« Galanterie » is a French code of conduct adopted by gentlemen towards ladies. It takes its roots in the concept of « Amour courtois », a movement born during the Middle-Age in South-west of France, which was the art of treating your lover with respect and honesty as a way to reach joy and happiness.
« Amour courtois » was first found in Guillaume IX d’Aquitaine’s poems from the 12th century
Today, a lot of people seem to have forgotten the fine art of treating the opposite sex with refined manners and respect, which is why we will remind you today some of the daily rules of « galanterie », to be used in a romantic occasion or any other situation involving a man and a woman.
Let’s begin !
Entering public spaces
The man always enter first and holds the door behind to the lady. Before, this was to make sure that the place is safe and that there is no danger. Today, it is less likely that the restaurant would be life-threatening, however the man entering first can make sure that the place is the correct one and that it is an appropriate place to eat.
Climbing up the stairs
The man always climbs stairs first, for the obvious reason that it would not be appropriate for the man to be staring at the back of the lady, which could be awkward for both.
Going down the stairs
Here again, the gentleman goes down the stairs first, in order to protect the lady in case she falls down, ready to catch her.
In a formal occasion, men and women would greet each other by shakings hands, which is the most common greeting worldwide. In informal or romantic occasions, the French would greet kissing cheeks. In doubt, the man usually waits for the lady to make the first step.
Only in romantic occasions, the gentleman would pull the chair to the lady while she is seating. However this is not appropriate during business occasions. In restaurants, men should always leave the couch seat to the ladies.
It is often said that the men should handle the wine ordering and tasting part. But if the lady knows more than the man, without hesitation the lady should handle it ! Offer a toast only once at the beginning of the meal and always look in the eye.
Paying the bill
In a romantic occasion, the tradition goes that the man should pay the bill. Nowadays, especially among the young people, the bill could be split. In business occasions, the host will pay the bill, man or woman. Always pay at the front desk, not at the table.
Walking the streets
A gentleman will always walk on the road’s side, in order to protect the lady from cars or water splashes.
Getting into the car
Although most people think the lady should get in first, the man should actually get in first and make his way unto the back left seat, which could be complicated for the lady especially if wearing a dress. Even better, a fine gentleman will open the door to the lady, let her sit on the back right seat, close the door, go around the car and will sit on the other side.
These simple rules will guarantee to put a smile on your partner’s face and should not necessarily be confused with seduction. These are rules that every fine gentleman should respect in any occasion !
Ladies, you now know what to expect from your male partners ! Share this article and help us make this world a classier place.
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