QUESTION: I know there are still men out there who are gentlemen. Recently, my date moved over to walk on the side of the street, while we were on a walk downtown. This same man always pulled my chair out to seat me and opened my car door. But, I also know that some men don't give a thought as to how to act on a date. Another example of what I consider terrible behavior is the man who uses a toothpick after dinner and the man who never offers to pay for the meal, even when he asked me out.
My question: I really like men who act like gentlemen. Since I have dated only one man who had manners in several years, how do I find more?
CALLIE'S ANSWER: Dump the guy who doesn't pay for your dinner or drinks. Never is that OK or a good quality. Some men forget and might need to be called out. One of my friends told the guy “my dad told me to never date or trust a guy that doesn't open the doors for me.” Needless to say he opened ALL doors for her after that.
LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: As friends have noted, decent single men may not have a lot of time to date because they're heavily involved with their children, volunteering at schools and other places and working hard at their jobs, kind of like the neat single women I know, too. You can stay involved in activities that interest you and keep your eye out for single men who are available and have shared interests — a definite bonus. Also, take a look at your expectations about what you think a gentleman should be doing as well as the signals you're sending to the men you want to date. Something might be lacking in your communication, verbally or nonverbally.
There are gentlemen/decent men who out there who will treat you well, but finding ones to date whose ideas match your own is another story. Don't settle for less, but good luck!
HELEN'S ANSWER: Good manners are important and I hope that you don't settle for someone who does not act like you think he should act. Opening car doors and pulling out chairs are good indicators of how he treats women. University events, art shows and charity events are great places to meet people. Keep an eye out at the cleaners, restaurants and church. The right man with good manners is out there.
GUESTS' ANSWER: Christina Nihira, local community volunteer and journalist: Dating rules today are less defined and murkier than in previous decades. As you approach the dating scene, keep in mind that your expectations for “proper” dating behavior may have to be eased to meet society's more casual attitudes.
That being said, it is possible to find kind, eligible gentlemen. It's all about location. Try to meet men that share similar interests. That could be doing a hobby, volunteering for a nonprofit organization or attending church. And, friends are a great resource. Get them to help if you're serious about finding a man with certain conduct.
Yes, decent men are scarce these days. Maybe even considered endangered. However, if you want to snare one of these rare species with a good heart, ultimately you have to put yourself out there.
Callie Gordon is twenty-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email helen. firstname.lastname@example.org. For more 20-40-60 etiquette, go to blog.newsok.com/partiesextra.