Saturday, 24 January 2015

Chivalry Isn't Dead



I ordered Love Letters of Great Mena book put together by Ursula Doyle - a few weeks back whilst browsing Amazon. I have a weakness for pretty covers and thought it would make for some lazy bedtime reading. A pretty self-explanatory title, the book is essentially a collection of love letters written by the likes of Henry VIII, Victor Hugo, Mark Twain and Napoleon Bonaparte. At the beginning of the book, Ursula Doyle addresses the belief that social media/text messaging has killed romance, and that people don't write love letters in this day and age. She then goes on to suggest that, although a quick text doesn't quite hold the same level of meaning as a thoughtfully-worded letter, men don't have to be literary geniuses in order to surprise their loved ones with a romantic gesture. And I completely agree with her.

I often hear women say that chivalry is dead, and men don't make as much of an effort as they used to - I admit that I've been known to moan at my boyfriend for not being romantic enough. I think from a young age girls are often led to believe that a man will show you how much he loves you by surprising you with endless bouquets of red roses and huge romantic gestures. As we get older we of course learn that's not the case, and that the majority of the time it's the little things that really count. 

A few days back my boyfriend and I went out for lunch and when the waitress came to our table, he let me order first. I suddenly realized that he always does this - even if he chose his main ten minutes ago and I'm still pondering over the menu. It's such a small gesture that often goes unnoticed, but still a kind, gentlemanly thing to do. Call me an old woman but I think things like this, as well as having the door opened for you or having your chair pulled out, never go out of fashion and will always be seen as romantic in my book.

I've had boyfriends in the past who have sent flowers to my house, taken me on surprise dates and written soppy messages inside Valentine's/anniversary cards, but have also lied to me constantly or ditched me for their friends. When I look back at such relationships I don't think about these romantic gestures with a smile; I'm just reminded of how miserable I was and how glad I am that these people aren't part of my life anymore.

Some people love being romantic and wearing their heart on their sleeve, and that's great. With others it's not really their thing, and that's fine too. It's not just men either - while I like receiving flowers and soppy comments, I'm sure there's a lot of women out there who don't. Everyone is different. I just think it's important to remember not to measure someone's love by the amount of gifts they shower you with or kisses they put on the end of a text. If your other half is loyal, respects you, makes you laugh and gets along with your friends/family, he's probably a pretty good egg, even if he hasn't brought you breakfast in bed yet or forgets Valentine's Day.

So, if my boyfriend is reading this, I want him to know that I'm not bitter about the fact he hasn't penned me a love letter. Instead, I feel grateful for all the other ways he has shown me how much I mean to him. While many people are keen to believe chivalry is long gone, I firmly believe it still exists. Although our great men aren't exactly jousting for our affection or writing us sonnets, they've proved that they can still make us swoon - whether it's making the bed while you're in the shower, bringing you a cup of tea or letting you order first in a restaurant.

And for all those who are yet to be convinced, remember that although Henry VIII wrote Anne Boleyn a few love letters, he also charged her with witchcraft and treason before having her arrested and chopping her head off. No one wants to be with a bloke like that, do they? 

9 comments:

  1. That is such a beautiful post! I have never thought of chivalry, modern chivalry, like that. It is so true, I do also appreciate so much those little details that prove that person does really care about you, and when they do it sincerely. Really really nice post! With love,
    Vera

    http://theflashwindow.weebly.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is such a lovely post! I agree, I often find myself moaning about how my boyfriend is never romantic, but then I remember all the little things he does that makes him so fantastic and I'm grateful that I found such an amazing person :) definitely going to buy this book too!
    Thanks for sharing! Xxx

    Www.aletterfromem.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) it really is a beautiful book, I'd recommend it! x

      Delete
  3. Completely agree! Romance has been so downgraded by texts and IMs, it's just NOT the same anymore. But I guess now, I do understand that a "Prince Charming" isn't always the romantic one. It's the one who's willing to be with us through thick and thin! I agree that sincerity is key nowadays. What a beautifully-written post, Kate, thanks so much for sharing. (I really want that book now haha)

    http://thoughtsintiffanyblue.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are so right!!

    I love the honesty in this post and it's about time people starting to see the truth in these things and quit the unrealistic goals and expectations we put on each other. However, like you say, this is such a diverse thing, everyone is different. Different in their view of romantic gestures and their perspective of love and kindness and of course different in how they reveal this to their partner. We should be a little more considerate to the quiet efforts of the subtle romantic and recognise the small but wonderful things.

    Plus, we still have beautiful books like these for our fill of grand romantic gestures : D

    Gemma
    Faded Windmills

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'd love to read that book!

    http://www.notesofglam95.blogspot.it/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such a lovely post I really enjoyed reading it! :)

    http://lux-rose.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  7. these notebooks are beautiful x
    http://heyitshannaah.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete