On In Mala Fide, Joseph Dantes relates the stories of himself and a friend, and how they managed and mismanaged long-term relationships. He links to another blog which talks about balancing alpha and beta traits to maintain an LTR. (This isn’t unique to this blog, Athol Kay talks about this all the time, but this guy has a more analytical perspective on it.)
Briefly, Joseph manages to maintain his live-in relationship, despite quitting his job, and his friend Sam fails. Joseph makes a very important observation here, which is that while he comes from a healthy family environment, and can comfortably perform the beta aspect of a relationship, Sam does not and cannot.
I hate it when guys rip on betaness. 80% of enjoyable human life is based on betaness. Kindness, affection, caring, and even dependence are nothing to be scorned or feared, but rather to be embraced and treasured. Just because they aren’t everything doesn’t mean they are nothing, quite the opposite, the whole point of alphaness is to enable yourself to enjoy betaness.
Or I think it is for most guys; for me anyway. Some guys learn alpha traits without every learning beta traits. My semi-natural friend Carl is like this. His parents were both pretty type A people and his dad walked out when he was 14. He gets laid easily but has really bonded to only one woman, whom he met while working overseas after he was married. But he wouldn’t leave his wife- who he does not love, at least in the way I think of as love. I knew another guy, who had a very rough, nasty, type A, high-testosterone father, successful but a real asshole, who went through a lot of women. I suspect Roissy falls into this category also, but I don’t know his family history. Sam seems to be an extreme example of this, unusual in that he was an AFC, but learned game and got a lot of women.
This brings me back to myself, omegas, and students of game in general. I think of myself as a nice person, but maybe I’m not. I don’t like or trust many people- hardly any people really- and I’m suspicious of kindness, niceness, and charity, which from the way my mother believed in them seemed like sucker’s games. I’m capable of being very kind and tender but this is something I am very reserved with. My sister has some trouble with her employees, who seem to think she’s kind of difficult to work for and short-tempered. My sister is very giving with some people, who usually don’t deserve it from what I can tell, but she is locked in to the family rule of always putting others first and not looking after yourself.
Alpha behavior has a lot of value. It’s necessary to get what you want and avoid being manipulated by other people. But by itself it won’t allow you to enjoy warmth and closeness with other people. A guy with good beta traits but poor alpha traits will have good relationships with people, but without any control. A guy with good alpha traits but poor beta traits will be successful at getting what he wants from people, including sex from women, but will be frustrated in forming strong emotional bonds.
If you have neither, you are in a bit of a pickle. If you don’t have an avoidant personality, alpha traits- at least on some level- aren’t hard to learn. You have to deal with a lot of failure and rejection from women, but if you frame it as a learning experience and don’t care, it’s only a matter of a little practice. My big barrier in learning game is my avoidance.
Learning beta behavior? Trusting and opening up to others? Being appropriately caring, supportive and empathetic with others? I don’t know how you learn that as an adult. You are supposed to learn these things in your family of origin. If you don’t you are likely to see all these things as negatives, “acting beta” in the horrified observation of game practitioners, when being beta is a necessity of normal, healthy relationships. I get the feeling I have done a lot of uncaring asshole game completely without meaning it.
All I can say is, don’t be afraid of being beta when it seems socially appropriate. If your behavior with a woman- or other person- is fundamentally alpha in a positive way, that is assertive and self-respectful, you can show empathy and kindness and it will not only not harm you, it will benefit both you and the other person.