what is the sidewalk rule for gentleman



Being a gentleman is not just about opening doors and pulling out chairs for a lady. It’s a mindset, a code of conduct that governs one’s behavior in all aspects of life. One of the unspoken but important rules of chivalry is the sidewalk rule. In this article, we will explore what the sidewalk rule for gentlemen is all about and why it is important.

What is the Sidewalk Rule?

The sidewalk rule is a simple concept: when walking with a lady, a gentleman always walks on the side of the sidewalk that is closest to the road. This seemingly small gesture serves as a protective barrier, shielding the lady from any splashes or dangers that might lurk on the road. It demonstrates attentiveness, care, and respect for the woman’s safety.

Why is it Important?

While some may argue that the sidewalk rule is outdated and unnecessary in modern times, its significance lies in the symbolism it carries. By following this rule, a gentleman communicates to the lady that he is there to protect and watch over her. It shows that he is considerate of her well-being and is willing to put her safety above his own convenience. It is a gesture of gallantry and thoughtfulness, traits that are a hallmark of true chivalry.

Origins of the Sidewalk Rule

The origins of the sidewalk rule can be traced back to the medieval era when chivalry was at its peak. Knights, who were bound by a code of honor, always ensured the safety and comfort of the ladies they escorted. This tradition has been passed down through generations and has become a timeless symbol of gentlemanly conduct.

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How to Practice the Sidewalk Rule

Practicing the sidewalk rule is simple yet impactful. When walking with a lady, position yourself on the side of the sidewalk that is closest to the road. This shows her that you are attentive to her safety and are ready to shield her from any potential hazards. It’s a small gesture that speaks volumes about your character as a gentleman.

Benefits of Following the Sidewalk Rule

Following the sidewalk rule not only showcases your chivalrous nature but also strengthens the bond between you and the lady you are accompanying. It creates a sense of security and comfort, fostering a deeper sense of trust and appreciation. Additionally, it sets you apart as someone who pays attention to the little details and goes the extra mile to ensure the well-being of those around you.


In conclusion, the sidewalk rule for gentlemen is a timeless tradition that holds great significance in the realm of chivalry. It is a simple yet meaningful way to demonstrate care and respect for the ladies in your life. By practicing this rule, you not only uphold the values of chivalry but also make a lasting impression as a true gentleman.


Q: Is the sidewalk rule outdated?

A: While some may view the sidewalk rule as outdated, its symbolism and meaning remain as relevant today as it was in the past. It is a timeless gesture of chivalry and consideration.

Q: Do women appreciate the sidewalk rule?

A: Many women view the sidewalk rule as a sign of thoughtfulness and care. It shows that the gentleman is attentive to their safety and well-being, which is always appreciated.

Q: Is the sidewalk rule universally recognized?

A: While the sidewalk rule may not be practiced in every culture, its essence of demonstrating care and respect for others transcends cultural boundaries and is recognized as a symbol of chivalry.

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Q: Can women practice the sidewalk rule as well?

A: Absolutely! The sidewalk rule is not limited to gentlemen; women can also practice it when walking with their male companions as a gesture of consideration and care.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the sidewalk rule?

A: In certain circumstances, such as walking in a busy city or on narrow sidewalks, it may not always be possible to follow the sidewalk rule. However, the intention behind the rule remains the same – to show care and attentiveness to the person you are with.