Unless you’ve just come out of a coma, you know the late Anna Nicole Smith’s ex-boyfriend is Larry Birkhead. He’s been in the news since he announced that he was Dannielynn’s father. An interviewer asked her why she was still in the relationship despite Anna Nicole’s drug use. He said he thought he could “save” her. He had the “knight in shining armor syndrome.”

In her book, “Why We Love,” author Helen Fisher states that: Millions of years of protection and provision for women have instilled in the male brain this tendency to choose women they feel they need to save. What separates man from animal is his ability to think and reason. Just because it can be natural for men to be chivalrous does not mean that they cannot put a limit on how far they will go.

Should they open a door, pull out a chair, hold a woman’s hand when crossing the street, or give her her jacket if she’s cold? Absolutely. Should they try to save a woman whose life is a mess? They do so at their own risk.

Men try to save damsels in distress because it makes them feel powerful, in control, and manly. Sometimes they are afraid of women and think that they will not be rejected if they solve a woman’s problems. They hide their shortcomings behind what appears to be strength. They know that they don’t act together, so instead of working on themselves, they prefer to work on someone else. Such relationships are doomed to fail.

If these men were really strong, they wouldn’t be trying to save someone who appears to be a victim. They do not realize that apart from a few circumstances beyond one’s control (acts of God, accidents, illnesses, etc.), one’s position in life is based on who they are on the inside, not on someone or something “out there”. There is an axiom that says: There are no victims, only volunteers.

Gentlemen believe that if the woman improves, she will become the perfect bride. The only problem is that if she recovers, she won’t want to be with someone who has so many flaws that she can tolerate being with a “broken-winged bird.” Healthy people don’t want to be with sick people.

On the other hand, if she does not improve, the man will never have the perfect girlfriend because he will not be able to satisfy her needs. Also, his fears of an intimate relationship will not be repaired if he stays with an unsuitable woman. It is a dead end situation.

Why else do men choose damsels in distress? According to Dr. Laura in her book, “Ten Things Men Do to Spoil Their Lives”, other reasons for “stupid chivalry” are: guilt for past transgressions and lifestyles, feelings of real or imagined deficiencies, fear of pain of abandonment, loneliness, ego aggrandizement, fears about the approval and acceptance of women (also known as mom), and a fragmented sense of masculinity. If you are currently trying to be a knight in shining armor, what is your reason?

Just because a man does not acknowledge that a woman is responsible for his circumstances does not mean that those same circumstances will not bite him in the butt again at a future date. Larry Birkhead’s life is now chaotic as a result of trying to save a woman whose life was chaotic. Do you want to be in their place?

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