& Romantic Love
have often heard comments that Chivalry-Now
should be considered as much of a female ethic as it is male. Some
suggest that women need their own form of chivalry to follow. A
few have seriously criticized Chivalry-Now for "excluding
I usually shrug my shoulders and try to
explain. From my point of view, male problems are so uniquely and
culturally male that we need our own specific remedy, our own particular
code of honor, to turn things around. To include women issues would
add variables that would dramatically change the focus of Chivalry-Now.
Men who desperately want to learn what it means to be a man might
not buy into it if chivalry were "unisex." The vital ingredient
they need would be missing.
We dare not risk the power of our message
for reasons of political correctness. Too much has been lost already
in the last few centuries. Truth be told, women have a lot invested
in our stated goals exactly as they stand. If we cannot reach out
to men, where they are, in their spiritual language, and bring forth
their higher attributes, women will continue to suffer at the hands
of men as they have in various respects for generations.
Likewise, whatever moral code that women
wish to follow should specifically be their own, reflecting their
own needs and vision of the world. It should not be imposed or even
inspired by men, or limited to any male code. Women need to do this
themselves, and take ownership of the results.
That being said, women have been very supportive
of our cause many proudly describing themselves as feminists.
One described Chivalry-Now as the counterpart to feminism.
Another joined our Companionship and brought valuable contribution
and encouragement to our forum.
I have no problem with women honoring the
same values that Chivalry-Now represents. In fact, I welcome
it with a certain amount of validation.
To make Chivalry-Now a male/female phenomenon,
however, would castrate its efficacy for men who desperately need
their own self-definition.
Some say that Chivalry-Now should
be human-centric, rather than male-centric. To them I say it is
human-centric, but from a male perspective. This in no way belittles
women. It just recognizes gender differences and attempt to deal
with them in an honest, respectful manner.
There are enough challenges to be faced
just the way things are. I see gender related problems coming to
a head in the wake of chivalry's resurgence. If enough men turn
toward Chivalry-Now, it will create in a cultural shift in
paradigm, producing new behavior that women might not be ready for.
Men will (hopefully) act differently than before. While we anticipate
that this will benefit both genders, women may have to adjust from
the outside. Not part of the overall movement, their understanding
of men will have to change. They might not like it at first. It
involves a new understanding of masculinity. Thankfully, much of
this has been presaged by past cultural references.
The female psyche has naturally been influenced
by its relationship to the male psyche, and vice versa. Indeed,
the genders are somewhat defined in contrast to one another, and
by culturally defined roles that continue despite Women's Liberation.
How could they not? People constantly relate to and influence one
another. The results I refer are generalities, of course. There
exists a wide variety of individual differences within each gender.
Nevertheless, men are in no position to
tell women how to act or feel. Out of respect, love and belief in
equality, we cannot demand anything intrinsically female. Chivalry
tells us to approach women as friends and partners, and to cooperate
in gender relations, as men, for fairness and for the benefit of
the species. Everyone should respect gender differences while fulfilling
their own obligations. While it may seem like the Quest
leads us in certain direction we are not responsible for, the truth
is quite the opposite. The Quest follows us wherever
One of the major gender problems that I
have experienced has to do with love.
Chivalry makes powerful statements about
romantic love. It describes it as an ideal, and shows
us how to achieve it.
While romantic love has been a Western
ideal for over a millennium, it has been poorly defined and rarely
survives the early years of courtship. While the demise of romantic
love in personal relationships is usually regretted, its failure
can be anticipated in lack of courtesy, true commitment and honorable
behavior. Unfortunately, we have come to expect this.
happens, however, if chivalrous men suddenly appear on the scene
who respond differently? Men who believe that love is not something
transitory, but the very fabric of life? Women might welcome this
at first, but are they truly ready for it to happen? Such love needs
to be responded to in kind. While Chivalry-Now provides men
with an inspirational whole code of behavior that feeds their capacity
for love, where will women turn to for guidance or advice?
like to think that their personal responses will arise naturally
on their own. They will respond perfectly to positive male change
and courteous behavior. But how can we be sure?
love needs the cooperation of both sexes in order to survive in
a healthy fashion. It must be believed in. It be a constant and
integral part of the relationship. In other words, it comprises
a different kind of relationship than mere bonding for procreation.
It demands as much truth, honor and courtesy from women as it does
is possible for a man to love a woman when it is not reciprocated,
even from afar? Medieval chivalry clearly affirms that it is, and
I see no reason to think otherwise.
one-sided love is not the ideal. If romantic love is to flourish,
both parties have to make it so. The woman has to believe in "forever"
as much as the man, or something is lost. The dance is broken. The
is a problem. Women may say they want romantic love, and appreciate
it at first, but will they continue to nurture their part of it
as time goes on and familiarity sets in? Will they appreciate the
ongoing male courtesies from a single mate? Or grow complacent,
or feel entitled, thus breaking the dynamic? Will they look down
on the men who love them completely? Will the arrival of children
or grandchildren, or new jobs, friends or hobbies detract from what
is needed to keep romantic love alive?
that matter, do today's women really want real romantic love, or
just the public resemblance of it as part of courtship? Is it a
cultural notion that demands far too much investment, and risk eventual
failure and disappointment?
are questions we need to explore, knowing full well that no theory
or discussion will prove anything. The only proof we can attain
comes from our own lives and efforts. That is our challenge.
some of my own past relationships, my feelings of love where shaped
and informed by my beliefs and commitment. Chivalry helped design
this. The women I became involved with did not share these same
beliefs. Their responses and commitments were very different from
mine. I was hoping for something similar or complimentary to what
I offered, but the concept just wasn't there. Romance became painfully
one-sided. Once the relationship was established, the energy to
keep it at a high levels just died out.
don't draw conclusions from that. My past relations provide little
more than a few anecdotes limited my own involvement. Nevertheless,
I suggest that romantic love survives better when both partners
purposely engage in it. The intensity and permanence are jeopardized
when only one person is so committed.
- It is important
for the woman you love to at least understand and appreciate the
romantic love that the chivalrous man offers.
there is no guidebook to help her with this from a female perspective.
The concept of chivalry is not entirely alien, however. Various
forms of it survive in our culture in fairy tales, myths and literature,
pointing to such love as a desirable ideal and something to believe
- If the love
she feels in return coincides with what you offer in a complimentary
fashion, permanent success become possible to achieve. Next comes
living up to your ideals.
- I personally
believe that most women have what it takes, but society distracts
them from it, as it tries to distract us all. If she wants authenticity,
and sees it in your eyes, she will hopefully respond in kind.
All people want
to be loved and appreciated. Unfortunately, we are not always open
to loving and appreciating others, which breaks the cycle. We sometimes
get too self-absorbed. If Chivalry-Now helps men become more
open to this, more responsive to their loved-ones, women need to
understand what is going on. They need to determine what they really
want from their male partners and what they are willing to
give in return. They have to decide, in the long run, if they even
want permanent relationships that are romantic? What they consider
love might be no more than a mating instinct that pass with time.
appears to be love might also be a manifestation of ego and therefore
doomed to failure. Or a response to social or familial expectations
that ends as abruptly as it starts. Or a desire for security that
comes through attachment.
can also be more of a response to the excitement that come from
romance, rather than actual love.
are all pitfalls to the kind of love that chivalry espouses. Men
need to be honestly aware of them, and women should too.
will be women who simply aren't interested in romantic love, or
are incapable of it, for whatever reason. They might not trust it,
or feel that the results just aren't worth the trouble. Their choices
must be respected. If you love such a woman, by all means do. Have
a wonderful relationship, but enjoy it with both eyes open.
who do want a full blown version of romantic love need to base it
on certain prerequisites:
and commitment are paramount to making and keeping it.
- Before risking
that, the woman needs to know that this is something her lover
wants, and that both of them are equally committed to making it
- Neither partner
must ever be considered a commodity by the other.
- They should
never allow other people to come between them. The crowning achievement
of romantic love is the peak ascendancy each feels for the other.
- Both should
constantly feel wanted and appreciated by each other, and not
allow daily responsibilities to make their relationship drift
- For always
means that love and dedication continues even after the bloom
of youth fades. True beauty is what we create in love. It does
In a sense,
women may find themselves at a disadvantage if they aren't prepared
with their own code of principles. Perhaps they will develop one.
I'm not sure what they would call it. Perhaps it would be the next
logical step of feminism. Until then, it pays for men of chivalry
to be aware of the difficulties women might face during our cultural
happens, we must be as patient and considerate as women have been
toward us for centuries.