Find out why so many smart women make this stupid mistake.
In my work as a relationship coach and blogger, I hear it over and over again — yet, at some level, it still takes me by surprise — "Why do so many really smart, accomplished and attractive women go for 'bad boys' or Alpha males?" In other words, why does someone who has the potential to be an incredible catch sabotage herself with such poor choices?
An Alpha male is a man who owns himself, a leader of the pack. He is internally driven and certain of who he is and what he wants. It is the very essence of masculine energy so it's no surprise that feminine energy finds it so appealing.
The downside of the Alpha is he can sometimes be self-obsessed, insensitive, jealous, controlling, perhaps even demeaning or violent in extreme cases. The downside for those who are in relationships with that type of guy is that he is often unfaithful because so many women respond primitively to his darker, masculine energy that he has more choices available to him. Perhaps the best real-life example of this scenario is actress Sandra Bullock and her ex-husband, motorcycle bad boy Jesse James, who publicly split after his serial infidelity was revealed in 2010.
Recently, a woman asked the question that prompted me to write this article. She described herself as "a very type A female." She went on to say, "I always assumed that I'd need an Alpha male in my life — to bring out more of my feminine side." She went even further saying that although she and Alpha men "get"one another because they are strong enough to "take" her, these men are also the cheaters, verbal/emotional abusers or worse.
I was really glad she asked her question for two reasons: (1) because the same problem affects so many smart, accomplished women, and (2) because I can explain what this phenomenon is all about. For starters, this very bright woman, and those like her, are operating under a huge, false assumption that sabotages their romantic prospects. Not only that, it will continue to sabotage them over and over again — until they change it.
Stop With The Type A: You see, identifying as a "very Type A female" is a skewed perception of self, and it's particularly dangerous because the strongest force in the human personality is the need to remain consistent with who we believe we are.
The truth is that these women developed an adaptive strategy because they were rewarded for it countless times and have now made it their identity. If they were being honest, they'd have to admit that there are times when they are absolutely free, flowing and feminine, but those are traits that women like this fear most. So, while I'm sure that their identity as a "very Type A female" has rewarded them over and over again in certain ways, it has also created problems vis a vis in their relationships with men.
Now back to the woman who posed the initial question: While I don't condone the behaviors of the men she's dated, both are predictable by-products of the identity she's assumed. Men who don't get their (occasionally insatiable) need for feminine radiance met inside a relationship have no choice but to look elsewhere — whether they cheat, disappear or just break up instead. Additionally, men who feel like they are constantly in a power struggle with a "very Type A female" may decide to tear their women down a few notches to tilt the balance of power back in their favor. As a matter of fact, they're probably better at that kind of aggressive behavior because they don't navigate the world via emotion and it's just a means to an end to them.
Again, I'm not making those actions right but I suspect you may agree that it's understandable — and most of all — predictable when you step back and look at it from this perspective. Your beliefs, habits and behaviors have a huge influence on the response you're getting in your relationships and results, don't lie. This whole idea of a woman looking for an "alpha male" to drop her back into feminine may be the worst idea ever made by so many incredibly "otherwise" intelligent and very desirable women.
The reason why it's such a bad idea? Because it pre-supposes you need someone else to drop you back into feminine, when the truth is once you address those old, outdated and ineffective assumptions that aren't working, reconnecting with your femininity is as easy as simply "going home." Plus, if you think you can somehow magically change an Alpha when he's been so rewarded for his behavior everywhere else, there may be some deluded thinking you may want to examine.
If you're struggling in your relationships because you're attracted to the bad boys or you used to think you might be a "very Type A female," feel free to connect with me. That belief hasn't worked for you yet and it won't ever work for you so when you're ready to change it, I can help.
"From my mom and dad, because they're happily married for a long time: Just listen. Listen to him. I'm so independent and driven and stubborn. Just let him talk. It's about not being so stubborn and having to win every argument. My parents set a great example. They love each other and take care of each other so much."
"It's kind of cheesy, but my mama, who you all have seen on the show, says to cook for your man. She's Southern, so when he comes home, be pullin' a pie out of the oven. That's always been her advice, and you know what? It works. Your man wants to see you in the kitchen, puttin' some love into some food; it works for Eric, that's for sure."
"The best advice I've ever been given is being handed a Bible. That's the blueprint for marriage that we go by, and that's what our marriage is grounded in. We also have other married couples who are examples in our lives. My parents have been married over 40 years, and both sets of grandparents for over 65 years. When you see couples in long-term relationships and you see them go through good times and bad times, you realize it's about being committed enough and loving your partner enough to hang in there regardless."
"My mom told me, "It shouldn't be that difficult." My parents had their moments for sure, but the majority of their relationship has been really great. It shouldn't be that much work to make love work."
"You've got to be good to each other … it really comes back to respect. I was raised in a very Catholic, Italian family and it was all about respect. Don't talk badly about [your partner] the second they walk out the door; really preserve your relationship and be good to each other. Treat it like gold."
"Don't lie to your partner. Ultimately the expression on your face gives you away, and they feel betrayed by the lie. If this is the person you're going to be with—forever and ever, for better or worse—they will love you for all of your good and all of your bad. They'll love you for you. So open communication is key. I have no secrets and no skeletons in my closet with my husband, and I love that. I feel comfortable and at ease with myself when I'm around him. I love the woman that I've become with him."
"I think the best love advice I've ever received is really about understanding that communication is key, of course, but also that there's not one perfect person for you. You kind of have to accept what are the things that are negotiable for you and what are not."
"My mom always told me, "Whatever happens, will happen" or 'Whatever is supposed to happen, will happen." I've learned you'll know when you find the right person. When I found the right person, I knew it immediately."
18. The Five Love Languages Author Dr. Gary Chapman
"Before I discovered the concept of the 5 love languages, a bit of advice I was given was to become a student of my wife and to take time to learn what makes her feel loved. I soon learned that what makes her feel loved may not always be the thing I want to do because it may not come natural to me. But learning to love her in the way that makes her feel loved is a greater demonstration of my love for her, because I've chosen to do it with a goal of pleasing her."
"Pay attention to the girl, instead of myself. A bunch of people [told me that]. It's terrible. I'm very into myself, so people are always like, "Pay attention to the other person. Don't ever separate yourself." It's a good lesson. I'm learning. I'm doing good."
"Don't get divorced after your first argument! I have a lot of friends that have one fight and that's it, they get divorced. I go, 'Wait a minute! Oh my gosh, you guys! Calm down! You'll forget in three days what you were fighting about. I promise. So just let it marinate a little bit—that's my best love advice."
21. The Real Housewives of Miami's Adriana de Moura
"When I was about 15, [my grandmother] said something I will always remember: 'Love comes before money.' I will never let anything like greed come between us when it comes to love. She was married to my grandfather for 70 years. It's very hard to have a long-term relationship and if you're not sure, it's not going to last. Make sure that you truly love."
"If you're looking for love, focus on something you love to do and work hard. Love will find you. Basically, love yourself before you love anyone else. A lot of girls have such insecurities nowadays that you have to be comfortable with who you are before you can really have a good relationship with someone else."
"Love advice is like life advice, so there are so many elements of that. I think humor, patience, admiration are really important love elements. Love and respect. You have to respect the person that you're going to love, and you have to be confident in yourself and love yourself."
'Think about how much you'd miss that if he were gone tomorrow.' This is my senior producer's advice in my ear during our news show if I'm grumbling about my hubby, whether about his habit of leaving dirty clothes around, or the way he goes into la la land while I'm talking with him, or that he wakes me up being loud overnight. How true! Heaven forbid, but if something ever happens to our loved ones, oh how we'd long for them to be back, and their little aggravating habits would be something cherished.
"On the other hand the best love advice I've ever given is: Gals, don't marry someone for their looks. Sooner or later we all age and start to droop. Don't marry someone for their position and don't marry someone for money. Money comes and goes, and since when is that love? Marry someone because they make you laugh. Humor is always sexy. Besides, it's awfully hard to get mad at someone while they're making you laugh."
30. The Real Housewives of New York's Heather Thomson
"Well, it's one of the oldest. It really is paradoxical, but it's true: You just can't go to bed mad. You have to make up, because there's only one alternative, and that alternative is not being together. So, my husband and I always decide we might as well make up, whether we agree to disagree or not. We understand we are individuals and that together we're unbelievably powerful and that we have a family that is the most important thing, and that I wouldn't trade him for the world. So, love is about give and take, and love is about understanding that you're individuals and together as a couple, you're the strongest there ever is ifyou're in the right couple."
"I was going to say, 'It's work, relationships take work,' but that makes it sound like relationships are hard, that they're work. Rebecca and I have always gotten along really well. We've always had a really strong connection. I'm the last guy that should be giving people advice on love, that's for sure. But I have a great marriage. I just got lucky, I guess."
"I lost my dad back in the fall, and my dad said something to me a long time ago. He said, 'Are you happy with who you are now?' because we just had a real serious talk. And I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Then you can't regret what got you to where you are. So whatever you do and whatever mistakes you make, learn from them and grow. And just always treat people with kindness,' which I've tried to do."
"My mom always used to say, "You can't say I love you before you can say I." And I think that sort of makes sense."
Dave Elliott is a Relationship Expert and Coach who works with clients all over the world. If you're serious about attracting, creating or maintaining the fulfilling relationship of your dreams, contact Dave for a free consultation or check out his work online. He is the founder of Legendary Love For Life and the creator of The ManMagnetics Formula.™
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