Social Question

XOIIO's avatar

Am I too old fashioned?

Asked by XOIIO (16833 points ) February 12th, 2013 from iPhone

I’m wondering if I’m too old fashioned in terms of my perspective on relationships, especially for my age (18).

To me the whole chivalry thig just seems normal, paying for whatever expenses there would be, opening doors, pulling out chairs, offering to take a jacket, etc. same with some things which seem less common like always walking on the street side of the sidewalk, making sure that if a car veers off or hits a puddle or something I would be the one that takes the fall.

I also feel a big responsibility for their well being, and my thinking is if there something that would cause her any sort of injury, mortal or not it would be my responsibility to protect her, even if it would result in my serious injury or death.

So, is this whole thing too old fashioned for moder day relationships, and/ or for second of my age?

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23 Answers

Mariah's avatar

I would ask why you feel the need to do those things? Because if I get any sense that it’s out of some belief that women are fragile creatures that need a man to take care of them, I’m not gonna like that. If you’re just trying to be thoughtful, that’s awesome. It can go both ways though and doesn’t have to be a gender thing.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think it’s pretty neat and admirable, but yes, a little unusual at your age. Were you raised by older people or grandparents?

As long as you don’t throw in the negatives, like controlling her, or allowing yourself to feel ‘too’ responsible for her, it is her life after all.

bookish1's avatar

Nothing wrong with acting like that if that’s how you want to behave toward a partner, and not simply because you expect something out of it.
How would you feel if a girl did not appreciate all of these gestures, for whatever reason?

XOIIO's avatar

@mariah thing is I don’t believe that at all, I know women are more than capable of taking care of themselves, and that they don’t necessarily need of want someone to do anything at all for them.

@KNOWITALL
My mother is currently nearing 40, so I didn’t pick up any old fashioned stuff from her, I’m not sure where I get it from.

@bookish1 yes, it is only towards partners, but I don’t expect anything at all in return, especially since I feel like its what I should be doing. If she didn’t want this kind of behavior I would stop doing it, however I would feel like I’m just not doing what I’m supposed to, it would be odd by I’d adjust.

wundayatta's avatar

Why do you ask? Are you having any problem with this behavior? Do you wish you could change? Are y ou getting any negative feedback? Being teased?

I don’t know what fashion you are, but my feeling is that you do what you are comfortable with so long as it doesn’t hurt others. If someone tells you you are hurting them, I hope you would stop the offensive behavior. Perhaps move on to someone who might appreciate it. If you find no one appreciates it, then you might want to change. But not if your habits are more important to you than your relationships.

XOIIO's avatar

@wundsyata no particular reason, I’m not even in a relationship and don’t see any future ones, just curious and also because it seems this generation doesn’t have my sort of perspective.

wundayatta's avatar

@XOIIO Who knows whether you can make any generalization about them or not. I would not spend any time thinking about it, unless I was worried it might cost me a relationship. But I suspect it isn’t chivalry that costs relationships. It would be other attitudes—more sexist attitudes, or if the chivalry was hiding some kind of pervasive disrespect. As long as those kinds of things aren’t true, you’re good to go.

JLeslie's avatar

I like the chivalry thing, except I would say at 18 the man does not have to pick up all the expenses, unless he has some money that is unusual for a teen. Teen boys and girls have similar abilities to earn money.

I don’t like when chivalry is annoying, but I like it when it contributes to order and is helpful.

My husband opens my car door sometimes, he walks on the street side a lot of the time, he helps me with my chair when I am all dressed up and in high heels. Sometimes he doesn’t go to do some of these thing, so I ask him when I need the help. It makes sense, men should offer to lift something heavy, the average man is much stronger than the average woman, with longer arms to hold something large, and more height to lift something above our heads when necessary. It is really pretty difficult to get out of my low to the ground sportscar in my high heels and skirt, a hand would be nice. My MIL did not wait for her husband to help her our of my high of the ground truck and the door flew open too much and hit my other car. Actually, I hold the door for my dad in cases where the car is parked close to another car, it is not just about gender, it is about what makes sense.

But, don’t hold a door from me when I am still 30 feet away, I don’t want to have speed up because you are waiting for me, unless my hands are so full I really cannot open the door myself. And, don’t constantly allow me to go ahead of you when I have no idea where we are going. If you know the way you lead.

marinelife's avatar

I think in this day and age. it is good to go dutch or take turns picking up the tab. I also think whoever gets to a door first should hold it open for the next person. I do not expect guys to come around the car and open my door.

I do think you are a little old-fashioned, but I.m sure it’s charming.

RandomGirl's avatar

16-year-old girl here: It’s sweet of you to still do things like this! I think it’s great! It’s not a deal breaker for me, but when a guy is chivalrous, it certainly makes me think, “What a great guy!”.

I’m sure there’s a girl (like me) out there who appreciates this. Keep it up.

But at the same time… I’ve run into guys who are way overboard with chivalry. They refuse to walk through a door being held open by a girl (i.e. girl is at the front of a group, gets to a door first, holds the door open for the rest of the group, goes through last). They won’t let a girl carry anything heavier than a feather. For goodness sakes, use a little common sense, and don’t make a girl feel like all she’s worth for is reproducing. (From reading your question, I doubt you’re one of those guys… But still – I felt the need to put it out there.)

glacial's avatar

I agree with @RandomGirl. If your personal need to be chivalrous makes situations awkward, recognize that you should get over yourself, and let her open a door. Being nice to other people is always a good thing, but it’s important to let others act freely.

That door-holding example happens quite frequently to me. I am grateful if the person ahead of me to holds open a door. If I am ahead of someone else, I hold the door open for them. This is common courtesy, and practically a Canadian law. But if I’ve opened a door and am holding it open for a man behind me, and he stands there and refuses to walk through it, or looks very awkward about doing so, then that lowers my opinion of him. He is putting his own needs before mine in that situation, and it is not appreciated.

Mariah's avatar

@XOIIO Sounds fine then. I have a question though, how would you react if a girl insisted on picking up the tab?

Personally I would prefer not to be treated this way, my boyfriend and I tend to alternate or just pay based on whoever’s idea the particular date was. He started out paying but when I told him I’d rather switch on and off, he didn’t dig his heels in. I would recommend listening to this sort of feedback if you get it, rather than sticking to your guns unless they really are that important to you. You would not want your actions to be misconstrued as being that unsavory attitude I described earlier if that is not really how you feel.

YARNLADY's avatar

My sons and grandsons have learned to be polite to anyone, not just women.

gondwanalon's avatar

Sadly I think that the answer to your question is yes. You apparently were born about 3 generations too late. I was also born too late about one generation. You and I should have been born around 1920 and be part of the “Greatest Generation”. That was a time when polite respectful manors toward elders and women was expected and the chrome on car bumpers was thick. Nowadays we expect and accept poor manors and plastic cars.

XOIIO's avatar

@Mariah It would be kind of odd, but if she really wanted to I guess I’d let her.

@gondwanalon Shoot, I guess I’ll need my time machine. Well, when I get one.

I hereby resolve that if I get a time machine at any point in the future I will bring it back to a moment 30 seconds from the time I post this answer.

XOIIO's avatar

… well crap, that’s dissapointing.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

You were brought up with what was considered good dating manners in my parent’s generation. While these customs are practised less commonly today, your behaviour is charming and thoughtful. As long as you are demonstrating respect rather than exerting control over your date, do not be concerned unless your date indicates discomfort with your conduct.

SamandMax's avatar

This is quality stuff, man. Don’t let it bite you in the butt though, because it can and sometimes it will – especially if you go out with the wrong kind of woman. hey bite me, I know that much is true!

Mariah's avatar

Now why’s it so odd for the woman to want to pay? Some women are uncomfortable receiving unequal treatment – now I understand this is unequal in a favorable way, but there are still plenty of reasons to be uncomfortable. She may feel guilty to be a financial burden. She may feel that she wants to be on a completely even ground with her partner – small concessions like these can lead to bigger ones. She may feel uncomfortable with the concept of someone “buying” her affections (I understand this isn’t your intention). Or…you’re getting some amount of emotional satisfaction out of the idea of doing these things, right? Is it so inconceivable that a woman might want that same satisfaction, the feeling that she has done something kind for someone she cares about?

The trouble is that “old fashioned” views of women also contained a lot of unsavory aspects like expecting her to be a housewife and to get back in the kitchen and make a sandwich. Now I realize it’s a hyperbole to even compare your (kind, generous) actions to something awful like that, but the two are linked by their time periods and that link alone can make some women uncomfortable.

Not trying to criticize, just want you to be aware of what might go through some ladies heads. By this thread, though, it sounds like it isn’t something you’d have to worry about too commonly.

Sunny2's avatar

Good manners don’t go out of fashion. It’s good manners for young ladies to accept such conventions without making a big deal of it. As long as you’re relaxed enough not to insist that she follows your lead even if it isn’t convenient, you’ll be fine. And you will find girls who appreciate that about you.

Taciturnu's avatar

I think its wonderful and its something I appreciate. The right girl will appreciate your gestures and you each will fit the role the other needs.

Paradox25's avatar

I guess to each their own, but I’m old enough to be your dad and you’re much more traditional than I am concerning dating. Personally I believe in common courtesy towards both sexes rather than chivalry biased towards a certain sex.

I’ll do simple things such as holding a door open for her, lifting heavier items, helping her get into my jacked-up truck (lol) but I’ll generally avoid pulling a chair out, walking curbside, tipping hats, etc. There’s nothing wrong with your traditionalism, if that’s what you both want, and as long as you don’t use your traditionalism to judge other guys for not doing what you do.

thert1946's avatar

It is in the regular situation.
Do not feel upset.

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