Is There Any Point in Dating an Alpha Male?

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Hi Evan, This is a curiosity more than a dating advice question. I’ve read several of your posts that suggest that charismatic alpha males do not make good partners. I also read on HuffingtonPost.com a hilariously titled article (in response to the Anthony Weiner scandal), “Should Women Go Ugly?” again, suggesting that women should steer clear of handsome alpha types who are quite likely to ultimately let them down. So my question is, what happens to all these alpha guys? Do they marry? Will they remain single forever? If the conventional wisdom is for women to avoid relationships with them, is it in their (the alpha guys) best interest to skip the so-called American dream, avoid marriage and children and just bounce from one short-term relationship to another? Or is it possible for such an alpha guy to create a meaningful long-term relationship? And if so, what type of woman would be able to create a happy life with a man like this? Based on your advice and that of others I’ve read, it seems that no woman should attempt to deal with these guys. —Sara

Sara,

Right before I got married, I turned for advice to Dr. Pat Allen, therapist, Los Angeles legend, and author of “Getting to I Do”.

Pat is probably 75 years old and delightfully curmudgeonly. She lives in a very black and white world and has a bunch of catchy aphorisms that she trots out when she sees common dating dynamics — especially for women with an excess of masculine energy. I turned to her because we’d met on a panel once before and because I respected her experience and wisdom.

I told her that I wasn’t sure that I felt what I was supposed to feel for the woman who I was considering proposing to. I didn’t have that obsessive, breathless, “I must have you” sentiment. I didn’t miss her madly when she went on a business trip. I was just plain happy — in a healthy, fun, nurturing, supportive relationship that had no obvious flaws apart from what was buzzing through my head: “I don’t have the FEELING I think I should have!”

My thoughts on alpha males is that while they may remain the most attractive candidates out there, as a rule, they tend to be bad long-term relationship bets.

Pat asked me: “Are you a career man or a man with a career?” (This is one of those aphorisms.) I told her that my career was not just a job, but kind of a calling. Thus, she determined that I was a career man. She told me that, as a career man, since my job would come first, I could get married and be perfectly content, but I’d always be longing for more. She finally concluded that, based on my profile, I would probably cheat on my wife a few times.

And that was our session.

Yes, Dr. Allen’s contention, essentially, was that if you’re an alpha male, your natural tendency is to put your needs first, to conquer, to dominate, to spread your seed, and to hope to not break too many hearts along the way. In this regard, she’s somewhat correct.

And in this regard, I realized, I’m not a pure alpha male.

It’s more important to me to be a good husband and father than it is to pursue my selfish interests at all costs. If anything, I have a fierce ethical streak (which surfaces here from time to time) which is stronger than my thirst for money or new women. I would not suppose that everyone is similarly driven by doing the right thing. After all, having character involves tradeoffs, and alpha males most certainly don’t want limits put on their freedoms.

So, to bring this back to you, Sara, my thoughts on alpha males is that while they may remain the most attractive candidates out there, as a rule, they tend to be bad long-term relationship bets. I would guess that most women who’ve gone for them would concur with this observation. Alphas needs come first. Their schedule comes first. They may try to spend money on you but it doesn’t compensate for their lack of attention, affection and understanding. They rarely make you feel safe and secure. But you hold on because he’s such an intoxicating catch. Make no mistake, he RELIES on his charms to allow you put up with all his bullshit.

As always, when we’re talking about alpha males, we’re talking about a sliding scale. I may have the drive and temperament and ego of an alpha, but I don’t indulge it at all costs. I stop work at 6. I don’t work on weekends or take clients on Fridays. I apologize frequently. If my wife ever needs me to sacrifice for the family, the answer is yes. That’s where my value system lies.

If you’re going to go for such a guy, the thing to look out for is what his long-term values are. Does he WANT to be a good husband and father? Does he SACRIFICE his needs for yours? Does he put YOU first or does he always have to win? There ARE alpha males who do that, but there are more who do not.

From what I’ve seen as a dating coach, most women are willing to take the risk — but very few actually get the long-term reward.

So it’s not that it’s impossible to find one of these guys who wants to settle down with you — it’s that alpha males are inherently high risk/high reward.

And, from what I’ve seen as a dating coach, most women are willing to take the risk — but very few actually get the long-term reward.

As for what type of woman you have to be to get this guy, in general, I’d say someone who is supportive of him. Someone who is cool with his hours. Someone who doesn’t nag him all the time about his job. Someone who can listen to him and provide a fun change of pace when he finally clears space to be 100% present. This is really what my book Why He Disappeared is all about — being in your feminine energy — open, positive, receptive, nurturing.

Still, being the ideal woman for an alpha male isn’t always enough — not if the alpha male doesn’t have a strong moral code and doesn’t fundamentally value monogamy as much as he values conquering new women and new businesses.

SOMEONE gets the alpha male to marry her, all right, but I can assure that she is not always happy with what she gets.

Caveat emptor.

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Comments:

  1. 101
    Michelle

    I have been married to an alpha male for ten years and we have three young children.   Overall we are happy and he is still the man of my dreams.   He is extremely handsome, masculine, hardworking, loyal, and a loving father. That being said there are definitely challenges to being married to an alpha but I’m willing to handle them.   For example, it takes a lot of confidence because women LOVE my husband and try to flirt with him constantly.   I am however very attractive myself and make sure to take care of myself which helps me feel less jealous, plus my husband is so honest with me (brutally so sometimes) but he’s never given me any indication that he would actually cheat.   My husband can be a workaholic which can be very hard on me but he doesn’t allow me to control or dictate how much time he spends with us vs working.   He is a great provider and does is best to support us.   He can be extremely headstrong and sometimes he acts like a jerk but part of me respects him more for not allowing myself to push him around.   I find that a lot of women I know tell me to “stand up to him” and that advice just doesn’t work because it just pushes him away.   Just so you know, he has never been abusive or anything, but he’s naturally just much more of a dominant person than I am.   Overall, even with its challenges, I don’t think I’d want it any other way.   I find that when I tell him my needs in the most direct and non-nagging way, he does his best to make me happy.   He also has a high sex drive and keeping him happy that way really helps.   I find that I feel more safe and protected giving him more power

  2. 102
    Michelle

    I also want to add that if you’re an alpha female, then no, dating an alpha male is   not worth it.   But I think many women would be more happy accepting a more feminine role and not having to make all the decisions and have all the responsibilities.   Also I think that some people are talking about more extreme men than normal desirable alpha males.   Some men are abusive but I wouldn’t call them alpha males.   I am actually surprised by how many couples I know in my area where the wife wears the pants because I feel like so many of the male vs female differences are innate.   Even my nine month old son acts very different from my daughters and I find it fascinating and a normal healthy thing.   He’s just more active, less needy, determined to reach the next developmental milestone, and just wants to play.   There’s a reason alpha males are so attractive to women.   If I wanted a woman I’d be a lesbian but I’m not, I want a real man who’s not afraid to be the man in our relationship.

  3. 103
    Crystal

    I agree with everything you say, Michelle, about the benefits of marrying an alpha male. your husband sounds a lot like my fiance. The only exception I take with your comments is that you said:

    “I also want to add that if you’re an alpha female, then no, dating an alpha male is not worth it.”  

    You described your husband as “naturally just much more of a dominant person” than you are” However, as a dominate alpha female myself, I want to give hope to alpha females who want a relationship with an alpha male:  

    Although you may not consider yourself to be “naturally” a submisse person, the fact is we all have both dominate or masculine potential as well as submissive or feminine ones. Because I really wanted a kindhearted but clearly dominate alpha male, I learned to adapt to his personality and nurture my submissive potential, which I rarely did in the past. By doing this, I get to enjoy all the benefits of feeling safe and protected by my fiance and not having to always do the heavy lifting in our relationship.

    By doing this, never a day goes by without my fiance telling me how much he loves and appreciates the way I “take care” of him. Meanwhile, he makes me love him more and more each day by taking good care of me. Our relationship is by far, the best I’ve ever had and he says the same about it as far as he’s concerned.

    I just wanted to let other alpha woman to know that all is not lost if you want a strong, confident and protective alpha man. As Evan has said, the key to having a relationship with a man like that is to bring out of yourself the innate qualities you possess to attract such a man. If I could do it, anyone can. Like you said, Michelle, the benefits of this approach are well worth the effort if your desire is to be with an alpha male.

  4. 104
    N

    I think an Alpha Male would have a pretty successful marriage life esp if that is what he values. I cant imagine an alpha being able to cope socially and workwise by not having an amazing woman by his side. But it would be hard for the women the alpha may try to have affairs with when he gets confused. That happened to me unfortunately. I got to taste what it’s like to have an alpha pursue me. It felt so good. Unfortunately at the end of pursuing I found out he had a gf he was going to leave but then they sorted out their issues. He valued relationships and commitment which is great, but I got stuck in the middle. Yuck. What a shame. But as far as what kinds of women they want, I think it all depends on their needs eg beauty, nurturing woman, motherly, sweet, secure with emotions, faithful etc. These are the qualities the alpha I knew liked about me, but his partners’ goals and career and social status were more in line with where he was headed. But boy did it feel good to be with him. One thing I did notice about this alpha was his difficulty in processing his emotions around me. He loved how comfortable I made him feel so he was sort of hanging around to boost his ego.

  5. 105
    rawr

    i appreciate evan’s attempts, but a lot of men are wising up to how many women spend all their years chasing these alphas, only to give up and look to settle on them as their last option. call it insecurity if you wish, but it’s downright insulting for a woman to think it’s ok  to treat men that way.

    1. 105.1
      SQ

      Kind of like the guys who spend all their years chasing as much ass as they can get and then expect to settle down with a nice virgin. Insulting to think it’s ok to treat women that way, no?

      Except that neither anecdote represents the reality for the majority of us, does it? Spare us the very unoriginal red pill tripe.

  6. 106
    Jup

    My two cents … An Alpha (person/male) needs a pack. By pack I mean the sum of all activities that make that person happy: partner, job, money, all of it. And lots of action. Alpha is definitely a leader. So it’s not that Alpha is bad, it’s just that Alpha needs more “toys” and entertainment and yes, it can be easily distracted because there are so many interesting things there. And, yes an Alpha can chose where to put their attention. It’s like the captain of the ship.

    A Beta (person) needs a partner and someone who somehow lead them, give them the instruction manual. They would be absolutely brilliant at supporting the enterprise, a bit like the engineer of the ship. They also need a pack (everyone does) but they also need to know what’s their role in the pack and where they sit.

    This is what I think about that definition and why a beta could be happy coming home after a very hard day at work and turn their attention on domestic issues while the alpha still runs the ship even in their sleep.

     

  7. 107
    Esther

    Here’s my relationship story with an alpha male.

    He is a true alpha male, never worked for anybody, started his first business when he was still a teenager and , developed a dozen more connected business in the following decades.   He is also an accomplished athlete in several sports and an accomplished artist.   He provides and takes care of his family and employees.   He will find work for his employees and pay them even if he has no contracts happening and no money coming in.      He adopted his ex-girlfriend daughter and takes care of her like his own.    He is overall funny, warm, perceptive, intelligent and extremely responsible.

    Something clicked first time we met, but I didn’t think he would be a good prospect for me, because I knew how much time he spent running his business and how dedicated he already was to his daughter.   I didn’t think he had time for a relationship.

    But he pursued me, invited me on a trip, declared he had feelings for me before we even slept together, and I fell for him.   In the beginning he would tell me that he had not felt that excited about someone in years, that he couldn’t wait to travel the world with me, that he always dreamt of having children, etc…

    Then he started working 80-90 hours a week again.   I would only see him 2 or 3 nights a week after 9pm, when he was too tired for anything other than going to bed, and be gone to work by 4:30am .   He stopped talking about doing things together, I would spend my weekends alone while he worked or took care of his daughter.   On the very occasional date night, we would stay in and watch a movie because that’s all he had energy for.   His needs would come first, he was too exhausted to take care of mine. When I would complain that I felt irrelevant, lonely and his last priority, he would say that he loved me, and wanted me to understand that he did that so he could retire in 5 years.   I tried to get that in my head and wait.   But being lonely and alone   months after months while being in a relationship with someone you love is no fun at all.   The guy was great, and I love him, but I wasn’t happy in that relationship.

    So I left.   Him.   That awesome   boyfriend that I could never have by my side.   I wanted so much to give him love, but he was never there.   I was always missing him,   his presence.   I tried to enter into his life and understand his world, so I could love him better, but I couldn’t fit myself in there.

    I still don’t quite understand how   he   could give me so little attention and encouragement in the relationship,   but seemed so sad and broken when I told   him I had to leave.

  8. 108
    Kay@gmail.com

    Don’t expect loyalty from an Alpha. His needs first. You just follow, like the good little puppy dog you are.

  9. 109
    Charm

    I married a high-powered, charming, top performer narcissist who I initially trusted with my whole heart.   But, after 10 years i found myself divorced while he went off and married a younger version of who he wanted me to be,   and not who I actually was: an ambitious, kind person with both traditional values but still liberal and open-minded.    I thought he was an “alpha male” but really he was just type-A misogynist.

    Shortly thereafter, I met a true alpha male – a CEO/owner of a big law firm.   He was smart, kind, loving, generous and somewhat of a hopeless romantic – a true leader.   He took me on luxurious vacations, paid for everything, flew me everywhere, etc.   After dating over 1 year, however, I ended it, because I couldn’t fully trust him.

    Somehow, I continue to attract this type of man, but it’s probably because I seem like an ultra feminine, reserved, beta female. That IS the type of woman they seek, because it complements his busy schedule and priorities.   For the most part, his own life comes first, even if he is dedicated to family and to his SO, but a woman who wants to be in a relationship with this type of man must understand and accept this. She must also accept that there will always be women around him vying for his attention.   It’s the nature of the game, so she must be secure in herself, and if she isn’t, it will become very challenging.

  10. 110
    Nicol

    I recommend no woman date an alpha male. He is raised to dominate no matter what this takes. This means he can observe and commit violence if necessary. He is out for himself only. I’ll admit that its important for ppl to look after themselves. But alphas do everything for their own benefit only. That means his partner is there to serve him in whatever way he desires. She would need to boost his success. He has no respect for anyone cos no one can be equal to his domination. Women are just objects to them. Alphas can’t love. Its not love. They just use, act, and strategise for success and domination.

  11. 111
    Misanthropic Delight

    Sigh…Take this comment with a grain of salt, I’m pretty much fed up with the entire human race…

    Alphas, Betas, Sigmas, Deltas, Gammas…Does it ever end? Apparently not. Apparently most people are sheep, cannot think for themselves. Who live and die by the validation of the crowd.

    Weak, that’s the average person. Male or female, Alpha or Beta. All weak, because you seek the validation of the crowd to determine your worth…

    I’m a hedge fund manager,a classic Alpha Male…Obviously I have value. Because the crowd says so…

    I’m a highly successful, stunningly beautiful, financial consultant, wanted by most men, and envied by other women. Then obviously I have value. Because the mob says so…

    Then of course articles like this are written. So the bland, highly predictable masses can find love and reproduce so the world is filled with yet more predictable people who couldn’t produce an original thought if their lives depended on it…

    Dating advice only works because so many people are so God damned predictable, and idiotic to boot…Having yet even more idiotic children when there’s no guarantee our society will even be intact in 30 years thanks to Global Warming…

    Then all this Alpha male shit will go to the wayside because most people will be dead…

    Most Alpha males are insecure pricks anyway, I prefer someone who can think for themselves…

    And yes I’m a woman, despite the email address.

    1. 111.1
      No Name To Give

      MD, In think you might be my new spirit animal.

  12. 112
    Dave

    I’m an alpha male and I’d date me. No question. I fucking rock.

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