Ah Valentine’s Day, that dodgy day of the year that’s filled with so many expectations, yet always manages to creep up on us in our wintery, Netflix-induced, comatose boredom. There’s always so much noise around the holiday (Gifts For Him! Gifts For Her! Valentine’s Day Special!), which is precisely why we steered clear of any kind of gift guide here on TGM.

For us, grooming and taking care of your appearance are different forms of exercising good manners. Self-respect. Being a gentleman. 

Being a gentleman — now that’s an elusive quality these days. And, admittedly, one of the reasons why I find myself single this Valentine’s Day. If you watch any of the Old Hollywood classics, that gentlemanly, suave charisma practically rained down from the silver screen heavens. I mean, take a look at how Burt Lancaster just oozes all that is man in this iconic kiss from the 1953 film From Here To Eternity… 

Take another romance-her-pants-off icon, Pablo Neruda. This guy’s the OG of love poems (among the ranks of Shakespeare, but way easier to understand). One of my favorite, most goosebump-inducing lines of his reads:

In one kiss,
you’ll know all
I haven’t said

My point is, there aren’t enough kisses like that anymore — in real life nor the movies. When’s the last time you witnessed a kiss like the one on V-Day in Times Square? When’s the last time someone kissed you like that?

It’s like everyone’s afraid—don’t want to overstep their bounds, put themselves out there, be labeled “the one who cares more”…a sure kiss of death in the Tinder age of swipeswipeswipe.

So what are we left with? Men who don’t fully embody what it is to be a gentleman; ladies who don’t quite feel safe enough around men to ever really let their guards down. No one’s got the cojones to take charge, look vulnerable, take risks…The very same reason why guys let Valentines Day go completely unmarked with the chick they’ve been “seeing” for a few months—it’s the same reason why no one kisses like they used to back in the day. Courage. Heart.

It takes guts to stand up to the rest of society saying “Don’t do it!” because they wouldn’t do it. And guess what? In love, when it becomes a game of who cares the least, we all lose.

The remedy? Step it up. Be a gentleman. Practice chivalry so much it becomes a part of who you are, and see how many people you pleasantly surprise in a day. It’s as simple as surprising her with a latte, ordering the Uber without her asking, opening her door and walking to the other side of the car to let yourself in instead of waiting for her to scoot across the back seat (chivalry points docked). It’s bringing her Ramen when she feels sick, helping her out of her coat instead of just standing there watching her wiggle out of it, sending the stupid flowers on Valentine’s Day even though you haven’t “defined the relationship”.

Do it anyways. She’ll start to trust you, count on you, rely on you, Lo Keyand let her guard down to fully let her open, beautiful feminine energy shine. Now that’s a recipe for bringing back that good ol’ fashioned, weak-in-the-knees Hollywood smooch.