Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Lure of The Alpha Male

"Like a moth to a flame, burned by the fire..." [Photo by: Lanolan]

Oh, The Alpha Male. I didn't even know why men like this were so appealing until I met one this summer... and after I met him, I realized two things: One, this is probably why I was so smitten with this put-together but always unattainable kid from my past. [Despite being in his early 20s when we met, the young'n had a few distinctive alpha male qualities; he was confident, had good taste, was a leader amongst his peers and was good at thinking on his feet. We are no longer in touch - he literally disappeared off the face of the planet after I lent him $500 - but I sometimes wonder about him and what kind of man he will grow up to be.] And two, although this type of man is initially appealing, he ultimately isn't a suitable match for me.

Alpha Males are extremely enticing to both submissive females and alpha females [which is what I think I fall under]. They are usually sharp thinkers, with impeccable taste and style, known leaders, and are often employed in positions of power. Others look up to them, and they relish in their status as respected figures. They often possess great self-professed sexual skill, and word on the street is that they can often get a woman hooked on them through this alone. In short, they are alluring as all the fuck. Some Alpha Males are excellent partners and others fall into the Narcissist/Abuser territory - this blog post is intended to help other women figure out what kind of Alpha they are dealing with - and get out if necessary.

Just recently, I dated someone who embodied The Alpha Male through and through, so much so that it was even part of one of his nicknames. He was intelligent, cultured, stylish, passionate and ambitious. He was super into me and so dedicated to seeing me achieve my goals; that his daily support, motivation and advice bordered on the overwhelming. I realize now that he just wanted me to be happy and successful, but his methods made me feel unhappy and worn down. I was unheard, judged and endlessly criticized. I tried to walk away twice and was pulled back in by his "What ifs?" But one night, I put two and two together and realized he was dating me, some blankhead barbie and who knows who else... and it was exactly what I needed to say: "Enough" and toss his ass out of my life with both middle fingers raised and my eyes looking straight ahead.

The strength, style and power of an Alpha Male appeals to me, but it comes at the price of navigating his emotional unavailability, his need for complete dominance, and his lack of compassion/empathy. Just like any man, choosing to be with an Alpha Male is about determining what you can deal with. You can read more about your typical Alpha Male below. [I pulled this spot-on description from the very "girl power" sounding sisters of resistance blog.] I have italicized the experiences that I can relate to.

The Alpha Male is often intelligent, able to confidently discuss a wide range of issues and may be capable of critical thinking. For these reasons, he is a leader amongst his male friends and is respected by colleagues and family members. He is therefore not used to being challenged or disagreed with. He will always aim to maintain control of every aspect of your relationship, including frequency and length of visits and telephone interactions. He is mainly motivated by self-interest and is not a team player.

LIKES: Being in control, being waited on, being waited for, being the center of attention.

DISLIKES: Being wrong, being out of control, being questioned, any challenge or disagreement.

Pride. Confidence/swagger. Is a taker, not a giver. Never backs down. Appearance-centric. Recipient of frequent phone calls from others asking for advice. He avoids intimacy and is rarely honest and open with his feelings. In conflict situations, an Alpha Male will often simply ignore and/or avoid you if he suspects you are angry. He may then initiate contact on his terms when he assumes you have calmed down. Marks his territory by leaving clothing and accessories (shoes, jackets, sunglasses) at yours so he always has a reason to return. Will regularly cancel plans with friends, family, and lovers at a moment’s notice. He calls this behavior spontaneous, but is in fact insensitive and inconsiderate of those around him.

Interpersonal Skills – The Alpha Male is able to maintain the undying respect, loyalty, and dedication of those around him. This is done through a combination of emotionally manipulative and fear-inducing tactics he has been taught by men before him. You may be frustrated with his inability to say anything really nice to you but nevertheless still be taken in by his game. Learning to identify and take note of these tactics when they are utilized is a primary way you can begin to untangle yourself from their grasp.

Situational ManagementThere is never a situation The Alpha Male cannot handle. You may be impressed by the way he is able to deal with change, make decisions and have those around him carry them out. Good at thinking on his feet. 

Mind control & Altering reality – The Alpha Male has the ability to radically change your understanding of the circumstances or an argument. For example, he will be abusive to you and re-frame the situation so he is the victim. He will often alternate between abusive language, vicious attacks on you and your personality, and lies of affection and lies in the future, disorienting and confusing you, and replacing your thoughts with the false realities he has constructed. His aim with this tactic is to mold you into a submissive and fearful but still loving and affectionate object of his control.

Sex – The Alpha Male is often abnormally good in bed [or endlessly talks about how sexually skilled he is], and may even appear to know how to read your body, contributing to the illusion that you are meant to be together. If you encounter someone with these unusual skills, proceed with caution. 

Common Phrases
A. Nobody can tell me what to do / I’m my own man
B. I’m not ready / too selfish to be in a relationship
C. I’m not a relationship kind of guy

The Light and The Dark

This image is destined to become legendary. It is SO epic.

Hurricane Sandy came and she went – all without doing a lick of damage to my neighborhood or my property – which I am immensely grateful for as I know that many [including some of my friends and my entire family] did not fare so well. Last year, I worried myself half to death in preparation, but this year I handled the news of HAARP's Mother Nature's wrath in stride. It helped that I spent the entire duration [and then some] holed up in my apartment with my new beau, a man who was as much of a pleasant surprise to me as he now is to all of you. We spent nearly three days together [a total of 67 hours, to be exact] listening to new music, digging deeper into each others exquisite tastes, watching movies and YouTube clips, laughing, eating [nonstop eating] and getting to know one another, with not one dull moment in between all that activity. It was bliss, it was supremely invigorating, but more than anything, it was well deserved.

He came to stay with me again during the "Northeaster" we got this week, making him my official apocalypse cuddle buddy. Last night he treated me to red velvet Sprinkles cupcakes [yay!] and SkyFall [nay!], where we whispered sarcastic commentary to each other and spent the entire film with our arms delicately wrapped together. He is teaching me so much about true love, the important things in life and relaxation... and sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had never walked away from my previous dalliance which was distressing and toxic, what would have happened had I never joined a dating site and took the time to look for love [despite my hesitation and fears], what would have happened if I had never taken a chance and introduced myself to this incredible man...

Well, I for one, wouldn't be falling madly in love at this very moment.

Living underwater.

I had a little restaurant gig I was doing mostly because I wanted some money coming in, and because I'd convinced them to pay me a hefty hourly wage. After Hurricane Sandy, that job vanished into thin air... and although I of course felt a bit of panic [nothing like steady money coming in to keep you in a shiftless and complacent stupor], I immediately felt relief. There was nothing really wrong with the place or the job... and that was the biggest indicator that the job wasn't enough for me... and that a "job" never ever will be.

And then, the next wave hit: old friends offered assistance, friends linked me with their connections, I set up phone meetings with fashion designers and voice over experts, and my Dad even decided to send me "a little something" to soothe the grand slam of Sandy. The tide had turned yet again, and it seemed as though New York City and I were repairing ourselves at the same damn time. [I hadn't realized the extent of the damage until I rode through pitch black downtown Manhattan on Halloween night. Those eerily dark streets are something I will never forget...]


Sandy grabbed me by the shoulders, looked me square in the eye and screamed "What are you waiting for?! Look at all these gifts you've been blessed with, that you're just wasting away. WHY?!" I didn't have an answer. So I took a deep breath and said "You're right. Enough living in the dark."

I guess there IS something to letting go of the things that no longer serve you, in order to make room for the things that will uplift you. Crawl away from the dark in your life and make your way towards the light. Good things [sometimes good beyond your wildest dreams] exist there.

P.S. - You know that saying: "Be careful what you wish for, cuz you just might get it?" THAT SHIT IS TOO REAL.