Are you looking to find your inner gentleman? Changing the way you dress and behave to match the model of a sophisticated and refined gentleman is an excellent way to increase your romantic appeal to women while also cultivating new kinds of friendships that would otherwise not be possible if you behaved in more crude fashions.

For men who are keen to take the dating world by storm the desire to live up to the title of “gentleman” is a compelling one. Since at least the Middle Ages the gentleman archetype has represented ideal masculine behavior within society. Yet there are many subcategories of ideas behind what kinds of a gentleman can exist. While all gentleman archetypes have common characteristics and traits, some certain accentuate qualities more than others do.

Carry Grant, Sidney Poitier, Ralph Lauren, Sean Connery, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire, George Clooney, Will Smit, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman and Antonio Banderas; all of these actors have depicted different archetype of gentlemen in popular movies that influence men in their daily lives. Now it’s time to find your inner gentleman, based on one of the common archetypes that define different classes of gentleman from fiction and history.

Gentleman Archetypes and Personalities 

The Origins of Gentlemanly Behavior

The concept of gentlemanly behavior comes directly from the courtly ideals of chivalrous conduct exemplified by Medieval knights: Because knights were known for riding horses into battle the word “chivalrous” is derived from the Latin word for “horseman.” As the social class of knight developed codes of behavior for how a knight treated servants, his wife, his liege lord and even his enemies developed in an effort to develop stability within the European medieval society, understanding that the manner in which a warrior treated his family, friends and even his employees greatly impacted the stability of nations. While our world has greatly changed and noble classes no longer rule over everyone, the idea that chivalrous behavior practiced by men toward others creates a better more stable world is as true today as it was back then.

In the spirit of this age-old understanding of courtly and chivalrous behavior, a man who is labeled by others as a gentleman is known primarily by his conduct: Whether he is burning the midnight oil while familiarizing himself with the latest scientific theories or striking up conversations at a high-society party, a gentleman always values honesty, respect for others, respect for knowledge, and a love of good manners. Behavior that brings about feelings of unnecessary offense in others and causes needless conflicts has always has been anathema to a behaving like real gentleman; poor form distracts people from successful endeavors by creating drama.

But defining exactly what constitutes a gentlemanly personality is a tricky proposition. Indeed, there are various “types” of gentlemanly conduct. Individuals who are keen to frame their personalities in the mold of an archetypical gentleman may benefit from examining how exactly gentlemen are portrayed in our culture throughout history. Here are just a few great archetypes that may match your personality and give you the perfect model to emulate in your dating life. 

1. The Gentleman Socialite

 As you might expect the type of person who exemplifies the Gentleman Socialite personality type will positively relish social interaction. This type of person will likely be in their element at a cocktail party where tuxedos are required. They may also hold an outlook on life that would put them more at home in the jazz age of the 1920s than in the present. 

Undoubtedly, one of the foremost examples of the Gentleman Socialite personality type lies in author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s portrayal of the upper-class man-about-town Jay Gatsby. While Gatsby loves the aristocracy’s glitz and glamor, he also shows that it is not necessary to be born into the nobility to exemplify an ideal type of gentlemanly behavior. 

Jay Gatsby as portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby (2013) adaption of the novel.

In fact, in Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby,” Gatsby is portrayed as having a background characterized by very humble origins. Himself the grandson of poor Irish immigrants, Fitzgerald was no fan of the idea that the circumstances of a person’s birth should prevent them from attaining success or social mobility in life. 

Despite his modest background the Gatsby of Fitzgerald’s novel works his way up the military ladder to become an officer during World War I. He later attends Oxford University on a scholarship and acquires a personal fortune worth many millions of dollars through hard work as a bootlegger. 

But most importantly Gatsby shows us that a gentleman is a person who conducts himself with an attitude of fairness and a fierce love of equality. This makes him not only well liked and respected by his peers but a perfect host; someone who can bring people together and create networking opportunities leading to successful endeavors for all involved. Being this type of gentleman requires good manners and a meritocratic outlook, it is true, but behavior in the mold of Jay Gatsby should appeal to people who value standing on their own ground and being their own man. As you might imagine, women find this personality type very attractive. 


2. The Gentleman Entrepreneur Personality Archetype

There are no two ways about it: Our culture loves a good story involving entrepreneurs. But entrepreneurship didn’t originate with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates; check out Hugh Jackman’s elegant portrayal of P.T. Barnum in the film 2017 “The Greatest Showman” for an example of how Gentlemen Entrepreneurs have been around a long time, as well as an example for how they should conduct themselves. 

In the film Barnum is portrayed as an optimistic businessman defined by his enormous ambition to succeed despite his humble beginnings, and he cultivates the mannerisms of the upper elite to build himself up into a success. Similarly, when a woman is on a date with a Gentleman Entrepreneur she gets a sense that a relationship with him is likely headed for big things. That is a very attractive quality in a man. 

The scenes where Barnum pitches others on why they should join his ventures demonstrate the kind of charm necessary for a gentleman to successful win others over to support his causes. Sometimes you just have to do the song and dance show to get others to see things from your point of view and how there is value for themselves in working with you.

For another example of a Gentleman Entrepreneur, we should look no further than the 2006 Will Smith film “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Here, Smith portrays the true-life story of Chris Gardner. Gardner dealt with many struggles in life and was even homeless for a time.  As a single father, however, Gardner knew that he wanted to provide a better future for his son. His excellent conduct, excellent manners, and unbeatable ambition make Gardner a real-life example of how gentlemanly entrepreneurial behavior can improve our lives for the better. What woman could resist a man who embodies such qualities?

via Gfycat

3. The Gentleman Thief Personality Archetype

 In today’s world being a Gentleman Thief isn’t really about being an actual thief: Like the great fictional character Arsène Lupin, people who live up to the Gentleman Thief archetype are simply very charming, very clever, and very committed to upholding social justice by unorthodox methods within the confines of their own chivalrous code of ethics. 

Arsène Lupin as depicted by  Romain Duris in the 2004 film named for the character.
Arsène Lupin as depicted by Romain Duris in the 2004 French film named for the character.

Moreover people who live up to the Gentleman Thief archetype are adept at problem-solving and love nothing more than a good challenge. And while you’re more likely to find today’s version of the Gentleman Thief cracking a computer server than a safe, the Gentleman Thief archetype still enjoys the fun of figuring out how things work. He may exploit the weaknesses of systems in order to find opportunities to create the changes he wishes to achieve.

This personality type is charming to the opposite sex because they’re always fun to be around. Their love of challenging activities also makes them a great company on dates. But it’s the Gentleman Thief’s personal charm and good manners that make him a real winner in the dating world: After all, what woman can resist a man with roguish good looks who is as clever as he is polite?

4. The Gentleman Detective Personality Archetype

Despite their good manners and love of fair play a person who exemplifies the Gentleman Detective archetype may have an approach to life that often puts them at odds with society. But what this person lacks in social graces is often made up for by his intellectual brilliance. 

Without question the preeminent example of the Gentleman Detective archetype is Sherlock Holmes. Whether you like your Holmes straight out of Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels and stories or prefer Benedict Cumberbatch’s unique portrayal of the genius detective at work, there are many consistencies to Holmes’s personality that anyone of this type should seek to emulate. 

Firstly, Sherlock Holmes shows us that being a gentleman isn’t necessarily about being wealthy. At the beginning of the Holmes canon, the detective lives on such a modest income that he requires a roommate to help cover his rent at 221B Baker Street; This is how Holmes first meets Dr. Watson. 

Secondly, Holmes shows us that we don’t have to be social butterflies to conduct ourselves as gentlemen. At times Holmes can be overly-blunt and to the point about trivial matters in life. (Cumberbatch even plays Holmes as a “high-functioning sociopath”). But Holmes always treats people with respect and consideration; there can be no question that he has the best interests of other people at heart. 

 Thirdly, Holmes demonstrates the fact that real gentlemen should always value learning. Holmes is always challenging himself in unique ways: He cultivates expertise in scientific fields such as chemistry in his spare time. He also regularly practices the violin. The achievements Holmes accomplishes during his stories are due to his application of his vast wealth of encyclopedic knowledge he has accumulated as an autodidact; a self-taught man. Sherlock Holmes is the very definition of what a self-made man can achieve by accentuating his intellectual gifts and applying the lessons of his education to his life.


5. The Gentleman Scholar Personality Archetype

Like the Gentleman Detective, the Gentleman Scholar personality type will have an almost reverential outlook toward intellectual pursuits. But this type of person will also prize imaginative thinking. They will often enjoy creating fantasy landscapes and characters in their spare time, intended to inspire others and pass on valuable life lessons to future generations. Individuals such as J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis are perhaps the best examples of this type of gentleman. 

Tolkien and Lewis are now regarded as the preeminent fantasy authors of the mid-20th Century. But the two shared more than a love of creating fantastical worlds: Both men were professors of literature at Oxford University; famously, they met with a group of other Oxford writers in an informal fiction workshop/club known as the Inklings. Tolkien and Lewis both valued their small community of fantasy literature aficionados and encouraged one another to take bold steps forward within the fantasy genre. 

So what can Gentleman Scholars learn from the example set by Tolkien and Lewis? Firstly, a true gentleman should cultivate a love of learning for its own sake. Tolkien loved linguistics so much that he created his own languages; Lewis had an enormous impact on English literature study at Oxford and pursued a second career as a public educator and lecturer. 

But the two men also shared a deep concern about morality and the well-being of other people. In both their personal lives and in their careers as teachers and authors, Tolkien and Lewis fought fiercely for their fellow human beings’ rights. 

For these two figures, being a gentleman wasn’t just about having good manners. It also meant sticking up for chivalrous behavior precepts and constantly seeking out the right way to conduct oneself in society. If you see something of the Gentleman Scholar in your own values and approach to life, these are great qualities to emulate. 

6. The Gentleman Spy Personality Archetype

 While the Gentleman Spy won’t necessarily be involved in espionage in this day and age, he will probably have a serious interest in politics and the goings-on of the world around him. He may also indulge in a profound love of high living. 

Gentlemen Spies always think about the bigger picture; even if their excellent manners make them charming to others, they aren’t always satisfied with being just another part of the crowd. They tend to think independently and love being self-starters.

The perfect model of the Gentleman Spy archetype is undoubtedly James Bond. Bond is clever without showing off his intellectual accomplishments; he is brave without harping on his sense of courage; he is dutiful without making a big deal of his undying loyalty to his country. But perhaps Bond’s most recognizable attribute is his love of life. 

Indeed, a person who lives up to the Gentleman Spy archetype will probably wear their joy of good living proudly on their sleeve. Understandably, people who exemplify this personality type are popular in the dating world: Women find them fascinating because dates are always exciting; their ambitious nature and seriousness also make them compelling mates. 


Sean Connery as James Bond

7. The Gentleman Adventurer Personality Archetype

While many of the archetypes are men who are known to have adventures, the Gentleman Adventurer is known for expressly spending his life participating in one adventure or another. Unable to sit still and retire, the Gentleman Adventurer must live every day to the fullest and see everything the world has to offer him.

One of the best real-life examples of the Gentleman Adventurer is Theodore Roosevelt. Had his illustrious ancestors had their way Theodore Roosevelt would have lived out his days in comfort and relaxation as the head of one of New York’s most aristocratic families. As the heir to a sizable fortune Roosevelt was expected to live out his life within the cozy environs of Manhattan’s upper-class culture. But Roosevelt had no intention of living an easy or comfortable life. 

In contrast to his background the future American President had a zest for adventure that was almost beyond belief. Despite his small size and a weak physical constitution that left him prone to bouts of serious illness as a child, Roosevelt built himself up into a keen outdoorsman and sports enthusiast. 

In addition to serving as a soldier during the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt sought out opportunities for big-game hunting throughout his life; he was also a keen boxer during his student days at Harvard College. In fact, one particularly fierce boxing match left Roosevelt partly blind in one eye. 

Like Roosevelt, men who exemplify the Gentleman Adventurer archetype love challenges. Although they may be eloquent, the best qualities of Gentlemen Adventurers will be revealed in their actions. They may not talk up their good qualities, but Gentlemen Adventurers will definitely make their mark through their positive life choices. 

Theodore Roosevelt as a larger than life figure who is regarded as among the greatest of American Presidents.
Theodore Roosevelt was a larger than life figure who is regarded as among the greatest of American Presidents.

8. The Southern Gentleman Personality Archetype

In historical terms the Southern Gentleman archetype has always been a part of American culture. Perhaps best exemplified by the writings of author Mark Twain, this archetype is defined by a relaxed approach to the world, a quick and biting wit, and a stylish dress-sense. Like Twain, men who exemplify the Southern Gentleman personality type will also be intellectually sharp without being a show-off. 

In the summer, you’ll probably find the Southern Gentleman having a drink on their porch while watching the world go by. Their love of order, punctuality, and good manners will always make them pleasant company on a date. While their strict code of chivalry may put them at odds with the contemporary culture at times, the Southern Gentleman will always be polite without being condescending. They will always treat everyone they meet with respect. 

As you might expect, living up to the Southern Gentleman archetype’s values can seem like a tricky proposition. A Southern Gentleman will always hold himself and his conduct to very high standards. But for old-world charm and ease of living, it is challenging to beat this personality type in the dating world. As many women will tell you, no one exemplifies good manners and etiquette quite like a Southern Gentleman. These qualities also make the Southern Gentleman irresistible to the opposite sex. 

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was known by the pen name Mark Twain American humorist, satirist, writer, and lecturer From photograph taken in his old age
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was known by the pen name Mark Twain American humorist, satirist, writer, and lecturer From photograph taken in his old age

9. The Quintessential British Gentleman Personality Archetype

 If you’ve ever seen the hit series “Downton Abbey,” you’re already acquainted with the Quintessential British Gentleman archetype. Throughout the show’s six seasons, Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham exemplifies good British manners and an egalitarian attitude. Despite his high social standing, Crawley is modest and loyal to the people around him. He does not abuse his position of power, and he is quick to resolve any disputes that occur around him. 

Men who exemplify this personality type tend to have old-fashioned sensibilities. They value good conduct and are faultless in their social behavior. They may view the world in absolute terms at times, but Quintessential British Gentlemen are always concerned about the justice of their actions. They understand that decisions have consequences and that the cultivation of thoughtfulness is a must for a real gentleman. 

via Gfycat

It is little wonder that so many women love dating men who exemplify the qualities of this archetype: Always reliable and respectful, the Quintessential British Gentleman is truly a model of behavior that everyone should strive to emulate. 

10. The Gentleman’s Gentleman Personality Archetype

Of course, even the Earl of Grantham needs supportive allies in life. Like the trusty valet John Bates from “Downtown Abbey,” the person who embodies the Gentleman’s Gentleman archetype is always there to help out people in need and in return, others are there to help them out when they need it, too. 

This Gentleman personality type is rarely very flashy, preferring to work behind the scenes to assist others. Yet they often play a leading role in solving major problems. Just don’t let their modesty fool you; Gentlemen’s Gentlemen live up to a code of honor that they take extremely seriously. 

They may not occupy the limelight or seek external validation for their actions, but Gentlemen’s Gentlemen set a great example to the people around them. If we’re honest with ourselves, they’re also the people that we turn to most when the chips are down. Who could want more in a dating partner?

via Gfycat


So which Gentleman Archetype do you think best fits your concept of the kind of man you’d like to be known as? In truth all gentlemen have qualities of these archetypes within themselves, and a man can be labeled as multiple kinds of archetypes if his personality is complex. Yet listing them out here and reviewing them can assist a man in deciding what archetype he’d be best suited to model himself after. I hope you find this article useful for that purpose.


Carey Martell is Editor in Chief for The Millennial Gentleman. A thirty something modern man who is politically independent, non-religious but a firm believer in ideals of chivalry and traditional family values. Carey lives his life as a vagabond digital nomad traveling and living life to the fullest while managing his businesses remotely with a laptop and internet hotspot connection.