Congratulations! You’ve got a first date lined up. Feel free to take a moment to pat yourself on the back for making it this far.

We know you’re divorced, so let’s start where we stand and assume that this is not your first date of all time, and that you bring to the table a degree of experience in this area. That said: let’s assume for a moment, that this is your first date in this new phase of your life.

We are going to cover three main levels of etiquette. These have been standard issue since the Middle Ages, so they’ve stood the test of time.

Things a knight would do. Now, before you decide to argue with this on the basis of gender equality and equal pay, let me say: I agree with you. I do, however, have one phrase for you: “knight in shining armor”. It has been written into fairy tales, and it triggers something within the female psyche. Simply put, chivalry is not dead. Neither are good manners or the idea of Romance with a capital R. If you were just looking for a friend, you wouldn’t have showered and brushed your teeth. You wouldn’t get excited about the possibilities of meeting your date. And you certainly wouldn’t get nervous about what might happen and whether or not you’ll hit it off. Trust me when I say that a great majority of women are looking for their knight…enough so that you’ll increase your odds of success with the opposite sex by acting like a knight than a knave.

Now that you understand why entertaining this idea may be in your best interest, let’s start with the basic three: Open the door for her. Pull out her chair. And, my good sirs, pay the check.

I’ll let that last one sink in.

A knight pays the check. After all: you showered. You brushed your teeth. You are not looking for a friend. Pay the check. You’ll have the rest of your lives to go dutch.

Ways A Knight Behaves. It’s one thing to open the door for a woman; it’s another thing entirely to open the door for her and gently place your hand on the small of her back as she passes through. It’s one thing to pull out the chair for a woman; it’s another to pull it out slowly, hold it with confidence, and hold your ground while she gets situated. It’s one thing to pay the check for a woman; it’s another to beckon the waiter and assuredly wave off her feigned protestations or simply accept her thanks. Knights behave with grace and assuredness.

Speak like a knight. A knight’s code is to tell the truth, and to be respectful of women. You, my good sir, can accomplish both these tasks on a first date in a very simple manner: be honest and show a genuine interest in the person across from you. In the event she asks a question you would rather not answer, it’s perfectly acceptable to let the question deflect off your shield and redirect with grace and assuredness.

Approach your first date with the mindset of a knight, and keep the faith that you can slay dragons and win the heart of your woman… or at least go on a second date.

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