“So…wanna walk me home?”

{Image via Blogspot}

{Image via Blogspot}

Well ladies, it seems chivalry may in fact be dead. And I want to talk about it.

This week I added yet another chapter to my book of dating faux-pas and foot in mouth situations. Only this time it wasn’t fully my fault. Or maybe it was. That’s what the poll at the end of this post is for. First, let’s backtrack.

I was on my third date with a guy I was slowly developing a crush on. We went to a roof top bar, had a few beers, then both decided that the next move was pizza. We ate the pizza back at his place while watching the Yankee game. I’d never been there before – remember: we only just started dating – but I immediately walked in and felt like it was a place I could come back to. Or maybe not so much.

The game ended, I got up to go home. It was almost 1am and I had a mere 6 blocks between my current location and my bed. I asked: “So…wanna walk me home?” I did it in that high-pitched kind of way that I’d smack any other girl for doing. But I also did it because that’s what I’ve been accustomed to after four years at school in the South. I was under the assumption that the offer for a walk home was implied. Chivalry, safety, all of the above. And Jessica mentions Tim doing it on Day 3 of Forty Days of Dating.

Now, I’m all about feminism, I’m all about equality, but there comes a point where you realize that all is not equal in the face of a 5’2″ girl weighing in at 126 pounds and a man of most any size and weight. I had friends learn that the hard way in New Orleans and while New York is a different city than the good old 504, I like to live by the How I Met Your Mother logic that nothing good happens after 1am.

What happened next was a series of shaming statements from him in response to my asking for a walk home. Some of them involved expletives, others involved me being told to “take a step back and think about how ridiculous” I was being for asking, and there was one offer of having money “thrown at” me for a cab – which elicited a whole lot of other reactions. I don’t know anyone who takes kindly to being spoken to like they’re a child, but I took the advice of taking a step back to heart during my 30-seconds of incredulous, jaw-on-the-floor silence. Was I being ridiculous? Maybe only Southern boys do that. I thought again, No, no. Even your dumbest boyfriends always asked to walk you home. Not once did it cross my mind that if I left now I’d be alone forever, destined for a future of crazy cats and plastic-covered furniture. No, this was a definite deal breaker. Then he told me I was “just bothering” him, so I picked up my jaw, put on my shoes, and headed for the door.

Now, this is less about the guy in this scenario and more about the larger question, as well as the rather extreme reaction he had to it. In fact, this conversation and confrontation has probably been had by guys, girls, couples, daters all over the #20something world and ours is no different. Except that he left me with a challenge towards the end of our fight: “Poll anyone and they’ll tell you you’re being ridiculous [with that request].” Well, challenge accepted.

So I now pose to you: Girls, do you expect guys to walk you home? Guys, is this unfair?

Personally I think all you guys should be flattered that we want your strong, manly selves to protect us on our walks home – regardless of the fact that “it is no longer the 1770s.” That’s the dream right? Save me, manly man! That said, we also understand that it presents at times. And we’re sorry. But boys (men?): just ask us if we want the company, the protection on our walk to where ever it is we’re going.

Then again, I won’t speak for my fellow female brethren – I’ll speak for me: ask me if I’m OK getting home. I will most likely say yes. But on the off chance that no, I do not feel comfortable taking myself home, your offer will make me feel like less of a ‘fraidy cat and walking those few blocks will earn you more brownie points than you can possibly fathom. At least with me.

What do you think? Take our poll. Any other thoughts? Head down to the comments section.


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  • Reply August 5, 2013


    Adding a comment to my “no” vote. I unfortunately do not think men should be “expected” to walk a woman home. That said, I will notice the difference between the “boy” who has an outburst like you experienced, the “guy” who walks downstairs and hails a cab for you, and the “man” walks you home. The latter two will get a second date.

  • Reply August 5, 2013

    Adair-Hayes Crane

    This just angers me. I would love to have some words with him, haha, but to the overall question… ABSOLUTELY. It’s just a nice gesture, and again, I’m from the south so I’m 100% used to this, but I feel like other areas of the world do this too.

    Feminism, equality, all of that out of consideration, if a guy cares about you – he should care about you getting home safely, and let’s face it (to your point) this is not really a safe world.

  • Reply August 5, 2013


    Anytime I have ever left a date the boy has always offered to either walk me home or drop me off in the cab, even if it isn’t on his way. While I usually don’t take them up on the offer it is always nice of them to offer. To me when a boy doesn’t offer it means they have no thought for anyone but themselves.

  • Reply August 5, 2013

    Hilary Badger

    Fuming from my cubicle. North, South, East, West manners are manners. Caring for someone and their safety I think is above all the most important part of any relationship, or even friendship.

  • Reply August 5, 2013


    I feel like he chinked the armor of every man (wanna-be knight in shining armor) out there who still believes that he should try his best do right by the women he encounters.

  • Reply August 5, 2013

    Taylor H

    Ali! This makes me so sad! Please don’t ever speak to this psychopath again. Anger issues much?

  • Reply August 5, 2013

    Angela Vitali

    While I have a vested interest in the author of this article, I am also known to be a fair minded person. The behavior of this “boy” sickened me. I have always been an advocate of woman’s rights and woman taking charge of themselves, but some behaviors are just about common decency and tell you a lot about an individual’s character. Needles to say, this “boy’s” actions clearly tell you that he is self-centered, infantile, and too used to his mommy telling him he is “the be all and end all”. Grow a pair and act like a man! I also agree that “north, south, east, west manners are manners” Boys today need to regain their sense of chivalry and manners and maybe then we will call them men! Girls need to stand up for themselves, in this and other situations like it and require men to treat them with respect. There is nothing wrong with human decency and treating your friends, dates, girlfriends, mother and sisters with common courtesy! As the mother of two girls I hope the boys at there will learn a lesson from this poll!!

  • Reply August 5, 2013

    Amy Wagner-Day

    I am angry and shocked that someone would not be concerned for another persona safety regardless of gender! But because it was a date and late at night then yes he should have walked you home, it’s just good manners. It frustrates me to think that someone would have to walk home that late at night by themselves, maybe you were scared, maybe something had happen to you or someone you know, or maybe you just wanted to continue the date a little longer because you liked his company. With all that said, I would like to ask him “how would he feel if something had happen to you? What if he could have helped? Would he be able to live with himself? I know I wouldn’t. Even though we live in a fairly small town I have always made sure my son has taken the extra step in caring for his girlfriend and her safety and made sure she gets home okay. It’s just good manners!!!!! Keep your chin up girl you will find that someone that cares enough to walk you home, open a door for you, and be there when you need them:)

  • Reply August 5, 2013


    Even if the lady lives ONE house away, the guy should shut up and walk the lady home. Not only is it really important for her safety, but that is EASY bonus points, she’s going to tell her friend about how you walked her home after the date and how romantic it was and her friends are going to do all they can to convince her that you are a sweet guy after that gesture. There are precious few moments when a guy gets such an easy opportunity to really look the gentleman and show that he is great dating material. It is a win win situation. Plus you guarantee her safety and show that you are not being selfish in the dating.

  • Reply August 5, 2013


    I think it’s not just a question to be asked about a potential romantic interest. It’s men in general. I’ve had male friends of mine for years offer the common decency.

    As a woman who grew up with three macho brothers and a military father, I have grown into my own as a very independent, self- sufficient person and pride myself on that fact. I’ve walked myself home many a times. But the stats speak for themselves, people (not just women) are more likely to be attacked when alone than in numbers. I’ve even had female friends of mine stay by a bus stop or ask to walk half way with me.

    Look out for your fellow man, it’s not even a dating thing. Sheesh.

  • Reply August 5, 2013


    Great topic but please allow a guy that grew up in the 80′s to chime in. It was at that point when high school boys were told that women are independant, need nothing from men and are offended at the thought of a guy taking any sort of action that resembled chivalry. Fast forward to today. Having lived in NYC for the past few years. I offered a seat on the subway to an obviously over burdened woman and recieved a set of rolled eyes and a non verbal “go F yourself” look. Holding a door open got me a hurried “let me run through the door opening before this creep talks to me or tries to pick me up”. I truly dont stop my often spurned chivalrous attempts but its not pleasant to receive those responses. I have to believe that the womens feminist movement probably didnt help things here. Even more important, think about the mixed messages a boy gets growing up. 1) be kind to women, they should be offered an open door, a helping hand w heavy packages and a walk home 2) be kind to women, if you make tem feel inferior, you will open up the gates of hell. As for your personal example, the guy shouldve offered you a walk home.

    • Reply August 5, 2013

      Ali Vitali

      PZ, I think you make a great point about the paradox that “the modern woman” often presents. But in the same way that it’s hard for men to find a happy medium between opening our car doors but not laying their jackets over mud puddles, it’s hard for women to find a way to be assertive, independent, strong without being inaccessible, emasculating, and being called “a bitch.” However, while we both try to work out our new gender expectations in this “modern day,” the bottom line is: look out for each other. I received a comment from a friend that this is more than just a discussion on hetero-dating norms, but a discussion on how people look out for the people they care about. It’ true – we need to just be better to each other and ensuring our friends, SO’s, safety should be paramount. That aside, keep holding those doors. One day it’ll pay off.

  • Reply August 5, 2013


    This just made me so angry! How dare he talk to you like that!!? I really think that boys should walk a girl home, just for the benefit that it makes you feel safer! I hate walking home by myself and a lot of my platonic guy friends would never let me walk by myself late at night. Heck, I’m a girl and I would walk another one of my female friends home just to be on the safe side. I don’t know if it’s my anxiety that doesn’t want me or anyone else walking home alone at night but I think it’s just common courtesy to walk a girl home. And even if you DON’T feel like walking her home, don’t outburst on her like that boy did to you.

  • Reply August 5, 2013


    I’m glad this happened to you. This way you did not have to waste anymore of your precious time dealing with an uncultured, ignoramus.

  • Reply August 5, 2013


    In the words of Jay-Z…”on to the next one”.

  • Reply August 6, 2013

    A Father

    I am a man and the father of two 20+ year old daughters that live and work in NYC. PZ – I applaud you for speaking on this topic. No other man had the guts to do so – because, I fear, 93% of them probably feel the same as the ignoramus who failed to walk the author home. Notwithstanding the negative depictions of women in all media forums and some negative examples in real life too – please continue to hold open the door and behave like a gentleman – one day your wife will give birth to a little girl and you’ll realize that your efforts were not in vain. Finally, to the ladies out there – raise your expectations and demand (and at least expect) to be treated with the respect that you all deserve.

  • Reply August 6, 2013

    I personally think that it’s common courtesy for a man to offer to walk a lady home after a date. At the very least, he should be concerned that his date get home safely. I have four brothers and I know for a fact that each of them would take the time and consideration to ensure their date got home okay, because they were raised to care for the welfare of others, as well being instilled with some decent manners.

    I would also expect anyone, man or woman, to want to make sure that their date/friend/family member/dinner companion make it home safe and sound at 1 AM. In fact, I regularly request that my friends (male and female alike) text me to let me know they got home okay if they’re leaving my house or a social engagement late at night.

    I think that it was unreasonable and rude for your date to lose his temper over being asked to accompany you six blocks in the wee hours of the morning. If he didn’t want to do it, he could have simply just said “No.”

    • Reply August 6, 2013

      Alex Lemley

      Amen, Ally.

  • Reply August 6, 2013


    I am a strong, independent woman but I also love to cook, clean and coo at babies so I, like many others, often find myself working tirelessly to prove my worth to the men around me. I am also a rape victim, and at the end of the day (or the end of the night) when a man offers to keep me company on my walk home I consider it nothing more than a display of solidarity with me and all other victims who are constantly working to restore some sense of normalcy. Most men will never know that fear nor will they understand how incredibly comforting it is to have that unspoken (and maybe unintentional) support. Thank you so much for writing this article, I hope it’s pathetic subject and other men get the chance to read it and gain a little perspective.

  • Reply August 8, 2013


    Even if he doesn’t want to, he should at LEAST offer. I’ve had a guy offer to walk me home when we lived in the same building and were only a few floors apart…I declined because there was no need but it was still a nice gesture.

  • Reply August 8, 2013

    Amanda Jean Wessell

    It’s just common courtesy to make sure someone gets home safely. Whenever I drop ANYONE off at their car/home/friend’s house I make sure they get inside safely before I even put my car in drive. I’m female and I do this for ALL of my friends regardless of sex.

  • Reply August 10, 2013


    I don’t like the expectation. For safety reasons, I always prefer two people to walk together that late, period. Pepper spray is a good idea, too.

    He clearly wasn’t super concerned for your safety, but then again, that’s your job. But I wouldn’t call him back, either — 1 a.m. is a little ridiculous.

    I’m from the South (well, sort of) as well, and sure, people here probably expect that more. But they’re also way more surprised than New Yorkers are that my fiance would move for MY job or that I would consider NOT changing my last name. Dating chivalry gets tangled up with a lot of chauvinism.

  • Reply August 14, 2013


    Wow. This guy sounds like a total self-absorbed asshole. Frankly, you were better off walking home without him. Friend or lover, no man who is honestly concerned about you will let you walk home ANYWHERE after 1 am.

  • Reply August 21, 2013


    Prepare yourselves, here comes a guy’s perspective. I don’t think that a guy is expected to walk a girl home, but he should make sure the girl gets home safely.

    In this situation, since it was pretty late, I probably would have brought the girl to a cab instead of walking the 12 blocks there and back. I also would’ve said “let me know when you’re back, shoot me a text”, something my dad would say is ‘the responsible thing to do’ and gestures like that have definitely helped me garner some serious swag over the years.

    So much depends on the situation. If we couldn’t find a cab, then I’d walk her home. If it were earlier, then I’d walk her home. If I were hungry and wanted to grab a slice of pizza, then I’d walk her home. If we were getting along really well, then I’d walk her home. Nothing wrong with some fresh air and quality conversation, even if it were really late at night because – if you’re asleep, you may miss an opportunity – 50 Cent once said something to that effect. So it’s not about the walk home, but about getting home safely. Otherwise, just have the girl sleepover.

    • Reply August 21, 2013

      Ali Vitali

      Happy to have any and all perspectives here. I think you touch on the important aspect of safety as the primary concern here – while I led with chivalry, the finer point is that he shrugged off the concern for safety. While I think you’re spot on by sharpening that point, I do take some issue with your final comment about a girl sleeping over. Does that mean you’re sleeping on the couch? There’s a lot assumed with spending the night at someone’s place – especially someone you’re dating. Should the decision then be feel pressured to stay over (and thus feel pressure to do other things) or walk home, regardless of if you feel safe or not?

      • Reply August 21, 2013


        Glad you agree on the safety concern. It would depend on the situation again. The best thing to say would be, “Do you want to stay over? Otherwise, I’ll walk you home/to a cab.” I think you’ve just landed on your next poll and article title, “If a girl says she would like to sleep over, does that imply that she wants to do things other than sleep?”

  • […] to learn that I’m a magnet for jaw-dropping, video-or-it-didn’t-happen, scenarios.  The first of these that I wrote about I thought was just bad dating luck – but now I’m sensing a […]

  • Reply April 16, 2014


    I’ve offered to walk girls home plenty of times. 75% of the time, the girls don’t want me to walk them home, even if the date went well — they laughed, seemed interested.

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