Rescue yourself from the need to rescue damsels in distress.
Do You Have White Knight Syndrome?
I’ve talked a lot about the various subsets of geek guys who have issues with relating to women as individuals, rather than an idolized goddess figure. We’ve talked about the Nice Guy, and the perils of the Geek Girl fantasy. Now it’s time to cover another branch of nerds and the issues they have with regard to women.
You may have encountered them before. Hell, you may have been one of them before. God knows I was, back in my younger days.
They are the ones who dream about being the great hero, riding in on their charger (or motorcycle, muscle car, what have you) to save the damsel in distress. They’re the ones who try to live by a self-imposed anachronistic code of chivalry and gallantry. They’re the ones attracted to the “distressed”, the depressed, needy or damaged women, convinced that they can “rescue” them from themselves.
They’re the ones who don’t realize just how insulting their attitudes are… or how potentially dangerous.
I’m speaking, of course, of The White Knight.
Hi! I represent your fear that if you don’t trick a woman into loving you, you’ll die alone!
If you or anyone you know has ever shown signs of White Knight Syndrome, you’re gonna want to read this.
What Is White Knight Syndrome?
White Knights are a subset of the classic Nice Guy, with a twist. Where a Nice Guy is passive, hoping that mere proximity and obsequiousness will eventually win a woman’s heart, a White Knight is active, working to “rescue” a woman in “distress”. Unlike an Orbiter, White Knights will actually take an active role with the women they’re drawn to, turning themselves into a combination protective – and – nurturing figure.
White Knights are attracted to “endangered” women, usually women with emotional issues or ones who have histories of abuse, trauma or addiction issues. They frequently have an overly idealized and romanticized vision of the women they focus on, and see them as impossibly pure and good. Similarly, White Knights see themselves as having only the purest of motivations, hoping to “save” women out of a sense of heroic altruism and expecting no reward other than the deed itself.
They are, of course, lying to themselves.
White Knights are frequently virgins or have had very few serious relationships. They frequently have little experience with attracting or dating women and often try to compensate for a lack of game by adopting an antiquated and romanticized code of chivalry instead, with an emphasis on treating women with respect and deference. The White Knight has severe issues with self-worth; he feels that he has little to offer to a woman, so he hopes to prove his worthiness by “rescuing” her instead.
Since there’s a dearth of dragons and ogres to be slain, and most of the trolls are infesting blogs and forums instead of hiding under bridges, White Knights focus on women with issues – usually involving substance abuse, past trauma or chronic illnesses, whether emotional or physical.
White Knights fall hard for the Woobie. Although they will rarely admit it to anyone – or even to themselves – they’re motivated by the hope that by “rescuing” the fair damsel, she will be so overcome with gratitude that she will reward him with her love or at least her body.
What’s Wrong With White Knight Syndrome?
A lot of you will likely be wondering why White Knight syndrome should be such a negative issue. After all, what’s wrong with wanting to help women or treating them chivalrously? Wouldn’t women appreciate a guy who treats them with respect, one who has a sense of empathy and compassion? A guy who wants nothing but the best for them? Sure he may be a little old-fashioned, but is there really anything wrong with that?