The conversation started with my guest blog on Simply Solo (In Defense of the Beta Man) continues to inspire me with more thinking on the subject and wanting to continue digging into the issue. Last week I wrote The Friend Zone, and got some more great feedback and expanded on some themes.
This week, I think I have some interesting insight to pass along to the ladies who have at least a passing interest in what makes Beta men tick.
In response to my blog on Simply Solo, Claudia wrote:
Dear beta men, please start asking us out. With a clear intent of dating. Worst case: she will be mean. It may hurt, but really it’s a good thing cause she’s a bitch and you are better off.
Average case: She is flattered, but not interested. Wait 2 weeks and ask only once more. We have a biological cycle that does effect our attraction. There have been studies that prove that a week out of the month, we are far more likely to be attracted to alpha males because of the chemicals flooding our bodies. Plus I don’t know about anyone else, but sometimes the first reaction is no and then after thinking about it later, my mind changed.
Best case: you get a date. Need I say more?
I think this is pretty indicative of what I hear from a lot of women when talking about Beta Men AKA Nice Guys, or guys who perpetually find themselves in The Friend Zone. It boils down to: Betas, grow a pair, step up to the plate, make the move. You’ll never get anywhere with the ladies if you don’t show confidence and be at least somewhat aggressive. I suspect a lot of women can relate to this frustration!
Further down the responses, fitchik4 wrote:
I typically find ones that want you to [prove] yourself to them before they will take that next step. Theres no ‘chasing’ or for that matter dating the traditional way. Thats just what I am finding here. I am not sure if Men still like to do the tranditional way of dating, like asking the women out, picking her up.. that sort of thing. Maybe I am just stuck wanting something that doesnt exist. It is a different time now, with all the internet dating etc. I have no idea why the Beta men here are hard to find. I really dont know why?
While I was pondering how to respond to her, I think I may have solved the puzzle of the mating habits of Beta men. Here goes my take on it…
When a single man meets a woman he’s interested in, the first thing he’s got to figure out is a way to make a connection, and that requires presenting the object of his desire with something about himself that’s worth her time. For Alpha men, it’s relatively easy, especially if he’s blessed with good looks. Human beings are very visually oriented and these guys know that, simply by getting a woman to look at him, the thought is going to cross her mind that he’s worth the time to see what else he has to offer. Even if the Alpha’s not an overtly hot man, he’ll still possess the confidence and the “moves” that he knows women find attractive right off the get-go. Of course, once you get past the superficial and start to get to know them better, that’s when you sometimes run into the personality issues and start to wonder, Where Are the Nice Guys?!
A Beta man may not have those physical good looks that instantly draw a woman’s eye, nor have the moves and swagger that can quickly make a connection. A Beta man will typically need to put more time and effort into making that connection with a woman, to let her know that he’s worth getting to know better romantically. A lot of time the random encounters at a bar or club or party, where an Alpha man’s quick and immediate connection works perfectly, those quick connections aren’t at all conducive to showing off the Beta man’s best qualities. I think that’s why Beta men will typically try to steer things more towards nebulous, “getting to know each other” activities as opposed to a formal date right away.
But wait a minute, aren’t dates all about “getting to know each other?” Yes, they are– but dates in the modern age are typically about getting to know someone within the framework of a romantic and/or sexual attraction that’s already been established. I don’t think too many dates happen now unless there’s an actual spark or potential spark. A Beta man hasn’t yet had the opportunity to show off the qualities that he hopes you’ll be interested in hanging that framework on. Once he’s shown those to you, that’s when he’ll actually “make the move” and ask you out for a real date.
Asking a woman out on a date often represents a defining moment in a relationship. It’s basically saying “I like you in a romantic/sexual way and want to get to know you better. How about you?” For the Alpha man, it’s easy to do this quickly– much of what he knows women find attractive in him is right out there in the open for her to see right away. For the Beta man, those qualities aren’t something a woman can always see right away. He needs a chance to show her, he needs time and opportunity to make his case.
We can look at the process this way: there’s the pre-date time period, and the dating time period. The pre-date is the time where both parties make the decision on whether there’s a romantic connection. With Alpha men, that pre-date period is extremely compressed and fast. It involves looks, chemistry, moves, what have you– attraction that’s immediate. With Beta men, the pre-date period takes much longer and involves showing you aspects of his personality that you’ll (hopefully) find attractive. The process takes longer.
You may be asking myself: well, how do I know whether this guy just want to be friends, or whether he’s going to ask me out eventually? Well, if you just met the guy and he didn’t immediately ask you out on a date, but he is making an effort to try and spend time with you, then odds are damn good that he’s a Beta man who’s trying to show you things about him that you’ll find attractive so when he finally does ask you out, he has a much better shot of you saying yes than he did when you first laid eyes on each other. Assuming you have some interest in him too, or even just mild curiosity, allow him the opportunity to make his case. If it’s taking too long, feel free to give him a nudge, but know that he will get to it. And if the qualities I wrote about in my blog on Simply Solo appeal to you, it will certainly be worth the wait!
Of course, some women are going to find this sort of thing annoying as hell because it’s not clear-cut and runs the risk of wasting a lot of time. For them, I think you’ve got two choices: give up on Beta men and just stick with the Alphas and that instant chemistry and connection. Or be aggressive with the Beta men and let them know he doesn’t need to make the case first, the verdict is in and you’re ready to get to the dating. This might not be the way you like your romance to go, but you do what you gotta do.
Now, this isn’t to say that there aren’t wishy-washy guys out there who will just pine away and never move out of the “getting ready” zone into actually doing something because of their fear of rejection, and so they’d rather sit in limbo rather than risk being turned down. Some guys have serious self-esteem issues that are very difficult to get past. And yeah, there are Beta guys that can certainly benefit from gathering the strength to just step up to the plate and make that move on the worthy women who may not have the time or desire to have an extended pre-date period.
But all people are a mixed bag of blessings and flaws, and Beta men who are a little shy or feel the need to spend some time laying the groundwork before having the confidence to ask you out… those really aren’t so bad as far as flaws go. Those are flaws that become irrelevant as time goes by– as he gets to know you better, and gets to know the two of you together, he will gain the confidence and ease with you that women want in a mate. And in exchange for having the patience to endure the pre-date period, you get all the blessings that I talked about in my blogpost on Simply Solo… and that might be a pretty good deal.
So what do you think? Does this make sense, or am I way off base?