100 Traits of a gentleman

This is a list of 100 ways to be a gentleman. I briefly touch on everything here. I have a whole gentleman series, so stick around for more coming! I am Gia, an etiquette consultant based in Los Angeles. Sign up to my newsletter for etiquette techniques straight to your inbox.

This is how to know if you’re naturally being a gentleman and things to work on if you aim to be a better gentleman. If you are a woman, here is what to look for in a man as a general set of guidelines.

1. Be a good listener.

2. Be a loyal friend. Keep your word.

3. Be reliable and on time. Be punctual.

4. Be trustworthy.

5. Never pull your phone during a conversation or at dinner (even if it’s to show someone a photo).

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6. Take pride in your appearance. Look sharp fellas.

7. Open the cab door for someone (even if it’s a male friend).

8.Call or message to check your friend got home safely.

9. Make time for what’s important to you.

10. Don’t blame others for your failures but don’t be too hard on yourself.

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“Courtesy is as much of a Mark of a gentleman as Courage” – Theodore Roosevelt

11. Fold your washing. No one likes a messy room.

12. Give more than you receive in the bedroom. It’s better if you’re both having fun.

13. Never talk about your salary. It won’t make you feel better if you learn you’re earning more than someone else but it will make you upset when you hear you aren’t. Plus it’s just plain rude to talk about money.

14. Stand when she approaches or leaves the table.

15. Walk on the street side of the curb.

16. Be nice to yourself — stumbles and failures are going to happen. No one’s perfect.

17. Compliment her on more than just her physical appearance.

18. Pull out her chair.

19. Offer your coat when it’s cold.

20. Allow her to order first, but if she isn’t ready, don’t insist.

“I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.” – Coleman Cox

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21. Send her flowers for no reason.

22. Walk her to her car/taxi/door. Regardless of your motive.

23. Hold the umbrella over her.

24. Treat her to dinner out every so often.

25. Put thought into your dates.

26. Be genuinely intrigued with what she has to say.

27. Pay attention whilst in conversation.

28. Encourage her to pursue her goals

29. Carry her heavy bags.

30. Give a massage to your significant other. You know how good it feels when it’s done to you so return the favour.

“A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.” – Oscar Wilde

31. Have eyes for her and her alone.

32. Respect her space.

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33. Always hold the door open the door for someone.

34. Never stop learning. Don’t be a know-it-all.

35. Set your standards and values high.

36. Maintain a Sense of Humor.

37. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep your cool.

38. Be willing to share some secrets.

39. Don’t swear. Watch your language.

40. Be genuine.

“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.” – David Foster Wallace

41. Lead by example… in all aspects of life.

42. Stand up for ladies or those less fortunate on the bus.

43. Stay humble and be gracious.

44. Iron your shirts.

45. Clean your shoes. A man’s shoes says a lot about his personality.

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46. Send a hand written thank you note after attending an event.

47. If you can’t make it, let people know. Don’t just not show up.

48. Don’t have an end goal in mind when going on a date.

49. Share your ideas with people.

50. Always extend a firm handshake.

“Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steven Furtick

51. Make breakfast for her.

52. Forgive others. Don’t go holding grudges that’ll eat up inside you.

53. Find a good TV Show you both love.

54. Go for a walk together

55. Never send more than two texts in a row. Be careful with your words and don’t pester people (especially on Tinder).

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56. Embrace change.

57. Don’t criticize about other people. If someone is worth respecting, they’re probably already thinking the same thing as you anyways.

58. Want others to succeed, not to fail.

59. Say “please” and “thank you” often.

60. Admit When you’re wrong.

“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.” – Warren Buffet

61. Don’t pick fights you don’t have to.

62. Be comfortable surrounding yourself with good company, or none.

63. Watch how much you drink.

64. Be willing to help others.

65. Maintain eye contact in conversation.

66. Move around confidently and with intention.

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67. Respect your elders.

68. Before sending a text (particularly on dating apps), think, what would my mum think if she read this?

69. Guard your reputation with your life.

70. Be chivalrous, not patronizing.

“Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.”- John Locke

71. Learn, observe and study, but never worship.

72. Attitude is everything. Maintain a positive one.

73. Make reservations for the restaurant.

74. Help a lady with her coat but ask first, “May I?”

75. Mind your table manners.

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76. This shouldn’t need to be even said but a gentleman never hits a woman. Ever.

77. Pay attention to the details.

78. Ask for her family’s blessing before proposing.

79. Tell her you care. Every. Single. Day.

80. Embrace your inner Fred Astaire. Have a dance and don’t stand idle.

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.” – Robert A. Heinlein

81. Keep your hygiene in check.

82. Be a grown-up. Clean up any unsavoury social media profiles from yesteryears.

83. Find your purpose.

84. Be clear about what you want.

85. Don’t be greedy (go see The Big Short).

86. Know the difference between confidence and arrogance.

87. Stay open-minded but firm in your beliefs and morals.

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88. Never lie to a woman unless it is to surprise her.

89. Mean what you say, and say what you mean.

90. Try not to judge. We all carry prejudices but make sure you’re aware of them.

“A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.”  – George Bernard Shaw

91. Know how to cook… at least one good meal.

92. Always offer to pay.

93. Know when not to say anything.

94. Always offer a drink to your guests and carry their luggage to their rooms.

95. Never kiss and tell.

96. Know when to clap.

97.Know how to tell a good story.

98. Know the exception to a rule.

99. Know how to give a good toast.

100. Be yourself.

That’s all for now. If you have anything to add, I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below. Sign up to my newsletter for etiquette techniques here, and visit dixonetiquette.com for etiquette classes with me.