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| || || | It’s the song that sticks in your head, puts a confident strut in your walk and gives you the guts to send those deadbeat boyfriends packing. You know which one we’re talking about. Aretha has been telling us since the ‘60s what to demand from our men: a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. But is this really all women want? Only a little respect?! While the song will always be a classic, the advice needs an update.
We checked in with some young, single, professional women on dating scenes in cities across the country to find out what they seek in relationships and the men they date. Some shared stories of genuinely respectful male behavior, some told tales of straight-up dating disrespect, and some didn’t know what kind of respect to expect. Modern dating rules are fuzzy: it’s often easy for women to settle for less and for men to be confused about how to act. One thing was clear: what these savvy women really want is for men to learn some new rules of respect. Here are the top four rules women told us they’d like their men to know. Gentlemen: read up, take notes and follow the rules.
Respect Rule #1: Chivalry is alive.
The man who announced chivalry’s funeral probably never had much luck with the ladies. Women want men to behave as gentlemen. We can buy our own condos, cars, even diamonds. We aren’t looking for providers; we’re looking for a man who makes us feel special and appreciated. It’s the small gestures—opening doors, bringing flowers, paying compliments—that earn big credit for little cash.
Respect Rule #2: Follow the Golden Rule, with a twist.
It’s hard work—for men and women—to keep track of the constantly changing rules of dating. But here’s a simple one that never goes out of style: treat women the way you’d like a man to treat your sisters, mothers or daughters. We will appreciate the respectful attitude and you won’t have any angry big brothers looking to mess with you.
Respect Rule #3: Give it to us straight.
Now that phones are easily slipped into bags and pockets, there’s no reason to sit home waiting for a man to call. But if we hear “I’ll call you,” we expect that phone to buzz, light up, or sing Beyonce within a week. It may be easy to simply promise a call with no follow-through, but we’d rather hear your true intentions from the start.
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