A centuries-old dating rule has found new life among young romantics, who now use it as a subtle guide to determining if their partner is a gatekeeper.
Numerous ICT Tac users say that unless their partner – with this tendency he usually focuses on heterosexual relationships with men who are expected to follow the norm – knows the “curb rule”, he’s not worth it.
A phenomenon reminiscent of traditional courtship rules – perhaps the new season of Bridgerton that’s why it’s seen a resurgence – the sidewalk rule is when your significant other walks on the street side of the path.
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So if you walk together on the street next to the road, he will lead you inside and walk sideways next to the cars – like how, in a clip that has gone viral on the video-sharing platform currently, Ryan Reynolds gently maneuver his body around Sandra Bullock in Proposal. Look above.
The idea behind the curb rule is that humans are better able to protect you from traffic or other hazards that the side of the road would make you vulnerable to. In a comment written by a TikTok user Cristerland Schrefflshe notes its origins dating back to 16th century England, where “it was customary for a man to walk outside because of [the] the emptying of the chamber pots of yesteryear as well as [the] splatters of stuff on a woman’s dress.”
“The street had dust, human and animal waste and possible puddles of water that could end up on a woman walking [on] street side of a sidewalk,” she said.
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Much of TikTok practically swooned over men doing this, with a woman, @girlcrushonmyself, sharing a post-date video of herself gushing over a man who knows the sidewalk rule. The video has since racked up over 2.1 million views.
“He knew the sidewalk rule. Get someone who knows the sidewalk rule,” she wrote.
One user agreed with @girlcrushonmyself, whose name is Olivia, writing, “I actually broke up [with] my ex once many times [because] he let me walk outside.”
Another said: “Mine knows to the point that it pushes me away.”
One person deliberately uses the sidewalk rule as a test, saying, “I deliberately choose the side closest to the street to see if they will move me to the other side.”
For some, it is not a rule that is limited to romantic relationships or restricted by sex and subsequently, traditional gender roles. Rather, it’s a way to show a loved one that you care about them and protect them.
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“[I] make this rule with my little sister, [I’m] always outside,” one person wrote.
“Me too with my siblings and all the kids in general,” agreed another.
One person wrote: “My husband does this when we are alone, otherwise he gets [one] child and I receive the other.”
Some were conflicted about the expectation, believing it simultaneously perpetuates the gender role of men as protectors and women as vulnerable, but also pointing to the unfortunate necessity of the latter due to violence. and gender-based and street harassment and the dangers of being ‘ripped’ off the streets.
“My ex [best friend] was doing this because she didn’t want me to get hit by a car or get caught,” one user said.
Others agree that this is the norm for romantic relationships, but it shouldn’t be – it’s so simple that some argue it should be done without thinking.
“The bar is on the GROUND,” wrote one user.
Another commented the TikTok user gigi‘s, “Bar is literally in hell.”
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