My (Ex) Fiancé Had the ‘White Knight Syndrome’, but I Wasn’t a Damsel in Distress

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The Urban Dictionary describes ‘White Knight Syndrome’ as:

Males which:

  1. Rush to the aid of any female they see who appears in any form of distress,
  2. Become attracted to said damsel in distress,
  3. Follow the dying code of chivalry and generally act like a nice guy

I was engaged to one before, after knowing him for only half a year.

“When I was too young to know better, I dreamed of a white knight. Someone who’d rescue me, protect me, keep me from harm. By the time I found him, all I wanted was for him to know I didn’t need protecting,” ― Sonali Dev

I met A on my flight home from the UK, after my studies ended. We chatted the whole 14-hour flight back, like two peas in a pod.

I didn’t find him irritating, which is what I normally feel with every random guy who starts a conversation with me. We exchanged numbers and he rang the next day.

We went on our first date – a satay meal.

It was sweet because on the flight, I told him that satay was one of the foods I was looking forward to when I came back.

After our date, things just took off. I shared a lot with him, which included a pet peeve of mine – I couldn’t wait for a job offer from the organisation which funded my studies.

I also told him that I couldn’t bear to live at home with my parents, after living on my own for so long. I wasn’t used to having people around the house.

The next day, he offered me a job at his brother’s law firm. Not as an intern or a junior position mind you – it was a managerial position.

I declined as I was still under a study contract. I had just made a joke, and yet he acted on it so quickly?!

He also brought me to one of his condos, telling me I could stay there if I couldn’t stand living with my parents.

It was surprising – I mean, it wasn’t as if my parents set a curfew or anything. It was just me being independent and not wanting to burden others.

These were the earliest signs of him wanting to be the hero, but I didn’t see it. I dismissed it, because, don’t all guys want to play hero?

Three weeks after we met, I got a job at a remote place down south. Despite having to go overseas for work, he insisted on sending me there.

“No need to burden your parents, I’ll be delighted to send you,” he said.

The best part was? Not only did he send me, he left his car with me – he went home via a rental!

His reasoning was that since I didn’t have any transportation at the time, I might as well use his car.

It wasn’t just any car mind you – it was a huge ass Toyota Harrier. There I was, a fresh grad on my first post, and I was already driving an SUV.

I wasn’t a Princess who needed saving. I was already a Queen, ruling on my own.

He wasn’t happy when I returned his car and told him that I had bought a tiny Kancil. Still wanting to be my white knight, he paid off the loan for my Kancil.

And he refused any sort of payment from me.

He did other things for me throughout our relationship too. For example, he:

  • Bought a new phone for me, which was the same as his. He said that “ours should be compatible.”
  • Bought me clothes that he liked, in his favourite colours. Looking back, it was as though he was dressing his favourite doll.
  • We got engaged! Everything looked promising between us. Everybody commented on how great we looked together, and that we were made for each other.
  • He even asked me to move in with him before the wedding, but I only stayed at his house during the weekends. He wasn’t too happy about that, because he couldn’t track my whereabouts. He needed to know where I was at all times, since there ‘are plenty of bad guys out there.’
“The very purpose of a knight is to fight on behalf of a lady,” – Thomas Malory. But not if she’s a warrior herself!

It got to a point where he was constantly calling to check where I was, whether I had eaten breakfast/lunch/dinner/supper and who with. He would tell me off if I hadn’t, and even had the nerve to demand me to cut the meal short if it was with a guy!

He kept checking on what else I needed, if there were guys disturbing me at work. He even went as far as checking my colleagues, friends’, and even family backgrounds.

He asked if my siblings were troublesome for me to handle, and if they had asked me for a loan. He probably misunderstood me when I told him about me paying for my brothers’ down payment for a car.

Actually, they had already paid me back as soon as their bank loans were cleared.

But I didn’t tell him that. I didn’t think that it mattered.

Since he had done so much for me, I thought it was rude and improper to tell him off. One might say that he was showing me that he cared, but I begged to differ – I was suffocating and being overwhelmed by him and his ‘heroic’ acts.

I wasn’t a damsel in distress. I was doing fine on my own. But he wouldn’t have any of that, and he continued offering help that I didn’t need.

After some time, things turned sour between us. I kept telling him that I was doing ok and refused his help. It came to the point where it seemed as if he wanted me to have problems for him to solve.

We went apart amicably though. I guess love was just lost somewhere along the line.

He wasn’t a bad guy. He just didn’t understand that I wanted a partner-in-crime.

Someone who gets me for who I am, knows when and if I needed any help, and back off when I needed my space.

I really didn’t need a white knight.

For more articles about relationships read 4 Practical Tips for Planning a First Date in Malaysia, and How Adult Movies Affected My past Relationship.

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Nazmie Nureen
This once-a-sceptic-of-marriage Saggitarian finally got hitched and recently became a mom. She still craves on adventures all around the world, and now she has a few kindred spirits to share them with. She runs. And dreams. A lot.
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