inside of here…

I poured it on and I poured it out
I tried to show you just how much I care
I’m tired of words and I’m too hoarse to shout
But you’ve been cold to me so long
I’m crying icicles instead of tears…

And all I can do is keep on telling you
I want you
I need you
But there ain’t no way
I’m ever gonna love you
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad
Now don’t be sad
‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad….

Baby we can talk all night
But that ain’t getting us nowhere!

-Meatloaf

April McManus

Act Like a Lady…

Last week I was having lunch with a girl friend and we somehow ended up on the topic of romance and the current dating scene. By the end of lunch, we reached the conclusion that romance is pretty much dead. I was devastated at the thought, but I think we’re right.   The main issue is one centered on the women themselves. Many feel exhausted from all the various activities they undertake to look good and to make themselves seem as desirable as possible. In research, this is called self promotion because one is trying to promote herself as being the best option out there. Listening to a group of women who are active daters talk will often reveal the effort that is involved simply in terms of improving physical appearance. Then there is the financial cost of that undertaking – gym memberships, clothing, salon visits, teeth whitening, cosmetics and wonder creams are not cheap. Many women also feel unsure how to ‘be’ when dating – what personality characteristics should they display and hide? Is it ok to have a loud laugh or not? Is it ok to be intelligent, or does playing dumb improve one’s chances? Should they be honest about their profession if it’s one that is high in status, given that it might mean they are too competitive or challenging? Together, trying to put the best foot forward is not an easy undertaking if you are making the effort to find a good mate, especially if you are particularly self-conscious or have been away from the dating scene in a while.

As a single, independent woman, I am at a space now where I am not really interested in just casual sex, I’d rather have something more meaningful.  Dating in today’s society, most men are used to women who are okay with just being the “FWB” and not the Wife.  But are women really happy or have they just chose to settle for less?  I refuse to settle for anything less than what I deserve, and neither should you.  What does this all mean? Well, basically, in today’s dating scene, romance has been pushed to the side. Women tend not to display it, and they tell me it’s because the men they are meeting don’t care about romance at all. Men aren’t displaying it because women don’t expect them to – or at least that’s how it seems. For the men reading this blog, I’d advise you to use romance. 

One of my main areas of interests is on how women compete amongst each other for mates.  I have asked women about their perceptions of the dating market – what they have to do to acquire a good prospect in light of the fact that there are other women out there trying to win the same prize. A comment I routinely hear is that they greatly dislike the dating scene today. There are three main sources of concern – the quality of the mate, the energies they have to undertake to self promote, and the competition they face. Online dating has made relationships more disposable. Why?  In opinion commitment is based on the availability of alternatives. Online dating made a lot more people feel they are part of a larger mating pool than they were used to. People tend to be moving from one relationship to the next a lot faster than they seemed to before online dating existed. 

Society today praises choice. With regards to commitment, we are urged to be cautious: “Don’t commit yourself!”, “Someone better might be just around the corner!”, “Leave yourself an escape!”. I would suggest that, because of this, some women refrain from dating in a misguided attempt to keep their options open.  I think there is good sense in caution, but have we gone too far? Are we encouraged to wait too long?

In the end, the use of the Web to find love should not surprise anyone. Given how technology and communication tools in the past have always been turned to matching people together, there was no reason the Web should be any different.

 

XOXO,  April