Being a modern man takes more than just good looks and smooth talking. From traditional manners to strong confidence, here are nine things modern men should do.
1. Be well-read and know your audience
Reading the news and keeping up with current events is sometimes lost in today’s pop-driven culture, but a modern man always knows what’s going on and stays apprised on major events around the globe, Ryan Greiss, a PR professional, told The Cheat Sheet. Being able to hold an intelligent conversation is a must, but be sure you know your audience before delving into a political or religious conversation.
2. Silence your phone while on a date
I think most people would agree that leaving your phone out on the table is incredibly rude. It basically screams, “You’re boring, and I better keep my options open in case I get a text or phone call from someone else who’s more important.” Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills relationship psychotherapist and author, told us that good communication skills are key, and it’s pretty difficult to communicate with someone if you’re constantly distracted by your phone.
3. Dress appropriately for the occasion
Wearing a suit? Better be sporting some dress shoes. Going to a friend’s birthday celebration at his house? Classic, dark jeans, a nice sweater, and a pair of loafers will do. “Know how to tie a tie,” Greiss said. And what we don’t recommend is showing up to an office party straight from your softball game.
4. Don’t be cheap
A modern man always tips well and carries cash. Don’t get caught without enough money to get a round of drinks during happy hour, and never stiff the bartender. Greiss recommends, “Tip 20%.”
5. Write letters
Ah, the art of hand-written letters and snail mail. Admit it – you love getting a hand-written letter in the mailbox just as much as the next guy. But it’s a definite rarity in an online-driven world in which people have resorted to the dreaded mass email invites for even the most special of occasions. “It’s an old school form of communication but it’s a sign of good breeding and it is always welcome, surprising and memorable,” said Breck Costin, seminar leader, mentor, trainer, and coach.
6. Keep a tidy home, car and office
Wherever you spend your time, make sure to keep it clean. Pick up after yourself, do your laundry, and wash your dishes. Keep your office, cubicle, or desk neat and organized. Vacuum your car and make sure not to leave your gym bag or hockey gear in there for days on end.
7. Know your drink order, and your date’s, too
Whether it’s scotch on the rocks or a whiskey sour, every modern man should have his go-to beverage. When the bartender or server comes around, place your drink order, along with your date’s, as well. It will show you’ve paid attention, and you’re willing to take initiative. Furthermore, Greiss suggests knowing how to mix basic drinks, and have various kinds of wine, beer, and spirits on hand whenever you have company over to your place.
8. Open doors and stand up when your date arrives or leaves the table
According to Stef Safran, matchmaking and dating expert, it all starts with planning a good date. “Even for the first date, planning is key,” Safran said. “It doesn’t have to be creative, but it does have to look like you spent time.” Furthermore, basic manners should include simple acts like opening doors, but a not so obvious one is the old-school tradition of standing up at a table when a woman arrives or excuses herself. Speaking of which, if you need to use the restroom or step outside while dining with others, please say “excuse me” rather than leaving abruptly.
9. Be proud of being a man and never apologize for that
Burley, handsome, sophisticated, intelligent, sincere, hard-working, motivated, capable. However you might describe the essentials of being a man, know what you have to offer, pay it forward, and don’t apologize for it. Adventure athlete and former serial entrepreneur Patrick Sweeney says, “Be a man and never apologize for being a man. Don’t feel guilty about it either. Teach your sons how to be men too. Put a climbing rope up for them to try since lawyers have convinced most schools to get rid of them, show them how to skip rocks.” Know how to start a fire. Even if you live in the city and don’t identify as an outdoorsman, primal know-how traits are nothing too shy away from.