Old school etiquette and chivalry dating

In a world filled with late-night booty calls, infidelity and a general “hit it and split it” mentality, it’s easy to become jaded by today’s dating scene.

As women, we brace ourselves for the worst, proceeding with extreme caution during the first few months, for fear of falling victim to the aforementioned debauchery in which so many men partake.

If anyone could provide a tasteful alternative to "The Rules," perhaps she could. This is not a woman who's been perched in a parlor somewhere, inventing rules of behavior. Why not get the dirt on dating in the late '90s from the new queen of etiquette? Post is lovely and has great advice, including the wisdom that "Anything goes, as long as it's not hurtful" and "Do what's best for the most people," she was - dare I say - too polite to get down.

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I did the same in the interest of proving my theory.Call it "The New Chivalry" ; it's an observed phenomenon that has been identified mostly among men under 35. So for the next couple of weeks I queried guys on the subject (I'd heard enough from my overworked gal friends, whose wishes can be summed up pretty simply: Treat me like a queen, please). Younger men aren't confused about politically correct behavior; they just do what their mothers (who are mostly, I was right, feminists) taught them - or what instinct tells them is appropriate.So, when he saves the last bite for you, it’s basically him saying he likes you more than whatever meal is in front of him. A guy who shows an interest in your baby photos, coaches your little brother on how to throw a football and compliments your mother’s cooking is a guy who’s in it for the long haul.These are small gestures, but they speak volumes about his intentions.You just have to learn to spot the subtle, more meaningful gestures.

I admit I had an ulterior motive when I interviewed Peggy Post the other day.

His solution for men or women: Send an e-mail the day after you meet or date someone for the first time.

"Calling, you have to wait two days; e-mail is less of a commitment." Computer marketing writer Jim Mize, 45, is a perfect example of the baby-boomer guy who lived through the throes of '70s feminism and the hippie-love philosophy. "I usually treat men and women pretty much the same," he claims.

These are little ways men show they care, the same way women have instincts to nurture and protect loved ones.

Chivalry is not dead; men can be everyday knights in shining armor.

She was in town promoting the 75th anniversary edition of her great grandmother-by-marriage's book, "Emily Post's Etiquette" (Harper Collins), and I met her for tea at the Ritz Carlton.