The other day, I was engaged in a discussion about relationships. I was tweeting with @fromraewithlove and @MadameMonarch. I did more listening (reading) than participating, but I put forth two points.
The first was that “independent women” have fed the beast that has become “independent women”. My second point was men who play Cap’n Save ‘Em need to better evaluate which women may actually need to be saved. Here I’m tackling all the Captains.
At some point or another, most men have played the role of Cap’n Save ‘Em. Half of them won’t admit it, while the other half may not realize it. He’s the man who runs to the aid of women who need or act like they need saving. He’s the guy who’s exceptional level of chivalry, no matter how misplaced, is deemed thirst. As derisive a term that I’ve heard.
The Cap’n doesn’t really have any special powers. What he does have is a (often wrong) wish to be all things to all women. Nobody can do that but Jesus. It’s a tiring, stressful, thankless job. Often times, Mon Cap-ee-tan is the source of his own stress. Here he is, running to help a woman who may not even need his help. Worse yet is the woman who doesn’t want his help.
The Cap’n has the energy and want to do some good in a woman’s, any woman’s life, but nowhere to channel this energy. He’s met the lady that doesn’t need him, but like Johnny 5, it doesn’t compute. So what does he do? He finds other women to direct the energy toward, to his own detriment.
All of the energy and effort the Cap’n has expended, that hasn’t been reciprocated, can lead to resentment. Who is Cap supposed to be mad though? The women who took
advantage his assistance? Not hardly. The only one he should be mad at is himself. Nobody held the proverbial gun to his head and made him do anything for anyone.
His compulsions and assumptions brought him to the point he’s at. Not every Cap’n Save ‘Em is going to be able to disregard these factors. There are things that he can be done to guard against them getting out of hand though. Things like:
1) What made him want to become a Captain in the first place – there’s a saying that says, “how can a person know where they’re going if they don’t know where they came from?” If he doesn’t know why he is always trying to save every woman, he’s going to continue attempting to save each one.
2) Identify why chosen women “needs to be saved”- what is going on with her that makes her so special? Is there history with her? Have others tried to “save” her and been rebuffed? A man is going to be putting time and effort into “getting this lady right”. It’s best to make sure he knows what he’s getting into.
3) Know your target savee – not every woman is a damsel in distress. There are certain clues that women give off that help identify those who are.
4) Know when to let go – it’s a marked difference between giving up and giving in. Giving up implies failure to meet a desired result. Giving in implies having the wisdom to know the desired result isn’t achieveable. It’s okay to not save each one.
5) Don’t rush out trying to save the next one, especially if the last one didn’t need or want you – take some time and really just relax. Analyze what went wrong, or right.
6) Realize that it’s okay to not be Cap. – maybe it’s time to hang up the cape. Understand that there is a woman who’ll appreciate the time and energy that is expended. She’ll not want a savior, but as a man who possesses the qualities that are usually so freely given away.
I stated earlier that some women take advantage of the (non)superheroes whom them meet. Not all, but some, and it’s going to keep happening. The best these men can do is not let his experiences with one affect his interactions with another.
What else can all the Captains do?
Consistently remind themselves of Step 6 from above. Truthfully, it’s the greatest game changer that any Cap has in his arsenal. That’s the real power; to be able to just stop. They’ll see how much freedom they were giving away. Plus, they may find that a woman will want them to just be Regular Joe, with a side of Cap’n Save ‘Em when needed.