In the first part of this two-part article series, I wrote about how wealthy, successful women seem to face a dilemma when it comes to choosing a partner and finding happiness in a relationship.
Based on the stereotypes that the alpha male is threatened by the alpha female, and that a relationship between the two would only lead to conflict, the solution on offer for the alpha female seemed to be to choose a beta male.
However taking a closer look revealed that the real issue often lies more in values and self esteem, than stereotypes.
So what’s the real solution?
1. Let go of the stereotypes and what you have learned before!
While opposites do attract it is also well known that after a while opposites also repel. In my work, I have come across alpha women, referred to me with depression, some married to alpha males and gave up their careers when the children came, some with beta partners and feel overwhelmed with being the one in charge, bored and want more from their partners.
I have worked with alpha men who end up in the stereotypical situation of having affairs with their secretaries – beta females. And I have also worked with alpha males who have had affairs with alpha females. So it really isn’t that straightforward after all.
2. Get to know who you really are
The kind of people we attract says a lot about who we are, about the relationship we have with ourselves and it speaks volumes about our beliefs about relationships.
3. Be clear about what you really want
This sounds easier than it is. Sometimes what we think we want is not what we really want. The only way to know, is to get really clear about your core values and purpose.
4. Be clear about your expectations
Right from the start of the relationship, be clear about your expectations and the kind of ‘contract’ you agree to. It is so easy to ‘give in’ during the early days of a relationship. Once you do this, you can hardly blame your partner, later on down the line, when you later want to change that ‘unspoken contract’ can you?
The future of the alpha female
Are you really, as an ‘alpha female’, comfortable in your own skin? Or are you hiding behind the ‘alpha’ mask just like men traditionally have done? Will ‘alpha’ women take the same route as ‘alpha’ men have historically done? Will ‘alpha’ women go for the ‘beta’ type, only to get bored and end up having an affair with their secretaries?
Are ‘alpha’ women really doing anything different or are they just about to repeat history – the other way around, and just producing another set of stereotypes that will need unlearning later on down the line by the next generation?
Men are changing. There are more and more genuine ‘alpha’ men who value and appreciate what a genuine ‘alpha female’ has to offer. Though women have embraced their changing role quicker than men have, men are changing too.
More ‘alpha men’ are becoming ’emotionally intelligent’. Emotional Intelligence is, in fact, the buzzword in executive coaching – of which the highest percentage of executives being coached are (alpha) men. I have had the privilege of working with many emotionally intelligent ‘alpha males in my coaching practice and on a personal level, I am meeting more and more men who value and prefer the ‘alpha’ female – some of the men I meet are ‘beta’ males while others are ‘alpha’ males.
Is it completely fair to say that the alpha male is the problem? Could it be more about the ‘alpha female’ and her beliefs and the stereotypes that she is buying into?
Could it be that ‘alpha females’ aren’t really genuinely all that comfortable in their new ‘alpha’ skin? Could it be even having gone through a role transition, women are still no clearer about who they really are or what they really want before they go in to a relationship? In particular the baby boomers seem to be playing both the traditional female role as well as the new ‘alpha female’ role. Could it be that ‘alpha females’ don’t stick to what they want and expect right from the start of a new relationship – maybe they give in just a bit to fit into the stereotype, driven by a belief that ‘alpha females’ and ‘alpha males’ just don’t work?
My final question to the ‘alpha woman’: If you believed that the alpha male was a genuine, not a ‘masked’ version covering up low self esteem or insecurities, who was also emotionally intelligent and who shared similar core values that you share – would you still go for the beta male?