Chivalry Isn’t Dead, I’ve Seen It

You can’t desire what you don’t know.

For the longest time, I thought I had hit the bar when it came to dating. The men I had been in relationships with were intelligent and kind. They worked hard. Some of them even said they loved me. But it wasn’t until this past year that I realized how low I had let the bar drop, because I met someone who shattered it.

I met this man early in the year through mutual friends. I instantly felt drawn to his passion and big smile. We developed a friendship, and several months after meeting he called to ask me on a date. This was new. No random text, no ambiguous, hey, you want to hang out sometime? but a real life phone call where he used the word “date,” and already had potential days and times in mind. Needless to say, I accepted.

I’d never been on dates like this before. Each one was completely planned out ahead of time based on what I liked or places we had talked about. Everything was completely paid for by him. He was constantly checking up on me to see how I felt or if I needed anything. Truthfully, I’ve never felt so well taken care of or appreciated by a date in my life.

For the first time, I felt like I was being noticed on a deep level. This man wasn’t interested in me just because I was funny, or pretty, or could help him in some way. He really wanted to get to know me: what I dreamed about, what I struggled with, what I loved. It was apparent in every conversation we had, every moment we spent together, and I never once felt like he had an alternative agenda.

Ultimately, the relationship did not work out romantically. But thankfully, this man did not just drop me. He didn’t send a text. He didn’t disappear. He clearly shared how he felt, thanked me for the time we had shared, affirmed my worth, and we parted as friends. How rare is this?

If you’re thinking to yourself, Wow, that doesn’t really happen or Good for you, but I’d never find a date like that, my only question to you is why not? Let me tell you what I learned from this:

I learned that the bar I set is the bar I get. If I believe I’m never going to find anything better, I won’t. For the longest time, I didn’t believe dates could be this good. I had an idea of love in my mind and what it looked like, and I was settling for it. Does this mean my previous dates were terrible or the men were bad people? Not at all. I didn’t realize what I was missing, so I tricked myself into thinking it didn’t exist. Because of this man, I not only know what real men are like, but I know what they say, how they act, and how they treat women. Chivalry is not an abstract idea, and it isn’t dead. I’ve seen it.

Even though the relationship ended, I didn’t let it make me cynical. That would have been wrong. I can look at it and see what a gift it truly was, because it helped me to understand where I had been selling myself short and to recognize the chances I have for growth in the future. You can’t desire what you don’t know, but I know now, and so do you. We know how good it can be. It can only go up from here, and I’m excited to see where love takes me next.

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