Alpha male — or just jerk?

by Dating Goddess on January 22, 2012

Is seems universal that people find confidence attractive. But at what point does self-assurance cross the line to arrogance and thus become unattractive?

This week I was contacted by a self-described alpha male. These men are typically proud to be dominant, “my way or the highway” kind of guys. They consider compromise wimpy. They often rise to the top of their profession, sometimes by bullying, intimidation and manipulation.

Curious, I responded to his email, asking about his statement, “I will be a *Best Selling* Author (shortly)” (sic — emphasis his). He has no agent, no publisher and has barely started the book. Having 25 published books of my own, two of which have sold over 200,000 copies, I know what it takes to become a bestseller. It is not something one can proclaim before it is even published.

Since he doesn’t know the rules of capitalization, I wonder if he knows how to spell “hubris.”

When I questioned him about his lack of personal photos, only pics of his home and cars, he pointed me to his profile, which says, “I would hope that a woman (any woman) would pay attention to what I ‘wrote’ in my profile, more so than just judge by looking at pictures.

“I think it is completely ‘subjective’ when someone looks a picture and is either delighted, suspect, or intimidated by what they ‘see’. I am not one of those. I take into account every aspect of another persons (sic) personality, character, ambition, or self-esteem to the absolute disregard for their material posessions (sic); which can neither keep me, control me, or maintain me.”

So, this overly confident man doesn’t have a clue of the importance of seeing how one projects oneself to the world through appearance. He purportedly takes into account *every* other aspect of another. Right. How could one possibly get that from a few pics? Impossible.

People’s words — whether written or spoken — can speak volumes about their values, priorities, and character. Of course people can — and do — lie. But if they are sharing their truth — as I believe this pompous man is — they will reveal as much as you need to know.

Have you encountered alpha males in your dating adventures? How did you deal with them?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

seaneen January 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Oh, wow… Alpha he’s not. Self-important pompous jerk? Probably.

The problem, I suspect, is how extraordinarily RARE true Alpha males there are out there.
That means most of us have never encountered one to interact with, and are thus fooled into thinking the above type engenders the Alpha male.

I beg to differ:
a TRUE Alpha has no need to trumpet his power, put down others, nor hide any aspect of himself.

His confidence, pride, and personal drive are clearly a strong part of his nature, visible in his eyes, his walk, his tone when he engages you, but NEVER with disrespect or aggression.

He lives by honor, respect, honesty, and integrity to his own code- and expects the same of others; he is a good man, one who values his family and friends, treats others with polite consideration, is soft-spoken most of the time, and will resolve a dispute quietly if he can.

His self-confidence encompasses what he knows he’s got skills at, he’ll work hard to gain them, and his pride won’t prevent him from openly asking to be educated about, and showing appreciation for, what YOU bring to the table.

He MAY be successful in his chosen field, or still working towards his goals- don’t judge him by his current status, but by his stated values and plan for his life; clearly, this is a very telling conversation to have!

So, how do you know he is Alpha vs just a good guy?

Note the lack of a need to assert himself publicly in front of you, but his sure and strong action when necessary.

Watch how most other men instinctively defer at his slightest word or gesture, even when he is not officially the senior male present.

Note the respect shown YOU- by those that know him and most other males- when he is clear you are his friend, let alone more!

Yes, they ARE rare.
But look close, so you don’t miss the few that do exist, as he doesn’t feel the need to be obviously front and center.

I stumbled over ONE in 50 years, and had I not looked closer, and had the courage and honesty to continue the contact as a friend, I may very well have missed out.

Now I have the friendship AND passion of an extraordinary man, one who wanted more but was willing to be patient and respectful until *I* was ready, and has told me he is blessed and thankful to have such a special person in his life- and I cannot express how lucky *I* feel!

Chinedum Azuh January 23, 2012 at 6:35 am

My Dear, Please don’t condemn him. He may be the type that believes in positive confession or he was just announcing his dream to people that may encourage him. Blow your own trumpet! That he has no agent, no publisher and has barely started the book does not disqualify him from making this bold declaration. I’m a bestselling self-published author without an agent or a publisher. In this 21st century, traditional publishing which is what you just mentioned don’t count.

All the same, thanks for your sincere writeup

Chinedum Azuh,

Vicki January 23, 2012 at 8:26 am

Well, as a law of attraction enthusiast, I laud his positive attitude to his future. However, stating with confidence that he *will* become a best-selling author is better suited for his gratitude journal than for his dating profile. Some stuff just isn’t appropriate to share with others. You can make things happen for you more quickly in your life, sometimes, by simply focusing in on what you want and *not* sharing that information with anyone who might discourage you or point out your weaknesses.

It’s like he’s daring you to take a shot at him. That’s a very hostile, antagonistic posture.

If he really wanted to be a best-selling author, he would keep it to himself. Sharing it with his dating prospects only gives him fodder to blame you (or whoever he winds up dating) if/when his book doesn’t pan out because you were discouraging him or telling him he couldn’t do it, therefore it becomes your fault when he fails.

Does that make sense?

That tells me he doesn’t really believe in himself, and he wants someone else to blame for his failures down the road, and probably that person will be someone from the dating site who made fun of his goal, or told him they didn’t really think he could do it.

Best thing to do is not even comment on that assertion, and just tell him to “go for it.” The least advice is the best advice. That way, you don’t become a target for his resentment down the road. Who needs all that negative energy aimed at them?

The other thing I noticed in the excerpt you posted were these words: “keep me, control me, or maintain me” — this man has a lot of resentment and possibly fear of women and relationships. He already has a framework in mind that relationships are basically about one person trying to keep/control/maintain the other person.

It’s basically a hostile relationship template.

Do you really want to get involved with someone who is playing out this script in their lives? Better to find someone who has a more relaxed and friendly template for relationships. This guy is going to be trouble.

Dating Goddess January 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Seaneen: Thanks for sharing your definition of an alpha male. It appears we have different takes on the term.

Chinedum: I’m afraid blowing my own trumpet with this guy would just create an opening for him to see me as competition. I’m going to pass on any further contact.

When you say you’re a “bestselling self-published author” how many books have you sold? One of the reasons “bestselling” is often limited to books on top media’s lists is because sales are verified through bookstores and/or publishers. Some self-publishers can provide that data, often they aren’t verifiable.

Vicki: Thanks for your input. I have no intention of interacting with this guy again, which is why I was asking for my readers’ stories of their encounters with alpha males and what they did about them.

Morgan January 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I just got through paging through an Essence magazine slide show that shows the difference between dating a boy and a man. It could have just as easily read dating a jerk or an alpha male. There are hundreds of versions of alpha males, some more arrogant than others.

As for your pompous fellow, he’s deluded, and definitely has not had any association with the publishing world. I review books and I did have one come across my desk about picking up women. It was horrible. The writer not only told readers how to pick up women, but how to cheat on them too. I think it may have been the book your reader was talking about.

Lisa January 23, 2012 at 9:06 pm

This man does not even deserve the discussion he has engendered. What a loser. Who are these types? Where do they come from? Seriously. Are there really any women who would give him the time of day? It is often the men who go on and on about how smart and “inntellingent” they are that are the most hapless.

george January 24, 2012 at 4:48 am

An alpha male is someone who is firm but friendly, warm but dominant.

The confusion between ‘jerk’, and ‘alpha’, is often due to the person’s immaturity and lack of social experience. I see it all the time coaching guys, they get the right ideas of playfulness, displaying authority, not taking s**t, but show it in a REACTIVE way which seems like they’re man-boys instead of men.

Most of these people will eventually grow out of it with enough experience.

Richard January 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I am not a woman, so I cannot comment on dating an Alpha Male. An Alpha Male is the dominant male, not someone who aspires to be dominant. Some Alpha Males are dominant by their leadership, and others by the exercise of power. The former are attractive, and the latter are feared.

Confidence is knowing your abilities and not having to be propped up by other people. Stating accomplishments is one thing, stating goals, and presenting them as accomplishments, is another.

His posting of pictures also displays his insecurity. He is trying to buy women with his toys (presuming his home and cars are nice). His response shows a complete lack of ability to engage in a conversation (understand the needs of the other person).

This person’s actions displays the complete opposite of an Alpha Male. It shows someone who is self absorbed and insecure, not confident.

Mitsy February 10, 2012 at 8:48 am

I met a few “alpha” or pompous jerks while doing online dating. They were the same ones who viewed online dating much like a candy store in that there was always another flavor they could pick up if they didn’t like the one they had. That mentality is a lot of what turned me off to online dating. True, if there’s no attraction, there is no attraction (and that goes for both sides). The pompous, self-centered ones had an air of arrogance that went along with puffing themselves up to look good (in their minds). I dated one guy (for about a month) who sort of fit that profile. He also came on a bit strong and then was baffled when I made it clear that I did not date more than one guy at a time and had hidden my profile from others. Apparently, that scared him &/or turned him off of me.

The chase is the big thing with these types of men. They don’t really want a long committed relationship, they want to get their egos fed by having many women after them. I suspect he did the same thing to other women later. He was a good looking guy but he did not have the personality to go with it. That seems to be the benchmark of the ones who claim to be “alpha” when they are really controlling, selfish, and clueless about how to treat women in general. I’m so glad I no longer deal with the pitfalls of online dating. Don’t miss it a bit.

bookyone March 21, 2012 at 5:43 am

IMHO alpha male=self absorbed jerk/narcissist. Granted there are some men who have strong personalities without the accompanying insecurities, (i.e., a need to belittle women, other men, dogs, cats, anyone and anything that doesn’t fit their world view in which they are the self-proclaimed kings of the castles), but I’ve found these guys to be few and far between.

Give me a nice guy (one who is secure in himself) any day, the nicer the better. :)

Best wishes,

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