When the phrase ‘gentleman’ was first coined in the 12th Century, it referred to men born in a class of nobility. The gentlemen of that time were royals and valiant knights.

Of course, the concept of gentry has changed dramatically in the past several centuries. However, there are still some trademark characteristics – values, attitudes and behaviors that continue to separate gentleman from their less-amicable peers.

10 Things Gentlemen Do Differently

#1 – A gentleman is always on time.


When Country Life magazine listed the behaviors of a true 21st Century gentlemen, punctuality was one of the key points. And why wouldn’t it be? A gentleman displays respect – and few things are as disrespectful as wasting another person’s time.

#2 – A gentleman is courteous.

Many guys, while walking down the street, think of no one but themselves. They’re in their own little bubble.

But a gentleman? They’re always aware of the people around them. When they approach a door, they take a quick glance behind them to see if anyone’s there. If they notice someone – man or woman – they will do the courteous thing and hold the door.

Likewise, when out with a woman – be it their mother, sister or a romantic interest – he will always display the highest level of courtesy by opening doors, refraining from foul language and the like.

#3 – A gentleman always takes the high road.


Even when confronted with a foul-natured sever, a true gentleman does not become rude. It’s not that they don’t know how to – to the contrary, they can very well get down and dirty like the rest of ’em. No, he is never rude because he knows how to exercise constraint over his emotions.

#4 – A gentleman always keeps a promise.

While some men make promises they cannot keep in an effort to gain affection, a gentleman knows what he can do and he commits to nothing more than that. Whether the promise is to his boss or a family member, it will be fulfilled.

#5 – A gentleman knows what should be kept private.


A gentleman does not share the intimate details of his life with just anyone. He knows that doing so will make people uncomfortable around him, especially at vulnerable moments.

Rather, he has the ability to lock the vault on a secret and throw away the key – whether the secret concerns a friend’s dark past or the details of their own intimacy.

#6 – A gentleman does not hit people.

Unless it’s out of self-defense or the desire to protect another person, he does not hit anyone – especially not a woman. A gentleman understands that using violence in an offensive manner is truly classless and inappropriate.

#7 – A gentleman takes care of business.


On any given day, you’re not going to find a gentleman laying on the sofa watching television when the sink is full of dishes, their car hasn’t been cleaned in months and they’re unemployed.

To the contrary, gentlemen gets things done because they’re responsible and aren’t going to wait for someone else to pick up the slack.

#8 – A gentleman is honest.

If a gentleman makes a mistake, they will own up to it. If someone asks their opinion on something, they will give an honest answer.

That doesn’t mean they’ll do so without any tact. But you can be sure that gentlemen will give you a straight answer that is as close to the truth as a subjective human being can get.

#9 – A gentleman pays their dues without being prompted.


Some men will take, take and take some more without ever offering to reciprocate.

But a gentleman? Whether they’re out for drinks with friends or with their partner, they know when it’s time to buy a round or give a back rub. They never put others in the awkward position of having to ask for reciprocation.

#10 – A gentleman does not offer unsolicited advice.

Some men are very eager to prove their knowledge and prowess. Even if they’re in another man’s house, they will not hesitate to tell him how he should live his life.

To the contrary, a gentleman does not claim to be so much of an expert on any topic that they have the right to butt in when their advice is not requested. They may be knowledgeable but they know when it’s appropriate to share that knowledge and when it’s not.

Want to find out if your partner is a gentleman? Have a look at this post for 8 more signs of a true gentleman!

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Country Life