Friday 31 October 2014

How to date an alpha female

Caroline Kent, Telegraph.co.uk

Published 16/05/2014 | 12:59

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27:  Rapper Jay-Z and singer Beyonce Knowles perform onstage at the 2006 BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on June 27, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Jay-Z and singer Beyonce Knowles perform onstage at the 2006 BET Awards

I’m sure a lot of blokes will have breathed a sigh of relief this week upon reading Bryony Gordon's new "Beta Woman" column.

Not so fast. Although the 30+ woman (worn out/settled down/covered in parmesan and kid puke, if Bryony’s column is anything to by) may have given up her high maintenance ways, we 20-somethings are more demanding than ever.

And according to a new book by Sonya Rhodes, the only thing wrong with being an exacting and ambitious woman is expecting a man to act the same.

I was recently described as being “not girlfriend material” and I blame the fact that I'm an Alpha woman. I'm strong, empowered, confident, and successful. I'm also hard to impress, high-maintenance, volatile, easy to bore, and - shockingly, I know - single.

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In my experience, men want their girlfriend to validate them, to adore them, to need them. Frankly, I’m too busy adoring and validating myself for any of that. Is that selfish and ruthless, or sensible? And does it make me a "bad investment", relationship-wise?

Alpha-dom makes dating hard. My standards are high, I'm unforgiving and often dismiss men without giving them enough of a chance, shooting myself in the foot. But to be defensive and standoffish comes naturally to an Alpha. In the animal world, it's just as likely that the Alpha in a wolf pack would be female as male. However, to acquire the status of Alpha, a female would have to kill a lot more other wolves than a male would.

Furthermore, to avoid an Alpha-male rising, the Alpha female must have the ability to bully, dominate and even kill the Beta males who insist on attempting to mate with her or otherwise demonstrate their own Alpha status. Ergo, an Alpha woman eats Beta men for breakfast.

Or does she? Sonya Rhodes new book, The Alpha Woman Meets Her Match, says that shouldn’t be the case.

Rhodes aims to strip the Alpha of its gender clichés; she argues that Alpha women shouldn’t limit themselves to one socioeconomic group or a partner who shares their lifestyle. A Beta bloke, she insists, isn’t a bad thing.

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Common wisdom usually suggests that the alpha man is nature’s winner whilst the Alpha woman is a cold bitch (and the Beta bloke works in IT and still lives with his mum). But those who’ve dated across those stereotypes know that’s not the case. Alpha women, Rhodes argues, shouldn't aim for someone who mirrors their own behaviour, they should remember that just as Alpha women aren't demanding bitches, Beta men aren't necessarily passive wimps.

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So I’ve decided I'm going to find myself a Beta man. And I’ll give you a head-start. What should you remember if you find yourself dating me, or any another Alpha female? Here are my top 10 tips for dealing with a type-A woman.

1. We may have an aloof and/or intimidating demeanor, but that doesn't mean we aren't interested.

2. However, it does mean that you'll probably have to work harder.

3. Alphas crave boundaries. We need something to know where we stand, and what you will and will not tolerate. Otherwise we'll push too far.

4. Don't presume we will always want to set the agenda in the relationship. It can be a huge relief for an Alpha to take a break from being in the driving seat, whether that's in the bedroom or in picking a restaurant for dinner.

5. We are sharply trained not to let anyone take advantage of us. A lie, even a little white one, will be taken as total betrayal.

6. We're impatient. Lateness and laziness won't go down well. Respect our time.

7. We are constantly battling the myth that being a professional ruins a woman's chances of having a private life. But there’s probably some truth to that, so don’t expect that she’s on top of her game in every facet of her life (I know a female CEO who lives on frozen pizza and only sees her parents once a year).

8. We may be independent, but it's lonely at the top. A reassuring nudge, smile, or presence is probably more valuable to her that she lets on.

9. An Alpha can be vulnerable, too. She may be better at concealing her emotions, but she feels just as acutely as anyone else. Don’t dismiss her passion as anger, or her sadness as wrath.

10. Remember: the greatest gift you can give an Alpha woman is the space to be herself without the threat of you leaving.

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