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It is well known (for various definitions of 'well') that there is an attraction between women and 'assholes' (case study). There is, however, a just as popularized (if not more so - it has been in the media for several hundred years) but not as acknowledged. It is the White Knight Syndrome.

By the very nature of the nice guy, there is a romantic notion of saving the damsel in distress. This notion is deeply rooted in the minds of guys - from Dudley Do-Right to almost every work of fantasy. We see the good guy rescue the damsel in distress from the evil warlord, the dragon, and later the iron dragon of the train. To many, this is the image of what love means - it can be just as disabling in finding what actually constitutes love as someone who believes that being hit is the proof of love.

Somehow, something triggers the damsel in distress. It may be real, or imagined by the white knight. Given that the majority of these males are single (see above case studies), it is quite likely that the modern day white knight shall become enamored with the woman and it makes the 'quest' all the more important to the white knight.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to get rid of a white knight. The most effective method is to demonstrate that that the damsel is not in any distress at all. This can be difficult at times without hurting the feelings of the white knight (often the nice guys are also the sensitive ones too). Still, the enamoring will continue for some time (be it infatuation or love - the terms are left to those who wish to argue over them).

Much of this information is first hand. Yes, that is right, I do suffer from White Knight Syndrome from time to time.

The Knight in Shining Armor Syndrome or KiSAS (also known as the White Knight Syndrome) is an affliction most commonly observed in men but occasionally by women. The name of the syndrome comes from the classic format of a fairy tale: A damsel in distress is saved by the knight in shining armor and they live happily ever after. Sufferers of the syndrome search out others who they see as needing to be rescued and prey on situations where they can insert themselves as the shoulder to cry on. These people are attracted to others who have low self-confidence, are in a tough life situation, or have other vulnerabilities.

These symptoms often lead to short relationships a la rebound or longer term codependency. The latter arises when a Knight in Shining Armor comes across the sufferer of a complementary syndrome: the Damsel in Distress Syndrome. The rescue impulse in the Knight perfectly fits with the victim impulse in the Damsel. Thus, they mutually enable each other.

The sufferers of both of these syndromes are people who don't define their relationship, they let their relationship define them. The disease is unfortunately self-reinforcing and occurring at a greater and greater incidence as society puts increased emphasis on conformity and a lack of independence.

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