Not every man is an egotistical Alpha player or an Omega loser desultorily plucking his guitar on an old futon in his mom’s basement.
Alpha players are alive and well—and enabled by technology (their best friend! But most of the men I see in my therapy practice—hailing from Wall Street to the suburbs— seek equal, balanced relationships: A 2010 Pew poll found that 62 percent of both men and women believe that the best marriage depends upon a true partnership—in other words, that ever-desirable, ever-elusive state of nirvana we call equality.
Betas have less of a need for control, and they may have less interest in a leadership position than an Alpha would.
In a group of women, the Alpha is the one who exerts power and influence through her ability to take charge of the conversation, while the Beta will tend to listen and support.
If she’s young and feeling her way as an Alpha female, she may proudly sign her texts “HBIC” (head b*tch in charge—an acronym I heard recently from a 17-year-old client of mine headed to the Ivy League who could be the poster child for the new generation).After I’d begun thinking about Alpha female/Beta male partnerships, I mentioned to an Alpha friend of mine that her husband was a great Beta guy.Although I meant it as a compliment—her husband is a nurturing family man and a super-creative graphic designer who works on a vintage letterpress machine in his studio—I could tell from her body language that she was a little insulted.You can stop compartmentalizing and find the more complex man you’re really looking for.But what do women and men really feel about the non-macho male?