Are Italian Men Real Gentlemen?

Gli uomini italiani sono i veri gentiluomini? gentlemen, real gentleman, Italian men, manners
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“I like to be bought flowers and taken out for dinner. I like a man to be a gentleman. I don’t like to be treated as if I am brainless. I like to be respected and to give respect.” – Sharon Stone

“Chivalry: It’s the little boy that kisses my hand, the young man who holds the door open for me, and the old man who tips his hat to me. None of it is a reflection of me, but a reflection of them.” 
― Donna Lynn Hope

 

Having female friends all over the world and travelling a lot, quite often I run into women who are deeply convinced that Italy is full of real gentlemen.

Sorry ladies, but this belief is as wrong as the assumption that the Earth is flat. Italy is full of allures and temptations of every kind, men including. Yet, in modern Italy real gentlemen can be classed as an endangered species. I don’t say they don’t exist anymore, I just say they are rare purls. Sadly.

 

Gentlemen: Chivalry, Intellectual Refinement and Delicate Manners

In order to understand whether or not Italian men are real gentlemen, collectively speaking, let’s give first a concise definition to the word “gentleman”.

Once upon a time the term “gentleman” denoted a well-born, genteel and well-bred man of high social class, who had a coat of arms and an income derived from family’s property. In the middle of the 18th century, when the middle classes came into their own, the word “gentleman” changed it definition. No longer had it implied a distinction of blood, yet a clear distinction of position, education, chivalry and impeccable manners.

Nowadays, the term “gentleman” refers to any man characterized by certain superior standard of behaviour, self-respect, intellectual refinement and delicate manners, without particular regard to his ancestry or occupation. Appears like today every man can be considered a gentleman as long as he manifests himself in courteous conduct, respectful attention and chivalry, especially towards women.

 

To be, or not to be, that is a question…

Italian men like beautiful women. Beautiful and sophisticated women like man to be a gentleman. Still not all Italian men are gentlemen. Why not? Probably, because being a gentleman is harder than being just a good guy, nice fellow, or any other suitable species of human being. Indeed, being a gentleman doesn’t imply only to behave in a gentle and polite way, nor to dress like a gentleman and wear a Rolex Daytona. Being a gentleman requires a continuous self-reflection, intellectual refinement and inner discipline.

As Vin Diesel pointed out: “Being male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of age. But being a gentleman is a matter of choice.”

 

What do Italian men choose over being a gentleman?

One word: convenience. Let’s see:

 

A real gentleman never talks about who he slept with…

Italian men do talk about the women they have slept with. Let alone aperitifs with close friends and coffee breaks with colleagues, it’s the favourite argument ever in the locker room of the gym! The only reason Italian man won’t talk about “the woman in his bedroom” on such occasions is… because he is in love with her and she is his actual girlfriend or wife.

A real gentleman always holds the door open for a lady…

Don’t fancy about it much when you are in Italy. Like 1 Italian man out of 10 may do it spontaneously, yet the probability that he will repeat this action is relative. Why should he after all: are you, lady, by chance, superior to him?

A real gentleman always lets the lady pass first…

The probability is as low as in the previous case… Italian men say they prefer to pass first for “security reasons”, yet the real reason is they don’t bother to bother the manners.

A real gentleman never leaves lady’s glass empty…

Oh no! This one is probably the worst of all… Most Italian men just don’t notice when it’s time to pour wine or water to the lady’s glass during the dinner… If you happen on a date with such an individual be assured that he’ll feel uncomfortable when you’ll notice that to him, and, of course, just a moment later he’ll do the right thing. Yet, remember he’ll be absolutely ok with you pouring the drinks to yourself.

A real gentleman sends flowers to his lady time after time…

Forget about it if you are dating just an ordinary Italian man. Probably he’ll give you flowers personally, let’s say on your birthday, or anniversary. If he remembersOops…

A real gentleman always picks a lady up for dates…

Just a handful of Italian men are used to pick a lady up for a date all the time, some Italian men are eager to do it sometimes (first dates and special occasions), as for the overwhelming majority… I’m sorry, sweet heart, you’ll have to drive or call a taxi.

A real gentleman takes a lady out for dinner…

Yes! Italians love to go out for dinner, especially with a lady. The real problem though is that in 9 cases out of 10 Italian men will offer you to split the bill… Not on the first date, quite never. Everyone wants to behave as a gentleman once in a while. Sadly for the women dating Italian men it literally is “once in a while”.

A real gentleman is always ready to help his lady whatever the situation is…

The philosophy that most Italian men share is that everyone has to “saper arrangiarsi” (“to cope with one’s problems on his own”). So, in most cases, Italian men will fake not to notice that you do need help. In case you gently ask him for his advice or support of any kind, he’ll politely explain that he just can’t: he already has lots of problems on his own to deal with.

…and so on…

 

Ladies and Gentlemen…

 Dear Ladies,

I’m sorry to destroy the myth that Italy is crowded with real gentlemen. On the other hand, Italy is full of good guys, nice fellows and handsome fancy bits! And most of them do have good manners. Even if, chivalry so obviously is not the characteristic that the majority of Italian men share. That’s the ugly reality.

However, if you were born under a lucky star and met a real gentleman, Italian or not, please appreciate him and enjoy his company. Since no one as a real gentleman knows a value of lady’s heart and intelligence. And remember the golden rule of Sydney Biddle Barrows: “The more you act like a lady, the more he’ll act like a gentleman”.

Dear Gentlemen,

Please try not to get extinct! Since us, ladies, no matter how young we are, we love an old-school gentleman. Reading poetry, sending flowers, inviting out for dinner, holding the door open, engaging in pleasant conversations…we simply love all of it!

real, people, girl, love, sex

Why Italian men don’t bother much to be real gentlemen? Share your thoughts…

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