I’ve always been a sucker for rom-com movies. In high school my best friend and I would spend our Friday nights in my family’s basement watching the latest chick flick while eating Twizzlers and frosted animal crackers. We’d swoon and sigh and dream of meeting our own special someone one day.
One of the things I always fell head-over-heels for was the depiction of good-old fashioned chivalry: the opening of doors, allowing the lady to go first, and rescuing her from potentially dangerous situations.
When I met my husband Adam, I was pleasantly surprised that he did all those things (well, except rescuing me from danger—I try to stay as far away from danger as possible). As our relationship has matured, however, I’ve discovered that chivalry is more than those grand gestures depicted in the movies.
If Adam wants to protect me, then that means not only protecting and cherishing my physical presence, but also my heart. When we were dating, it meant not leading me on, making the relationship seem like more than it was, and instead, always being honest about his feelings and intentions. It means having my back when someone makes remarks that may cause me to feel hurt, intentionally or unintentionally.
What he does every day for me says more about his love for me than a dozen roses ever could. It’s the small, everyday gestures that make the most difference in our marriage in the long run. For example, Adam will refill our car’s almost empty gas tank before I drive the vehicle so that I don’t have to stand out in the cold.
To me, when Adam is chivalrous, it tells me that he values me, that he wants to honor me and care for me, that he thinks I’m special and precious. He knows full well that I can open my car door on my own (though since having kids this has become harder!). But in opening the door for me, he conveys his love for me. It has nothing to do with what I can or can’t do. It has everything to do with my value as a person.
Chivalry isn’t always practical or perfect or easy to find, but it’s definitely not dead. My husband may not be the knight in shining armor from the movies I watched as a teen, but I am thankful that’s the case. He’s exactly what I need.