Alpha Males: Are You a Better Man Than He Is?
“Me, sexy? I’m just plain ol’ beans and rice.” -Pam Grier
There are all kinds of relationship advice systems out there. It can be enough to make a goddess throw up her hands and want out of the dating game. From “The Rules” warning you to foolishly not answer the phone to the 911 warning that “He’s Just Not That Into You” to trying to remember whether you should “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” You don’t know whether you should take relationship advice from a comedian or your Aunt Bettie who tells you he should love you more than you love him.
The situation is compounded by whatever relationship cues we learned from our family. Many of us saw our moms having to be the mother and the father of the house. Or maybe dad was there and he was just the fun guy. This can leave you trying to create a happy, healthy evolved relationship when you’ve never seen one up close.
You throw in the fact that we’re all blessed to be beneficiaries of the feminist movement and ay dios mio.
Whether it was called feminism, womanism, girl power, Big Mama shine or just the unnamed strength of womanhood in your household, we girls were taught to be the best man standing. In sports, academia and eventually the workplace, it made sense that we were not to acknowledge that men and women were different in any way as this had been traditionally used to hold us back.
I heard often, as did many of my friends, you are black and a woman (and daughter of immigrants) so that means that you have to work harder and smarter than anyone sitting next to you.
And, ah man, did I! In the work arena traditional masculine qualities (aggression, competition) and traits rule the land while traditional female qualities (cooperation, compassion) take a back seat. Ask any successful woman and she can out-man any man in the workplace.
1. So, what does this mean for your love life?
The issue is that the same skills that make us gladiators at work are ruining our love lives. It’s a common refrain I hear from my high-powered love coaching clients. These women are rocking their businesses and can’t figure out why they’ve been successful at everything else but love. What I hear over and over again is, “I did everything for him and he didn’t appreciate it” or “Why do I keep attracting dating disasters?” We then end up bitter, angry and altered by the experience.
When we are bitter and burnt out by love it hurts us the most. You deserve to choose the partner of your dreams and give big, bodacious, full-out love from the heart–and receive it in return. This is your birthright!
2. Are you seeing the world through victim-colored glasses?
When we’re bitter we can then only see the world through victim-colored glasses. The subject of last week’s love class was basically, “Are You Too Picky or Not Picky Enough?” A couple of women emphatically replied that they had a right to be picky in matters of love and are going to continue to do so no matter what I say. They missed the fact that we are in agreement. Anyone who knows my work knows that not only do I agree, but that’s the whole point of the article. I think that we’re not picky enough. To have better relationships, we need to choose better men based on inner qualities upfront versus solely outer qualities.
We have to be sure that our selectivity or pickiness is not a mask to help us avoid intimacy. So why couldn’t a few of these intelligent women understand a nuanced argument? Of course, they can understand it- they are probably brilliant, beautiful and gifted. However, when the only tool we have is a nail, every problem looks like a hammer.
I’ve spoken with many men about relationships too and their common complaint shocked me. They often say, “I just didn’t feel like she needed me.” Does this mean that they want needy women? No, of course not, but for a man the feeling of being needed by a strong woman is powerful. For us as women to learn when to give up control and learn how to receive love is also powerful–and necessary. There is a healthy difference between needing the love of your life and being needy.
3. The missing love link: we had it all along…
The answer to our broken relationships is not about settling or hoodwinking someone into loving you with tricks and games. You’re a phenomenal woman. Why would you need to do that? You are inherently worthy of love.
The key is learning to turn off the masculine do-it-all energy that helps us master business and tuning into feminine energy if our intention is to love a masculine energy man. Now, if what you’re doing already works for you — stop reading! This is for women who have reached an impasse, want to go deeper in love and can’t figure out how to do so.
4. Awakening your feminine side is a gift to yourself that has nothing to do with mani-pedis and makeup.
Acknowledging that there is a difference between yin and yang, feminine and masculine may be sacrilegious in some circles but it’s real. Don’t shoot the messenger, but one issue that I have encountered often is that women think they want an alpha male when their own energy is all alpha male as well. There is nothing wrong -at all- with being a masculine energy woman if you want a man that has more yin energy. Stop seeking out alpha men just because that’s what your cultural training tells you that you should want.
If you do really want partnership with an alpha male then you need to activate your feminine energy. You need to learn to be woman enough, not man enough, for him. This sounds hetero-normative but it’s exactly the same in same-gender relationships.
We all have masculine and feminine energy within us to different degrees. Attraction is based on complementary energy. So, if you’re seventy percent feminine energy and thirty percent masculine energy, you need a partner who is seventy percent masculine energy. Tapping into your feminine energy will transform your life and your relationships.
Basically, if you are the man and the woman in the relationship, where is there room for him? In addition, you may be mothering your partner. That’s not attractive, sexy or fair to you. You are already everything as a mom to your kids: chaperon, teacher, disciplinarian and nutritionist. Feminine energy is about the magnificence of being, masculine energy is all doing. Find your balance. This is the best way to nurture yourself.
5. How to know if you’re “the man” in the relationship.
Are you the only giver and doer in the relationship? Is it all about him, never mind you? Do you come on too strong, love guns blazing?
Maybe you are the one who saves the day. If something needs doing, you are the rescuer and the one who makes him happen. Sure, you need things to run a certain way, right? So you’ve jumped in, independent rather than interdependent, and are single-handedly guiding the relationship. You are sending him articles on how to make his life better, planning your whole social agenda, basically plugging him into the life plan that you imagine.
Instead of coming with a set agenda, give him the floor and opportunity to be the man and watch him shine. If he can’t show up in this way then maybe he’s not the man for you. You don’t have to be the perfect woman and also be the perfect man in the relationship. That’s exhausting and certainly not sustainable. Respect him and give him room to cherish you.
- You deserve to be your full, juicy self with a partner who adores you. Doing it all at work and at home is depleting. Partnership with anyone who wants to rest on their laurels and watch you give all, do it all, be it all and get burned out is no partnership at all.
This Week’s Homework:
You may want to form a Love School Playgroup with your friends to do these assignments. Take 5 deep, cleansing breaths to get centered and begin.
- Write a love letter of appreciation to yourself. Be detailed about how much you adore and cherish yourself.
- Write a love letter of appreciation to your soul mate, whether he is in your life already or not. Be detailed about everything you respect about him.
- Choose 5 relationships that you see as role models from real life, media or the movies. It’s okay to choose fictional characters. Be detailed about what you appreciate and enjoy in each of these relationships.
- Review last week’s class: “The Art of Being Picky & Why You Should Be.“
Love Video Resources:
- Healing Yoga Pose for Relationship Stress
- Emotional Freedom Technique for Anxiety
- Soulmates vs Life Partners: The Difference
Passionate Living Coach Abiola Abrams gives extraordinary women inspiring advice on healthy relationships, evolved sexuality and getting the love we deserve. You’ve seen her love interventions in magazines from Essence to JET and on shows from MTV’s “Made” to the CW Network’s “Bill Cunningham Show.” Find love class worksheets, advice videos, coaching, and more at “Abiola’s Love University.” Tweet @abiolaTV or #loveclass.