Woman Dressed as Princess for Ren Fair

Distressing Damsels

Woman Dressed as Princess for Ren Fair
Woman Dressed as Princess for Ren’ Fair, by Adina Voicu

Dear Son,

I am writing this one at the strong encouragement of your mother, and it is the perfect follow up to my last letter on Slaying Dragons.  She thinks it is an important addition and I couldn’t agree more.

Men love feeling like heroes, and like we are protecting other people.  And that is especially true in the game of romance.  We love to be the knight in shining armour who rescues the damsel in distress.  Men readily fall in love with the women we help out of a rough situation – and women love a hero right back.

A woman’s appreciation for a man who helps her out can be intoxicating.  We feel like the hero, we feel worthy, we feel needed, and we feel attracted all at the same time – that is a heady emotional cocktail.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that feeling.  The problem is that it can lead you to think with your – lance – rather than the brain in your helmet.  Men fall for the worst possible women because they are the women who need the most rescuing, and so make those men feel the most needed.

A woman who needs a rescue or a shoulder to cry on once in awhile, or who needs a few rescues in her life is fine.  We all get ourselves tangled up in trouble once in awhile.  The problem is that some women always need a rescue, and they always need a shoulder to cry on.  There is always a crisis or a problem that they have and expect you to help them fix, because you are a big, strong man.

When a woman is constantly using you as her emotional support it is a bad sign.  It shows that she expects and feels entitled to being rescued.  And that she does not have it in herself to be self-supporting. It is a sign that she lacks maturity, and possibly a sign that she is mentally ill.

Don’t take that last line a s a joke!  Women who are emotionally disturbed often use the damsel in distress script as a way of drawing men into relationships.  that act helpless and needy until the man is drawn in.  And then they use that man to play out their old emotional psychodramas.  This is often how relationships turn emotionally abusive.  The woman gets the man invested in her by acting helpless and in needy, and then once he is deep into the relationship she starts acting crazy, disturbed, and violent.  because the man is so used to coming to the rescue, and sees her as delicate, he assumes that he just isn’t doing a good job of rescuing her, and commits harder and harder to the relationship.  He stops drawing good boundaries because he is desperate to understand “what he is doing wrong.”

If you are going to get into a relationship with a woman, make sure she is self-sufficient: that she knows how to handle stress, and usually has a healthy relationship with her feelings.  Make sure she has healthy friends that support her.  And make sure she is mature enough to handle life on her own.  If she can’t take care of herself, then how can you trust her to take care of you or your children if something bad were to happen?

If she expects your life to revolve around her problems from the start, then you can never expect anything better.  Don’t let the great feelings you get from helping out a damsel in distress let you get yourself involved with a crazy, selfish, manipulative woman.

You want a queen to help you rule the kingdom, not a spoiled princess.

I am grateful that you have a mother who will be a great model for a self-reliant woman.  It is one of the best protections you can ever have from an abusive relationship.



[P.S. This is one of the first letters where I have assumed you will be into girls.  It bears saying again that I don;t care what your sexual orientation is: I only care that you respect your sexuality.  That means making sure you are choosing your lovers wisely.  Relationships with Men have a totally different set of pitfalls: you’ll find very few knights in chronic distress, but you will find a whole lot of pent-up “Nice Guys” on the gay dating scene. I will talk about Nice Guys in a future post/.]

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