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The Darwinism Of Dating: A Case For The Evolution Of Chivalry

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If I had a dollar for every time someone told me chivalry is dead, I could successfully pay off my astronomical undergraduate tuition with enough funds left over to make a serious dent in the national debt.

If video killed the radio star, then cynics killed the romantics and are trying to take chivalry down with them.

Well, for all the people who still believe, don’t worry. Chivalry is not dead.

Instead of blaming Millennials for ruining chivalry, we need to change the conversation.

The problem with chivalry is not that it is dead, but rather our definition is archaic.

The dated, prehistoric, no-longer-appropriate values we use to measure chivalry are the problem.

We are still using a definition that no longer fits the evolution of the term. Just like with anything else, chivalry had to evolve in order to survive.

White knights and men in shining armor were great during times of war and probably the Renaissance period.

But, if some guy came riding up to you on the street in a suit of armor on a horse today and tried to sweep you off your feet, you’d probably direct him to the nearest carnival or psychiatric facility.

Could you imagine someone telling you your only purpose was to produce a male heir?

Hopefully not, but at one point in time, that was the main role women played in society.

Chivalry, as it was originally intended, just isn’t something that would work in our world today.

Social networking, the hook-up culture and gender equality have changed the dating landscape.

At a time when women weren’t working or driving, it was great for the guy to pick the place and pay the bills. But, in the 21st century, it just doesn’t work that way.

Our society doesn’t allow for a one-size-fits-all definition of anything. Our cultural evolution has diversified us, making chivalry mean different things to different people.

For some people who are more traditional, chivalry still means walking the lady to the door and offering your jacket on the walk home.

For other people, chivalry means splitting the Uber fare on the way home from the club while exchanging names.

For me, chivalry means not laughing when I imitate the strange noises my car is making while insisting I do not need a mechanic.

I believe chivalry is not participating in silly dating games.

If you want to text back a girl, it is "chivalrous" to do so when you want to (not in two days because you don’t want to seem clingy).

Chivalry is splitting the last slice of pizza at 2 am, even though you are still hungry (because you know I won’t ask for my own slice).

Chivalry is opening the door for someone with hands full of groceries because it is the kind thing to do, not because the person is weak.

Chivalry is letting me steal all the covers, even if we just met a few hours ago. Chivalry is recognizing I can fight my own battles but offering to have my back and fight for my team.

Chivalry is not being constrained by an outdated definition, but understanding some things (like mutual respect) will always be timeless.

We need to stop saying chivalry is dead because it’s not, and it’s demoralizing to those who believe in it.

Instead of trying to fit your dating experiences into a rigid box that does not reflect the ideals of our generation, open your mind to what the evolution of chivalry means.

If a guy can’t afford to pay for a $300 dinner because he is knee-deep in student loans but is willing to binge-watch "Gilmore Girls" with you, then you have yourself a modern knight.