Is Chivalry Dead in Dating? Stop Settling for Less

Dr. Susan Edelman
5 min readJul 29, 2023

The feminist movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries led to much more power for women in the workplace. But have we also gained more power in our private lives? Maybe not. And there’s one big problem — we may have killed off chivalry. All the old chivalry toward a woman — opening her door, paying for their dates — can now be met with hostility. Today, men must be careful because they could offend a woman by offering a helping hand. Not only can this cause confusion and frustration among men, but they naturally stop offering these nice gestures. Women believe they shouldn’t need a man. If a man helps, she may feel offended as if it implies, she is weak or helpless. Or ashamed because she shouldn’t need any help. The result is what Aprilla Beverly Jenkins observed, “Chivalry isn’t dead; you just started settling for a lot less.” What could be wrong with encouraging men to value honor, courtesy, and helpfulness? These are worthwhile virtues in a high-quality man. We all need help sometimes and there is no shame in it. Plus, a little chivalry can spark romantic feelings in us. It can feel good when a man makes you feel special. What’s wrong with more of that?

What’s the True Definition of Feminism?

The women’s movement was about fighting for equality. But does that mean we must be so fiercely independent that we can’t let a man help us with anything? Ask yourself if you are listening to your own unique feelings or conforming to politically correct attitudes when it comes to dating. Expecting women to ignore our feelings is denying our individuality-which is what the women’s movement was about. It was not about saying men and women are the same. Gloria Steinem said, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”

Feminism isn’t the problem; it’s how we translate it. We don’t stop to ask what’s best for us as individuals; we’re too busy trying to fit in. What if that conformity is costing you?

Here’s how to stop settling for less and encourage a little chivalry in a relationship and dating:

1. Appreciate chivalry.

We must be clear about what we want to make it clear to men. We can say “yes” to what we want and “no” to what we don’t want.Many men don’t know how to be…



Dr. Susan Edelman

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