The (Modern) Art of Being a Gentleman – Interview with Author, Dr. Dain Heer

Do you know what it means to be a man right now? What about a gentleman? If we stumped you with that question you are not alone. In fact, a lot of guys aren’t sure how to be a gentleman, but today we’d like to give you a nudge (more like a full-on shove) in the right direction. 

A lot of things have changed since the sealing of the Magna Carta, the War of the Roses, Battle of Waterloo, the invention of the world wide web, and release of the iPhone XR (yeah, we’re kind of joking about that last one). Being a man is a lot different than it has ever been, and being a gentleman has become even more complex. Even more complex than the age of knights, maidens, and uncompromised chivalry. We’d even go as far to say that most guys are having a major identity crisis.

First of all, you’ve got those vibes telling you to be macho. Second, you’ve got those other ones reminding you to be sensitive. And since too much sensitivity leads to all night cry-a-thons at Superbowl parties, and too much alpha leads to jail time for punching those sensitive guys in their pouty faces – a man has got to understand where to find the middle road.

And this is where we’d like to introduce Dr. Dain Heer. This is a man who has struggled with the same questions that every man has, and has come up with a solid foundation and understanding of what it is like to become the man you’ve always wanted to be. And he has put all this information into his new book, Return of the Gentleman.

And you shouldn’t have to look too deep to find this man, because he’s been with you all along. Allow us to see if Dr. Heer can help you call him out.

Urbasm: Dr. Heer, we understand that every generation of man grows up a little different than the one before, which leaves him with a slightly different set of difficulties to overcome. What do you think today’s man is missing more than anything?

Dr. Dain Heer: A sense of what it is to be a man. There are so many men that are having an identity crisis. They know that the idea of the ‘macho man’ or ‘alpha male’ is outdated, but they don’t see anything else that actually matches what they know should exist and what they know is possible. I’d also call it a masculinity crisis, because we’re exposed to these outdated modes of physical prowess and strength, but today’s man knows there’s more available. There is an emotional side that they desire to express but they don’t believe they have the freedom to do so. There is a sensitive side they’d like to express, but they also don’t think they have the freedom to express that. And if men want to be and are sensitive and aware and kind, there aren’t really many role models out there showing them that they can be all of those things.

Urbasm: What are the signs that a man is not being his authentic self?

Dr. Heer: Unhappiness, a sense of insecurity, low libido, a desire to withdraw and not engage with others socially and a constant state of self-judgment.

Urbasm: One way around insecurity is to play the part of a better man. Is there any real harm when a man chooses to play ‘the role’ of someone more successful, attractive, charismatic, and funnier than he thinks he really is?

Dr. Heer: Any time you function from a lie it erodes your connection with yourself, your gratitude to yourself and your sense of joy. Any time you create a lie, you have to contracted to not to let that lie be exposed. It also creates a limitation in your money flow and in the people that are willing to be around you – including friendships and relationships. Living a lie is one of the greatest disfavors we can do to ourselves.

It is really about the erosion of self that occurs when you pretend to be something you’re not, rather than being willing to be seen exactly as you are, flaws and all. Lying also sets up false projections and expectations of what we’re supposed to be, and when you can’t fulfill or live up to those, it erodes our self-confidence and gratitude for ourselves. If you’re creating this false image to be something for someone else that you’re actually not, then they’re going to interact with you based on that false image, and eventually, it’ll cave in.

You can’t maintain a lie indefinitely. The level of peace that occurs when someone is willing to just be who they are, that’s more attractive than anyone trying to pretend that they’re something they’re not.

Urbasm: We’ve heard from other author’s that today’s man is too sensitive? What is your take on this argument?

Dr. Dain: I wouldn’t say today’s man is too sensitive, but that they don’t believe they have the freedom to be sensitive without judgement. It’s actually the sensitive men of the world that are the game changers. They’re the ones who have this highly tuned awareness to what’s going on around them, that other people don’t have, and when they function from that, they embrace things that change the world. So, I would totally disagree that today’s man is too sensitive, I think they’re highly aware, but they don’t believe they have the freedom to be as sensitive as they actually are.

Urbasm: A good first impression is important to the modern man. What should every guy focus on to ensure he is seen in the best light?

Dr. Dain: Being himself. Allowing him to know that whoever he is, right now, has value as it is and to stop comparing himself to other people. People are attracted to confidence and confidence is not arrogance. Confidence is an awareness of yourself and a knowing that you don’t have to hide any part of you. It doesn’t mean you have to air your dirty laundry to people, but it does mean that you don’t have to hide any part of you.

That kind of confidence is one of the qualities people relate to – charisma – and people love to be around that. People will know when you’re fake and when you’re lying about you, and they know when you’re pretending to be someone you’re not – they don’t want to be around that.

Urbasm: Something that seems to help any man to grow is to have a strong role model

. Who is somebody we might all recognize that is an example of an “as close to perfect” gentleman as a man can get?

Dr. Heer: Hugh Jackman seems to be a great example of that from what I know of him. He is in a sense a constant gentleman – he can wear a t-shirt and wear it elegantly, he cares for his wife and family, he does not look to make himself greater than other people but looks to support other people and contribute to others. I think he’s a great example.

Urbasm: What do you think is the biggest reason men fail at attracting women?

Dr Heer: They’re not being themselves. Women can spot somebody who’s creating a fake image a mile away. Men are constantly trying to make up for the damage other men have done to women, that they try and be someone they’re not, and try and be what they think women want.

Urbasm: And most guys don’t really know what women want, so that compiles into a double whammy against them. So let’s say we’re a man who is in touch with his authentic self and is ready to take these ideas to the next level. Where are the best places for a gentleman to meet an equally authentic woman?

Dr. Heer: I think you can meet authentic women anywhere, but you have to be willing to be authentic yourself. You could meet them in a coffee shop, or a store, or a gym. You could meet them at a meetup, or get together where you have common interests, like rock climbing or salsa dancing. But the key to meeting one is being authentic with yourself and finding someone who has a nurturing, kind energy, instead of looking at physical characteristics.

Urbasm: We have our own man card that we’ve developed and carry in our wallets, but we’re even more interested to know your opinion of what should be the top 5 actions for every man who seek to earn his gentleman card?

Dr Heer: Be authentic. Value women and men as you would like to be valued yourself. Stop cutting off your sexualness and believing that having a sex drive is wrong. Be willing to explore living elegantly and having a sense of class in how you dress and present yourself to others. Care about your appearance – it doesn’t mean you have to be overly obsessive but wear something that actually shows that you put some effort into how you show up in the world and how you show up for other people. Don’t be a snag (sensitive new age guy). Just be you.

Urbasm: After all the research and soul-searching that went into your book, is there anything that still remains a mystery to you when it comes to what it means to be a gentleman?

Dr. Heer: It’s an ongoing exploration for me and there are so many aspects of it that I keep being presented with because I’m still in this exploration. Writing the book for me was not a conclusion, it was the beginning of a conversation that is continuously evolving. I’m really grateful for questions like this because it’s part of what allows the conversation to evolve. In having conversations with many men and women, as a result of this book, I’m getting so much awareness. Other people gift me with awareness of what they’ve learned about being a gentleman or what they’ve learned that is not a gentleman. So, it’s an ongoing creation and exploration.

Urbasm: And there is one more important thing that we’d like to know from you. What are the three most important things that every man should know, according to your research, in order to be better men and gentlemen?

Dr. Heer: You’re not wrong for being a man. Be willing to be as different as you are. You can be and have it all. You don’t have to be the doormat (SNAG) or the arse-hole that dominates everyone. You can have the potency and sexuality of a man and also have caring and nurturing qualities.

Thank you Dr. Dain for sharing those great tips, and you can get more in depth with this conversation by following him on InstagramTwitter, Facebook, and his own website, Dr.DainHeer.com.

About Dr. Eric J. Leech

Eric has written for over a decade. Then one day he created Urbasm.com, a site for every guy.





About Dr. Eric J. Leech

Eric has written for over a decade. Then one day he created Urbasm.com, a site for every guy.