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

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Facebook would probably define the relationship I’m developing with myself as “complicated”

This past weekend has been one hell of an emotional roller coaster for me. Looking for Mr. Right in today’s restless society is quite daunting.  I have met men but have an unerring knack of attracting the wrong type. For me the past couple of years has rolled on with the hope of a wonderful relationship blooming in my dreams — and ultimately withering in the face of reality.  However, the men I have met while I’ve been here the last six months have had a common theme. They’ve all been completely unavailable. Either literally – because they’ve had girlfriends or wives, or emotionally – because they just got out of a serious relationship or because they’re just not looking for a special someone at this time. None of these guys have been particularly rude or nasty – they have all, in fact, been very kind and openly honest. They have poured out their hearts and their souls or spoken of their leading ladies in the highest of terms.

For me, my life overall is in a good place. My children, family, friendships and career are a great source of fun and celebration, but at the end of the day I don’t have that one special person who is just there just for me. So at the age of 32, I got a therapist. She has shown me how important it is to revisit the problems of the past to move on from them. So off we plunged into my tormented psyche until we crashed and burned at the bottom.

Now that I am in a much healthier state of mind, I realize that in every past relationship I have attempted,  I try to push “him” away before he could give up of his own accord.  I wasn’t gonna  wait for fate to throw off its happy-ever-after cloak and shout ‘Gotcha!’ like some horrible pantomime villain.  I had to step back and  distinguish between what I need and what I want. (there is nothing wrong with wants, but just make sure that they are lower on your list than the needs) I have prioritized and know which qualities & attributes I will not compromise on, and which ones are up for discussion.   I need a man who is compassionate, responsible, supportive, caring, dedicated, etc.,  he is the person who will be able to adapt to whatever comes ‘our’ way in life.

Don’t get me wrong though, I firmly believe a woman in a man’s world has to be tough as nails.  For this reason, I have developed a hard shell that no one can penetrate. But, I do have a softer side that not many see. Turns out, once I agree to give love a fair shot, I am surprisingly vulnerable.  It might take me until I was 50 to find the right man, and I will probably have smooched more than my share of pond life along the way, but kissing Mr. Right (My Unicorn) will be more than worth the wait.

– love is always one step ahead

April McManus.

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“Good Girl”

What’s the most romantic thing I could possibly do for myself? What about setting my alarm for the break of dawn and getting up even though it’s oh-so-early and going to sunrise yoga by myself? Really? Really! My best strategy for really making the most of my life is to get really, really good and grounded. Connect with myself. Connect with my feelings and emotions. Connect with my wants and my needs. Connect with my desires.

Now, breathe!

#April McManus
@April McManus

The best thing about starting over is I didn’t look back

Well, hello there beautiful!  Hope all is well in your life.  Pretty sure if your reading this blog then you too are a courageous single mom too. 

 Single mom by choice?!?!  That’s absurd….right?  Wrong!  For me personally, these past couple of years have been extremely busy. Between, the divorce, keeping up with my photography company, learning a new career outside of the home, raising three daughters, 2 year rottie puppy and now blog writing at night on our crazy yet fun lives – I’m stretched a wee bit thin. Then there’s laundry, food shopping, cooking and cleaning to get done. Okay, okay…maybe I’m not really keeping up with the cooking and cleaning part.  And, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade it for all the gold in the world. 

Life as a single parent who works outside the home is rewarding and challenging. Life as a single mother who works outside the home is even more-so. I believe I am pretty typical, it seems, of many professionals just trying to balance regular old life.  I’ve tried to organize my days, but a truthfully, a systematic weekly schedule doesn’t work for me right now.

It’s a beautiful Sunday evening. I’m typing this, listening to the hum of the washing machine while Mari is sitting in her bedroom. As soon as I hit publish, I hope to take a quick walk. 

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Optimistic Single Woman