It is often said that a man is the ruler of his domain, lord of his castle. But, then again, many foolish things are often said. A single man usually has no problem with running the compartments of his home. The toilet seat can always stay up, laundry day is based on the underarm sniff test, and eating ravioli directly from the can is simply the most practical way to keep the kitchen clean.
When a man brings a woman into his home, everything changes. His dominion is now shared sovereignty, a division of power with delegated authority, and how he handles that challenge is a matter of skilled diplomacy. A man’s ability to respectfully give up portions of his realm is a crucial part of his shining armor, a quality called selflessness.
Self-sacrifice is the key to all courtship rituals; it’s the first gleam that a woman notices in a knight’s shining armor. Few women are attracted to a guy who hands her a bag of his dirty socks and underwear on a first meeting, saying, “Don’t use bleach; it gives me the hives.”
Proper courtship involves exposing an inner selfless character, and a knight’s first act of sacrifice is in giving time and attention. To that he may add the price of entertainment and food. He may include chivalrous acts, sacrifices of priority and convenience such as holding the door, carrying heavy packages, or, in the spirit of a true gentleman, stepping into puddles or mud to help her avoid sullying her clothes.