A classy woman always strives to offer the very best of herself, and in turn, she also expects that level of excellence to be reciprocated by others, especially the leading man in her life. When it comes to dating and whom she will choose to spend her time with (and ultimately her future), she is very selective which both respects her time as well as her potential date’s. At first glance, many men may appear to be a suitable partner or come across as a gentleman, for her to later discover it was a show put on over the course of a few dates. As many of us have learned, it is only through the consistency of both time and experience that we will get to know someone’s true character, behavior, thought process and values. Not unlike the spirit of a lady, being a gentleman is a lifestyle-one must live it and not simply act like one, when needed.
I’m sharing what I believe are the 25 Characteristics of a Gentleman as I’ve received countless inquiries pertaining to dating advice and how to identify when you’ve found the right partner and what truly constitutes a man of honor.
1. Polite- The words please, thank you, you’re welcome, no thank you, after you, and I’ve got this are all part of his daily conversations. He is well spoken, well mannered in his tone and is able to navigate both social and professional situations with ease, grace and consistency. He remembers to push in his chair (and pull yours out for you). He always holds the door open for others and is keenly aware that he should always walk closest to the road while you’re walking together on a sidewalk. He leaves his surroundings as he found them or in better condition, he waits his turn to speak, offers to pour water or wine for others at a table first before ever serving himself and greets everyone he meets with a smile and positive attitude.
2. Considerate- Being mindful of others’ time and schedules means that he will RSVP to events in a timely manner. Similarly, he is thoughtful in setting up a first date with the woman he’s interested in days in advance (3 days is ideal) instead of asking the evening prior or the day of. As a relationship progresses, so will the consistency in which a couple sees one another and they develop a schedule together, at that time spontaneous dates will inevitably take place and become something to look forward to. He also values others’ personal property and treats it as his own whether he’s renting a car or borrowing tools from a friend. He is kind to everyone he meets whether they are the CEO, receptionist or the janitor, and treats everyone with respect, especially those who can do nothing for him.
3. Confident- A gentleman is anything but arrogant, he doesn’t feel the need to prove himself to anyone, his life and accomplishments speak for themselves. His posture and body language communicate a strong presence and convey his preferences. He is always quick to give a firm handshake and look others in the eye. When it comes to romance, he confidently asks a woman out and suggests a date/time/place to meet and follows though, even though this may be the one area he may experience feeling a bit anxious about if he’s particularly fond of a woman. He is just as confident in the bedroom as he is in the boardroom, taking charge yet making his lady feel comfortable, focusing on her while staying present in the moment instead of focusing on any areas of his own insecurity. It is this feeling of his capability that puts a woman at ease and makes her feel protected and as though he has everything under control. Time spent in ‘preparation’ is what allows him to feel the most assured whether he’s taking an important exam, getting ready for a business meeting or in anticipation of being introduced to his lady’s friends and/or family for the first time.
4. Chivalrous-Being gallant is a way of life, it’s part of his DNA. He opens doors, he provides her with his jacket when she’s cold, picks her up to take her out on a date, often drives to her side of town, offers to carry her bags, he gives up his seat in the presence of women/children on public transit, he doesn’t walk ahead of his lady-he walks beside her as her equal, he sits after she sits, he helps put on/take her coat off, he walks beside her closest to the street while walking side-by-side on a sidewalk showing his desire to protect her, he holds an umbrella over her when it rains. He also walks her home or to her car no matter the time of day, he keeps her secrets, listens to her and compliments her genuinely. In all that he does, he aims to be her protector and make her feel safe and comfortable in his presence.
5. Well Groomed- For him, personal hygiene is a priority and he puts thought and effort into his overall look. He knows when to arrive clean shaven and when it’s acceptable to reveal a rugged look sporting facial hair or a 5 o’clock shadow. He has taken the time to find a quality tailor, dry cleaner and barber. He uses cologne sparingly, always a signature scent that has become his own and he has learned that women are attracted to and intoxicated by a man’s scent (in the same way that men are visually attracted to them), so he makes every effort to smell fresh. A gentleman aims to have soft, healthy skin and makes quality skincare part of his daily routine including sun protection. His health and overall fitness regimen are a priority to him-he exercises regularly and takes care of himself being mindful of what he consumes as all of this contributes to his peak performance and physique. He pays attention to the finer details that other men ignore and is consistent- a woman knows what to expect from him when she arrives to meet him.
6. He Takes the Lead-A gentleman is old fashioned and traditional by nature and as such, he gets a kick out of planning and enjoys taking charge and the element of surprise. He researches restaurants or venues he hasn’t been to before to ensure the best possible experience for his date or friends visiting from out of town, he calls ahead and makes a reservation, he makes it his duty to plan out the details. While he need not be responsible for the planning for every single date (as things progress into a relationship it becomes more of a collaborative effort), he never loses the thrill of taking his lady by the hand and showing her a good time. While we live in modern times, a gentleman always makes the first move from asking a woman out on their first date, leaning in for the first kiss, following up to find out when he can see her again (should he desire to do so) through to asking her to become his girlfriend and ultimately later proposing marriage. When a man and woman both opt to bring their masculine energy to the table by each attempting to take charge, it creates the opposite of harmony. For a relationship to be successful, there needs to be polarity and as it is with dancing, only one can successfully take the lead and that role is reserved for the man.
7. Patient- He may be impatient in his intent to close a business deal, but a gentleman is never pushy or brash. In dating and romantic relationships he takes his time, focusing on building something with longevity vs. selfishly fulfilling his immediate personal desires. He never rushes or pressures a woman into anything she is not yet ready for when it comes to intimacy and in fact won’t even mention the word ‘sex’ or elude to it the first few dates until he receives reciprocal feelings of desire from her. Even then he does not have expectations, he waits for the right timing and doesn’t follow arbitrary societal rules for dating such as the ‘third date’. For the rare circumstance where she is struggling to get out the door on time for an event they will attend together, he does not badger her to ‘hurry up’ or raise his voice that they’ll be late, he patiently waits knowing that a lady is mindful of the time and is doing her best. He is calm in the presence of children and the elderly understanding their limitations, and when needed and he sees someone struggling, he offers to be of assistance.
8. Committed to Personal Growth-He is curious about life, is well read and desires to get the most out of each day. He reads books that both fuel his passion coupled with others that challenge areas which he’s becoming more acquainted with. He is educated and recognizes that knowledge is power. Regardless of his chosen career path, he believes in the concept of cultivating a lifelong learner mentality and is continually striving to better himself. A gentleman believes in doing ‘the work’, he zeros in on the pivotal moments as well as gaining wisdom from the mistakes of his past and is consciously committed to growing and attempting his next steps from a better angle instead of repeating history, even if it stretches him in ways that are uncomfortable. He aims to remove the limitations in his life that may be holding him back whether they be emotional, mental, physical, financial, sexual, spiritual or social by seeking the help of an expert. A gentleman does not view his asking for help as a sign of weakness, on the contrary, he can comprehend that it takes a strong man to recognize and ask for help when it’s required. He subscribes to the notion that there is a force greater than himself whether he defines that as God, the Universe, or something else. He recognizes that we are all here to fulfill our greatest potential and purpose and be of benefit to others along the way-this knowledge is ever-present and at the forefront of every decision he makes.
9. Humble-You will never find a gentleman bragging about his latest raise at work, posting photos to social media of his brand new sports car or rhyming off a list of his professional or personal accomplishments to everyone he meets. Instead, he shares when asked questions and knows that even if his level of intellect is higher than those that surround him, he never makes others feel inferior to him by using jargon or speaking above those in his presence. He is mindful of where he started and how far he has come and never takes any opportunities or successes for granted. A gentleman is always grateful and accepts a compliment but doesn’t linger there, he is equally swift in migrating to another topic of conversation.
10. Discreet-A gentleman values privacy. He keeps the details of his income, love life and any upcoming career moves private. He knows not to kiss and tell, that the intimate moments he shares with his lady are intended to be just that-meant to be enjoyed between the two of them, recognizing that when other people are privy to the details, it no longer feels quite so special and it is a sign of disrespect. While out, he does not loudly announce that he will pick up the tab for a large group or draw attention to himself as to build up his ego. Instead, he aims to do things in a quiet and unnoticed manner. He does not repeat rumors or gossip about others, because of his discretion, he is considered trustworthy. When he is out with his lady, he knows how to take her breath away by kissing her and whisking her aside in a private area out of public view-the elements of romance, surprise and danger are a captivating combination, but he is careful not to make others uncomfortable with overt public displays of affection that are best experienced behind closed doors.
11. Hard Working- A noble man takes pride in his work, he is passionate about it and as such, people speak well of him, he’s responsible, reliable, trustworthy and loyal in the workplace. His colleagues can count on him to deliver when he says he will. While he dedicates a great deal of time to his craft, he also understands balance and is careful to temper having a social life with spending an exhausting amount of hours in the office. He is not afraid to stretch himself outside of his comfort zone and assist others in ways that may be unfamiliar to him. If he’s asked, like everything else he aims to do with excellence, he gives a new challenge a wink and his best attempt. He is in control of his financial situation, his future is at the forefront of his mind and he has measurable goals that he is working towards.
12. Punctual- Whether he’s showing up for a job interview, a dinner party, to catch a flight or a second date, a gentleman never wastes the time of another. Rather, he makes it his goal to leave earlier than necessary so that he arrives promptly, and feels fresh, erring on the side of early. Since he respects others’ time, if he’s going to be late, he’ll call or send a message to let the other person know he’ll be late and to what degree, so they can plan accordingly. His ability to arrive on time dictates not only his opportunities in life but conveys a level of respect that lets others know he can be trusted and that he respects others.
13. Loyal- A gentleman makes it his mission to keep his word and therefore does not make promises if he thinks there may be a possibility that he cannot keep them. People feel comfortable in his presence and view him as a confidant with wise advice to offer, a listening ear, always careful to keep personal matters discreet. In romantic relationships he does not lead a woman on by saying he’ll call if he doesn’t intend to follow up or tell her he loves her if he in fact does not, merely saying so to advance the relationship sexually. His lady feels at ease in his presence, safe and cared for, knowing that she can entrust him with her heart, the most private details of her life as well as her body. She can count on him at all times when she may require his assistance and she doesn’t think twice about him spending time in the company of another woman in the workplace or socially as he has already proven himself to be trustworthy.
14. Positive- He is upbeat and excited about where his life is headed as well as the man he has become, because a gentleman realizes that the course of his future is in his own hands. His zest for life is infectious and attracts others to him. How he regards the world and himself come from his inner confidence and abilities that he possesses. He chooses to see the best in others and also in the most challenging of situations. After demanding days he bounces back and knows that ultimately the universe has his back. While he feels comfortable sharing the not so glamorous real life details of his life with those closest to him, he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. He listens to others’ insight and decides to make the most of any difficult circumstance he may find himself in.
15. Generous- One characteristic of a gentleman that many take notice of is his sense of generosity with his time, resources as well as his wisdom. He is always willing to help a friend in need in any way he can sharing his time and providing insight when asked. Whether he’s getting his hair trimmed or taking the woman in his life out on the town, he errs on the side of being considerate with his tipping-he is always willing to pay for good service. He recognizes that one of the benefits of having worked hard and achieved success is that he can share it with others. He is aware that the things in life we accumulate are here today and gone tomorrow and as such he values experiences and time spent with those he cares about over accumulating ‘things’. His generous nature also causes him to volunteer some of his time to worthy causes that are close to his heart.
16. Attentive Listener-He knows that he can glean the most wisdom by stopping to listen to what others have to say instead of doing all the talking, it’s a sign of respect and he is ever mindful not to interject or interrupt while someone is sharing their story. It is only by inquiring that we really get to know others and a gentleman has a keen desire to find out more especially when it comes to someone he is dating and getting to know or his leading lady. On a date he asks her deeper questions that truly allow him to know her on another level in a way that others may not. Because of his superior listening skills, others often feel as though they’re the only person in the room as he asks thoughtful questions that cause them to feel special in friendships, among family members and in his business dealings.
17. Grateful- Living a positive life, being humble and feeling a sense of gratitude all go hand in hand. A gentleman knows that not everyone may not be as fortunate to have the kind of life and experiences that he has had, and he does not take them for granted. He is aware that his thankful spirit actually creates more abundance. He acknowledges both the immense and little things in life as well as special people and moments that bring him joy and is thankful for them, often conveying that to others. Those in his inner circle feel loved and appreciated and are inspired by him.
18. Well Dressed-While fashion may not come naturally to every man, he endeavors to learn more about how to dress and present himself and create his own personal sense of style that works for him and his body type, he isn’t swayed by trends or labels. He recognizes what appropriate attire is for every occasion. is careful to press his clothing (he will never show up in wrinkled jeans or dress pants). A gentleman understands that while looks aren’t everything, taking pride in his appearance, in the way he dresses, grooms and carries himself will open new doors of opportunity to him. He knows that he’ll never get a second chance to make that first impression, so he pays particular attention to those ‘firsts’ in his life such as an initial date, an interview or meeting a new client. He believes that one can never be overdressed or over-educated and as such, he often stands out in a crowd with his obvious classic style and yet seamlessly blends in at the same time with his unpretentious nature.
19. Passionate-There is nothing sexier than a man who is passionate about his work, his family, the woman in his life or the very essence of experiencing daily life. A gentleman knows that he creates his future, it does not fall into his lap. He actively pursues the very things that bring him immense joy, reaching goals are important to him. When he is consumed with passion towards something, those around him cannot help but absorb his energy. This very vitality whether a zest for his life’s work or sexual passion with his partner are important to him-he knows that this form of self expression is what keeps him connected to his work, his woman, his family or a cause close to his heart.
20. Charitable-He understands that his life is about contributing to the service of others and not only about serving himself. With this mindset and his strong convictions, he makes enriching other’s lives a priority and part of his plan for success. He is giving of his time, finances when allowable as well as other resources that he feels privileged to have the opportunity to provide to those in need.
21. Inspiring- It goes without saying that a true gentleman sets himself apart just by being himself, his goal is never to fit in and conform. The qualities he possess become magnified especially when contrasted by men who do not make the same efforts and diligence. Other men in his presence may not understand his ways initially, but are taken aback by the way in which he treats females and their response to his charm and chivalry. He is a shining example to his male counterparts which both encourages and inspires more gentlemanly behavior. His work ethic, commitment and focus as well as the way in which he treats those around him encourage and bring forth a desire for other men to better themselves because of his example.
22. Well spoken-He knows how to communicate and is also a great listener. He is well versed in connecting with others and is aware of how to get his message across. A gentleman works to enrich his ever-expanding vocabulary both in written correspondence as well as conversing with others. He strives to express himself in a way that is anything but basic. He is specific in his delivery, enunciates words properly, does not use slang and speaks clearly.
23. Uses Proper Etiquette-Every gentleman knows that good manners and everyday etiquette are the cornerstones of who he is and will carry him throughout life. Understanding which fork to use while dining is just as important as deciding upon the appropriate wedding gift for a friend or understanding how to reply (or not) when someone speaks rudely to him. He knows that it is his good manners and civility which allow others to feel respected by him and more comfortable in his presence which is ultimately the goal of etiquette.
24. Possesses Self Control-Restraint separates the boys from the men. Anyone can take on an entitlement mindset, seek out immediate gratification or react harshly, but it is the true gentleman who not only thinks his actions through before reacting; considering the consequences, but whom also is considerate of those he interacts with. He is a planner, and therefore proactive by nature, being reactive is something he tries to avoid at all costs. He guards his tongue, envisions himself in another’s circumstances and always operates from a place of kindness. Likewise, he isn’t frivolous, he doesn’t gamble away his life’s savings during a low point in his life, he knows that resorting to physical violence does not solve a disagreement, and when it comes to his romantic life, although he may experience temptation in the presence of another woman who is not his lady, he stays focused and keeps his eyes and hands to himself, careful not to flirt with other women or become overly friendly in a way that would lead them on.
25. Open-Minded- Although a gentleman always adheres to certain societal rules in order to stay in right conduct, he is not so legalistic that he cannot have an open mind. In fact, he is realistic and understands that life is not always easy nor perfect and that everyone he crosses paths with possesses their own unique story. As such, he is liberal in his thinking, accepting of others including himself. Although someone may engage in a completely different lifestyle, he does not judge, for him it is all about understanding so that he can be more sensitive to other’s feelings. He is not a dull gent who only thrives on routine, he enjoys a healthy, well rounded and adventurous life which often includes travel, exploring, engaging in new experiences that take him out of his comfort zone and he recognizes that our culturally-rich and diverse world is one to be appreciated and enjoyed, learning from those who celebrate different religions and culture. While he lives by his own specific standards and values that serve him, he doesn’t impose them on others.
From your own perspective, what characteristics stand out in your mind when you think of a gentleman? Which of these qualities do you most wish men possessed more of today? If you liked this article, please share it with a friend or leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading!