When we think of chivalry, we think knights in shining armour saving damsels in distress or gentlemen paying the bill and walking their dates to the door. Well, it’s officially 2020 and as the decades change, so do our definitions.
We surveyed over 1000 Plenty of Fish users in the UK and the results are in – one in 10 modern singles consider chivalry a turn off, meaning classic chivalry is dead, and modern chivalry is in. Gone are the days of holding the door open and offering your jacket to your sweetie. Old-school chivalry’s getting a modern makeover just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Small Efforts > Grand Gestures
The majority of UK singles (65%) will reportedly be heading out to buy their dates cards and gifts this Valentine’s Day when the reality is that nearly two-thirds (63%) of UK singles would be just as happy with a text. Grand gestures seem to be taking a back seat in modern chivalry, with small, conscious efforts being more important to singles.
What do these small efforts look like, you might ask? Think about arriving on time (69% of singles see this as modern chivalry) to your next date instead of arriving with flowers, or making an effort with your appearance (74%) instead of pulling out your date’s chair and picking up the bill. Want to show your date you’re looking out for them? There’s no need to order for two (50% of singles see this as outdated) or walk them to their door (18% are over it). Instead, a simple and genuine “did you get home okay?” text is chivalrous enough for 71% of singles.
Presence Over Presents
Presents are out, and presence is the new marker of chivalry today. Nearly one-third (28%) of singles think bringing gifts to a date is outdated, and would much prefer to have someone’s full attention instead.
Not sure how to let your love interest know they’re your priority for the evening? 63% of singles expect you to put your phone away during a date, and 50% want you to put it on silent. Once your phone is no longer a distraction, you have the ability to pay close attention to the conversation, something that is important to 72% of singles. Lastly, don’t forget the eye contact! Keeping good eye contact during your time together is one of the most important aspects of modern chivalry, with 75% of singles expecting it during a date.
Authenticity is Everything
One chivalrous act that hasn’t changed over the years is the importance of good manners. With good reason, 92% of singles expect their date to exhibit proper manners before, during, and after their date, making this a timeless chivalrous act.
The one thing that has changed, however, is that singles don’t want you to confuse being polite with being honest and authentic. A whopping 81% of singles think being honest about your intentions is a hugely important part of modern chivalry and allows you to come across as authentic. Modern romance leaves a lot of room for uncertainty, especially in new relationships, so remaining honest and authentic is essential for keeping things on track.
Technology is Here to Stay, Use it to Your Advantage
Emerging technology offers a whole new category to chivalry that never existed previously. With the rise of social media, dating apps, and even texting and Facetime, there are a whole new set of expectations to navigate.
Expressing love and affection through technology is a key marker of modern chivalry, but what does this look like? When it comes to social media, 25% of singles want you to like their posts, follow them, or post a photo of you two. If you regularly use dating apps, 44% of singles are hoping you delete them once you start dating. Where the rules of old-school chivalry might suggest sending love letters, or showing up unannounced, modern chivalry suggests using a more tech-savvy alternative. 40% of singles think receiving endearing text messages is one of the most important markers, and 33% of singles place value on regular phone or Facetime calls. Don’t be afraid to use that smartphone of yours, just not during your date.
At the end of the day, everyone has different expectations and preferences. Modern chivalry is about learning those expectations and adjusting your gestures to fit what is most important to that person. However, the overarching theme of this new era is that subtle efforts make a lot more impact than you might expect. Chivalry may not be dead, but it’s surely changed. Make sure you’re caught up before you’re next date!