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Does Chivalry Live in Generation Hook-Up?

By Janet Reyes

When we think of chivalry, the first thing that comes into mind is the classic image we all had as young girls of the knight in shining armor coming to save us from dragons and humdrum and lead us to a life full of romance, hand holding and adventure. As we became teenagers, I think most of us realized during our first experiences with guys that that’s not even close to reality. As we grow up, the image of the knight in shining armor turns into a wish and search for an actual nice guy because he’s become more difficult to find than Where’s Waldo.

Often, we settle for flings or hook-ups because it’s better than being alone. And not all hook-ups happen with guys who are necessarily un-chivalrous. They’re just guys that are unwilling to commit to something that might turn into a relationship. Same goes for women. For some, it’s a system that works and that’s great. But what about those who want more than just a hook-up?

Even though the hook-up is pretty common practice for our generation, there is always going to be a part of us, even a tiny part that longs for that lasting relationship. Hook-ups may kill a bit of loneliness but they can never equate to the intimacy that you get in a relationship. The person you hook-up with may see you naked but the person you have a relationship with sees you naked and sees you for what you are.

In this day and age, I don’t necessarily think chivalry is gone but I do think perhaps our definition of it has changed. It used to be about a man treating a woman well, i.e. opening her door, standing up when she leaves the room. While these things may make a woman feel special, in the age where most of our human interaction is through a screen, chivalry might now be defined as catering to a woman’s emotional needs. We appreciate it and remember it more when a guy makes an effort to call first or makes an effort to remember the little things about us. In the hook-up generation, the generation of ‘I want it now’, it’s safe to say that chivalry has merely become synonymous with showing effort.

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