To this day, whenever a man opens a door or holds my chair out for me, I glow a little inside. A little bit of gentlemanly behavior goes a long way these days. And maybe that is one of the reasons why I try to show my son how important it is to be a gentleman. I have taught him to open car doors for me and get the door to restaurants; I have explained to him that it is respectful to let a lady walk first. I know that the practice of gentlemanly behavior is rooted in the thought that women were too weak to do all these things for themselves, but I am re-framing the conversation as one of kindness: We should treat others with extreme respect.
But, for everything I teach him, I know that there will be so much more to tell him - especially when it comes to gentlemanly behavior in relationships. As romantic comedies consistently remind us: There is a fine line between romance and stalking. The line is so fine in media, in fact, that it is often defined by the feelings toward the man: If you like him, he is romantic; if you don't like him, he is stalking you.
This is just a good reminder that my son shouldn't learn about relationships from television or movies but from watching my husband and I interact. Thankfully, my husband and I have an excellent partnership built of love and respect (and mutual snarkiness). Hopefully, that real-world example will help balance out the nonsense on the big screen.
Do you watch romantic comedies in your household? Tell me in the comments.