What Do Women REALLY Look For In a Man? Hint: Think Alpha
What Do Brad Pitt, George Clooney And Don Draper Have In Common?
There's a reason that Don Draper gets all the girls, seemingly without even trying. When Draper walks in the room, no matter what inner turmoil or self-imposed drama is swirling around him, he's composed and self-assured. He leads with his confidence.
Okay, so Don Draper is a fictional character, but there's a reason the majority of women we know admit to pining after his strong, sexy archetype. Understand this archetype, and you'll understand what women often hold out as the ideal.
Simply Put: The Alpha Male
It's not complicated, really. Whether you look all the way back to the cave dweller, or fast forward to Indiana Jones, Alpha Males are the testosterone-heavy guys who are able to roll the biggest boulder, slay the biggest bear, or outwit the opposition. They exude virility and sex drive, which socio-biologically suggest to women that these are the breeders and protectors. This doesn't mean that being a masculine he-man is all women want, but if you don't develop some alpha male characteristics, you'll find yourself scratching your head, wondering why a nice guy like you doesn't get a second date.
Tired of Being Perceived by Men and Women Alike as a "Beta Male"?
Beta's frequently seek approval and validation from outside sources, see themselves as hapless victims or bystanders in life; things happen to them and around them instead of being in charge of their own behavior, circumstances and goals. A Beta will wait to see what others do, wait for direction, and make apologies for disappointing or disagreeing with others. Read our piece on Beta Males here.
Alpha's on the other hand, are the men (or women) that are seemingly natural leaders. They don't wait for permission to act or wait for others to make plans. Since they know what it is they want, they lead with this confident footing. They aren't always apologizing for themselves or trying to impress others by bragging or attention seeking behavior. This doesn't mean that they don't act kindly or considerately--they just don't spend all their energy second guessing themselves.
Learning How To Be An Alpha Male
1. Act "As If". (Fake It 'til You Make It)
Nope, we're not advocating being someone you aren't for the long haul, but there is something to be said for striving to change behavior dynamics by changing our own behavior first.
Try This: Imagine that you've contacted a woman you've been eying on Match.com. Instead of writing a long chatty message selling yourself, and asking if she'd consider going out with a schlub like you, drop her a note that assumes she'll be interested. Tell her you liked something specific about her profile, so she knows you actually read her narrative, and then be direct about what you want.
Example: I saw that you mentioned an interest in "craft cocktails". I know of a couple of great cocktail bars down in Belltown. Let's meet this Sunday at 3 pm for a drink.
By "acting as if" you are as interesting, confident, and as strong as you want to be, you enter into any situation from a place of strength. You don't wait for confidence to grow, you act as if you are already confident. Watch how this alters your companion's perception of you, and therefore her behavior towards you. You can also apply this attitude of non-apology to your workplace. Study the natural leaders, and the males that are respected. You'll notice that more often than not, these are Alpha males. Even if they are not he-men, or traditionally masculine, you can be sure they have confidence and some swagger, and they don't toot their own horn. They don't need to.
2. Dominant Body Language
- Walk into the room like you own it. Walk slowly. Why should you be in a rush when this is your opportunity to saunter your stuff, and take stock of your surroundings?
- Don't be afraid to take up space. Sit with your legs open, rather than crossed, spread your arms out on your chair or couch, make your shoulders wide, stand with your feet apart. Plant your hands on your hips, or lean back. You've heard all this before, right? Now do it. Experiment.
- Eye contact. Don't be afraid to hold it. Looking down or away frequently indicates insecurity, or disinterest. Make her wiggle uncomfortably under your unwavering gaze. Be appreciative in your once-over, rather than slimy.
3. Take Charge. Lead.
Too often, women are used to having to take the lead in a dating relationship. Does this sound familiar? (Warning: Cringe-worthy)
Guy: Do you want to go out with me sometime?
Gal: Yeah, that sounds great. What were you thinking?
Guy: Oh, doesn't matter to me. Want to go out to dinner somewhere?
Gal: Oh sure.. Like...where?
Guy: What do you like? I'm open. Pick a place.
Gal: Oh.. uh... Thai is always good. There's a place on 47th and Denny. Or on Madison...When were you thinking?
Guy: Oh, I don't care. Whatever you prefer. Sometime this weekend? When is good for you?
Gal: Saturday is good.
Guy: Ok, cool! What time would you like to meet?
As you can clearly see, the guy may think he's trying to be flexible and casual, but what's also happening is that he is being a Beta-- trying to please, giving away his power, assuming that his potential date will have better ideas than he will. By the end of this exchange, you can be sure the girl is rolling her eyes.
Whether you are just starting to date, or are involved in an established relationship, switch things up. If your girl has suggested a restaurant for a date, set the time, and tipped you off to the dress code, text or call her back, and tell her that you've made a reservation at Local 360 instead, and that you'll pick her up at 7. Tell her you'd love to see her in a dress. Let her know that you are prepared to lead with strong energy.
3. Be Deliberate
- Come from a place of action rather than reaction.
Example: If you're planning on taking a run, and you get a call and an offer from a date, don't jump to postpone your route. Tell her that you'll be able to see her 4 pm, but not earlier, because you need to run. This not only places value on your own self-care or activities, it encourages those around you to accommodate to your schedule, rather than always being the one to accommodate others.
5. Your Appearance
You don't need to be model handsome, like Brad Pitt or Channing Tatum. Handsome is in the eye of the beholder. Make sure you've focused on grooming basics: think shave or beard trim, a hair cut from a stylist who can help you figure out a good look for you and your lifestyle--and some fashion basics. Ask a friend whose fashion sense you admire to help you out. So you don't look like a greek god? No worries...most guys don't. Just make the most out of what you do have, while working on the stuff you want to have.
Most important tips: LEAD WITH CONFIDENCE, and FAKE IT TIL' YOU MAKE IT!