The Ground Rules: The Basic Guidelines & Minimum Expectations of a REAL BlackMan

Simple Advice for Treating Women with Respect

The following is a list of basic guidelines and expectations for how a REAL man should act toward women. It is a set of the basic smallest requirements for treating women with respect.

The following actions are what you are expected to do, without being asked to do so, and without earning any “extra points” for doing them:

+ Be on-time for a date. Be on-time for a date; in fact, be a few minutes early. Show a woman that you respect her time by not wasting it. Be on-time, every time, all the time.

+ Call if you are going to be late. If you are ever going to be late for a date, or even just a meeting with a friend, call ahead of time and let the young lady know you will be late. That is only common courtesy. Do your best to be on-time or early, but if you cannot be, then at least have the class and manners to call and let her know that you are running late. And make sure that you call to let her know before you are late, not after you already are.

+ Go to the door. If you must go to a girl’s house or apartment to pick her up for a date, do not ever pull up and honk the horn and expect the girl to come out. Do not sit in your car and call the girl and tell her to come out either. Shut the car off, walk up to the door, and knock or ring the doorbell. Be a gentleman and go to the front door, especially if her parents are going to be home.

+ Call if you say you are going to call. If you tell a young woman that you are going to call her, then call her. If you do not intend to call her, then do not tell her that you will.
If you say you are going to call a girl, then call. Otherwise, do not say it. That is basic courtesy. More than that, however, it is a matter of keeping your word as a man. Whatever it is: if you say you are going to do something, then follow through and do it. That is what a stand-up guy does. That is part of what being responsible is all about. A REAL man keeps his word; it is that simple. If you say you are going to call, then call. It is simply a respectful thing to do.

+ Call when you say you are going to call. If you say you are going to call a girl, then call her. If you tell a girl that you are going to call her at a certain time or on a certain day, then call her
at that time. That is simply a matter of being reliable and dependable. Beyond that, it is about keeping your word as a man.
If, for some reason, you cannot call (for example, if it is too late): text her and tell her that you will call her the next day or sometime soon. Apologize for not being able to call, and let her know that you will do so when you are able to.

+ Open doors. Open doors… all doors: car doors, house doors, restaurant doors, etc. Open doors: all of them, all the time. Hold all doors open, and allow a woman to pass through the doorway first. Whether you are entering a restaurant, a coffee shop, a classroom, a store, or anywhere else: always open the door for a woman, and always allow her to pass through the entrance first.

+ Pay for dinner. Always pay for your date’s meal… always. Pay for all meals, all the time. Pick up the check. Whether it is dinner, lunch, breakfast, brunch, coffee, tea, a bagel, or even a vending machine… always pay the bill. Whether it is a fancy restaurant, a fast-food joint, or just a coffee shop, does not matter: a REAL man never, ever lets a woman pay for a meal or a drink.

+ Pay for dinner… and do not expect anything in return. Always pay for your date’s meal… and never expect anything in return. A woman does not owe you a single thing for picking up the check. Paying for dinner does not entitle you to anything. Buying a drink or a meal does not give you the right to anything in return from a woman. Pick up the check, and do not you dare expect any type of favor or service in return. Ever.

A REAL man pays for dinner or a drink because he is a gentleman and because it is a respectable and classy thing to do… not because he wants something in return. A REAL man never, ever expects anything in return—of any kind—for picking up the tab. Pay for all meals, always, and expect nothing for it. The only thing you are ever entitled to… is the food you are buying. That is it. Period.

+ Pay attention to a woman when she speaks. If a woman tells you something, it is because she thinks it is important. And if she thinks it is important, then she will expect you to think it is important as well. Show her that you value what she is saying and that it is important, by giving her your full and undivided attention. If you expect anyone to pay attention to and listen to you, then you must pay attention and listen to them first.

+ Listen to a woman when she talks. Show respect and consideration to a woman by paying attention to her when she is speaking. When a woman speaks, make, and maintain eye contact with her. When you are out to dinner, take the seat facing the wall—and not the window, the television, or the rest of the room—so that you can focus on the woman you are with and what she is saying. By doing this, you will remove any distractions to the conversation. By listening to a woman, you show her that you value her time and words. By showing a woman that you value her time and words, you show her that you respect and value her as a person as well.

+ Make and keep eye contact. Make eye contact… with her EYES. Do not check-out a woman while she is talking to you. It is extremely disrespectful and rude. A woman is a human being, not an object. Show respect to her, by showing her that you respect her as a person.
Make and keep eye contact… with her eyes. Do not treat a woman like she is a piece of meat by checking her out while she is speaking. Keep your eyes at eye-level. A woman is a human being, and she deserves to be treated—and respected—as such.

+ Keep your eyes on the woman you are with. When you are out in public with a woman—whether in a restaurant, walking through town, or at a game or performance—don’t check out other women that you pass by or that are at another table. That is extremely disrespectful: both to the woman you are with, and to the woman, you are checking out. Keep your eyes on the woman you are with, and keep your thoughts and your attention on her too.

+ Remember what a woman tells you. If a woman tells you something—anything—it is because she wants you to remember it. If a woman tells you something, it is because she thinks it is important. And if she thinks it is important, then she will expect you to think it is important as well. More importantly, she will expect you to act like it is important by remembering it.

+ Know a woman’s favorite anything. Know a woman’s favorite type of anything: her favorite restaurant, her favorite meal, her favorite type of coffee, her favorite kind of flowers, her favorite type of animal, her favorite type of stuffed animal, her favorite movie, her favorite book, her favorite color, her favorite anything, and everything. Remember any and every “favorite.”
Write it down if you must, but always remember those things.

+ Allow a woman to pick the movie. Let her pick the movie occasionally—if not more often than you—and do not complain about the movie that she chooses. If you do not like it, then keep it to yourself and at least try to learn something valuable from something in the movie.

+ Allow a woman to pick the music. When you are in the car, ask her what kind of music or what radio station she would like to listen to. Put that station on or that CD in.

+ Share the remote control. Watch her favorite TV shows. And do not complain about having to watch them or about how bad you think they are. Suck it up. It will not hurt you to watch her favorite show. Take advantage of an opportunity to spend quality time with her, and feel good about the fact that you are helping to make her happy. When she is happy, you should be happy to. It should make you feel good to make others feel good.

+ Appreciate a woman’s presence. Show appreciation for a woman’s presence, and let her know that you value her company. Thank her for watching a sports game with you, or for hanging out with the guys, or for making dinner or planning an evening together. Never take her presence for granted. A woman chooses to either spend time with you or not. Make her want to spend her time with you. Do not make her feel like she is wasting her time.

+ Appreciate a woman’s contributions. Show appreciation when appreciation is due. Pay compliments when compliments are due; show her you appreciate her for who she is and for what she does. Say kind and thoughtful things, tell her you love her (if you actually do love her), tell her you enjoy spending time with her, compliment her on all the things you like about her, and show appreciation for all the positive things that she says and does.
Make her feel good about herself. Tell her what you like about her, tell her what you appreciate about her, tell her what you love about her… and tell her often. You do not have to get overly-sappy and romantic: simply let a woman know that you value and appreciate her, and make sure that she knows it.

+ Remember important dates and events. Remember birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. If a woman remembers them, it means that she expects you to remember them as well. Remember and celebrate important dates. You do not need to make a big production or spend a lot of money, but you should acknowledge the occasion and do something thoughtful to commemorate it. You do not need to do anything grand or big: you can do something kind and simple. Just make sure that you do something.
Also, you do not need to wait for special occasions to say or to do something special. You can perform thoughtful acts and show appreciation to the woman in your life at any time, on any occasion. If you value having that woman in your life, then let her know it. If you appreciate having that woman in your life, then make sure you show it. Do not ever make her have to wonder.

+ Pay honest compliments. Be on the lookout for every opportunity to pay a genuine compliment. If a young lady looks nice, tell her. If she smells nice, let her know. If she has something insightful to say, praise her for her intellect. If she does something that you appreciate, thank her, and tell her that you appreciate it.
Compliment the woman you are with on her smile, her eyes, her outfit, her shoes, her hairstyle. Compliment her on an intelligent or insightful comment. Compliment her on the way she says or does something. Make her feel good about herself.

+ Be careful what you say, and be careful how you say it. Be polite and considerate always. Never make fun of a woman, even if it is in sarcasm or in jest. Do not hurt her feelings, and do not, under any circumstances, insult her.
A woman may forgive you, but she will not forget the way you made her feel. Never give a woman a reason to remember anything bad about the way you treat her. A woman will not forget what you say or do; she may, however, forget you.

+ Be positive and be thoughtful. Point out positive things whenever you must make a criticism of any kind. Praise a woman’s positive features and attributes before drawing attention to something that is not as appealing.
Never joke about a woman’s physical appearance. Never make fun of how a woman looks or is dressed. If a woman asks you a question that is tough to answer (such as: if an outfit looks good on her when it does not, or if she has gained weight when she has): try to be as polite and delicate as possible with your words. Choose your words carefully, and make sure to always point out something positive before providing any form of criticism. Always try to soften any critical remarks as much as you can. Your words should serve to help, not to hurt.

+ Be positive and be encouraging. Never make fun of a woman’s dreams, and never belittle a woman’s aspirations. For some people, their dreams and aspirations are their only hope. Use your words to affirm and build up others, not to tear them down.

+ Be polite and respectful to a woman’s family. Be polite to a woman’s family: especially her parents and immediate relatives. Speak respectfully to, and about them. Never make fun of a woman’s parents and family. They are the people she loves most in the world. Show respect to her by showing respect to the ones she loves.

+ Be polite and respectful to a woman’s friends. Be polite to a woman’s friends: especially her best friend and close friends. Speak respectfully to, and about them. Never make fun of a woman’s friends. They are some of the people she cares about most in the world. Show respect to a woman by showing respect to her friends.

+ Offer your jacket or sweatshirt to a woman when she is cold. Offer your jacket or sweatshirt to her if it is cold outside—or if she looks like she is cold—if she does not have a jacket of her own. Offer your jacket or sweatshirt to a woman if she already has one but still appears to be cold.

+ Offer your raincoat to a woman when it is raining. Offer your raincoat to her if it is raining outside if she does not have a coat of her own.

+ Share your umbrella with a woman when it is raining. Share your umbrella if it is raining outside. If your umbrella is not big enough for two people to fit underneath, then give your umbrella to her.

+ Offer to carry a woman’s bags. Offer to carry a woman’s grocery bags, shopping bags, and other heavy objects. Offer to carry your girlfriend’s books or backpack through school or to class. Offer to carry her duffel bag when traveling. Offer to carry or roll her suitcase when flying somewhere. Do not let a woman have to struggle carrying something heavy. Be a gentleman and offer to carry her bags.

+ Offer your seat to a woman. If you are on a bus or a plane, if you are in a classroom or in a meeting room, or if you are anywhere else where there are seats: if there is a woman who needs a seat, offer her yours if there are no others available. Stand up and be a real man… by standing up.

+ Get the car and pull around to the front. If it is raining or snowing, if it is extremely cold outside, or if you are parked extremely far away from the entrance: go to your car and pull around to the front door. Pick up the woman you are with at the entrance. Do not make her walk out to the car in the rain, snow, or cold. Do not make her walk a long distance to the car either, especially if she is dressed nicely or is wearing high heels.

+ Pump the gas for a woman. Never let a woman pump her own gas. Do not make her stand outside, especially in the cold or rain, and must pump her own gas. Do not make her stand outside and must smell the fumes or get dirty from pumping gas either. Get out of the car yourself and pump the gas… even if it is not your car, and even if you are not the one driving. Whether it is your girlfriend, your wife, your friend, your mother, or your sister…does not matter. Do not let the woman you are with have to pump her own gas. Be a gentleman, get out of the car, and pump the gas for her.

+ Stand up when a woman leaves the dinner table. When you are out to dinner and she gets up from the table, stand up as well. Stand when your date leaves the table; stand once again when she returns to the table. At a formal dinner or event, stand when a lady leaves the table; stand once again when she returns to the table. This is a very classy gesture: it is old-fashioned and extremely respectable. Once again: stand up and be a real man… by standing up.

+ Be a gentleman, and be a gentleman. Be a gentleman in all ways. Always be respectful of a woman’s physical rights. Always allow a woman to choose whether a situation proceeds. Always allow a woman to choose how a situation advances if she decides that she would like it to advance. Never force a woman to do anything she does not want to do. Never try to coerce or convince a woman to do anything she does not feel comfortable doing.

+ Never attempt to intimidate a woman. Never threaten to harm a woman. Never try to hurt a woman psychologically or emotionally. Never try to physically impose yourself upon a woman. Always be respectful to a woman, and always be respectful of a woman’s body and personal space.

+ Be tender and delicate, never forceful. When it comes to being physical or intimate, do not be forceful. Be tender, be respectful, and be considerate. Always take “no” for an answer, and never force a situation.

+ Never raise your voice in anger at a woman. Always be polite and considerate: not only in what you say, but in how you say it. If you are in an argument, remain calm and be patient. Never raise your voice in anger, and never try to “win” the argument by insulting a woman or by hurting her feelings. Always remember that words, once spoken, can never be taken back. Remain calm and be considerate.

+ Never harm a woman in any way. Never physically hurt a woman. Never put your hands on a woman in an aggressive or unwelcome way, even if you think you are just playing around. Never, ever, under any circumstances, hit a woman. No exceptions. No excuses. Period.

+ Date one woman at a time. Show respect to the woman you are dating by making her the only woman of interest in your life at that time. Do not be a player. Date one woman at a time.

+ Be faithful to the woman in your life. Be faithful to your girlfriend or the woman you are dating. Do not cheat on the woman you are with, under any circumstances. There is never a valid reason for cheating, and there is never an excuse for running around on your girlfriend. Be true to the woman you are dating. Be respectful to her by being true to her. Be faithful to the woman you are with, even if she is unfaithful to you. If she indeed is unfaithful to you, however, then you should not be in that relationship in the first place. You should have enough self-respect not to allow yourself to be treated like that by anyone else.