For the purposes of this post, let's use these definition:
Alpha male - The leader of the pack. Dominant male, the guy who seems most at ease in his own skin. Generally can essentially marry or date any woman of his choice. The alpha male is often good-looking, has a great build, and may have a relatively high socioeconomic status. Next on the hierarchy is beta, second in command considered an alpha in waiting. Then gamma, delta and omega.
Le Ninja Nouveau (Lenny for short) and I are participating in a 30-day fitness challenge with Jayme C, her husband and four other folks. We each had a certain number of calories to stay under per day, a certain number of calories to burn per week, and a target heart rate to achieve and sustain during our workouts. Three days on, one day off, three days on for the workout schedule. We have guys vs. girls with the ladies picking the exercise one day and the gents picking the activity the next. More about that in a series I'm sending over to the Fresh Xpress. Suffice it to say, it's been eye-opening. Is it May yet? A sister is tired.
One day, we were all congregating at Chez Carter. They have an awesome workout/media room that saves us from making complete fools of ourselves in public when we try something new. Let the record reflect that the workouts were going smoothly until Ms. Jayme decided that in lieu of working out one day, we should have fajitas and margaritas on her patio. To be fair, the record should also reflect that none of us put up too much of a fight to ditching the sweat and firing up the grill and the blender.
Three hours later, Jayme decided to start some mess. She asked me and Ninja Nouveau if we had experienced our first fight yet. [Why, Jayme, why?] I said no, he said yes.
I sent him a look. "When did we fight?"
He sent me one back. "Over the thing the other day?"
"That wasn't a fight, it was a spirited discussion."
"You raised your voice in disagreement, that's a fight."
"You said... and I quote, 'Fall back woman -I got this.' Hell yes, I disagreed."
He shrugged, "We worked it out."
I rolled my eyes and fell silent. Not sure we worked it out as much as we agreed to disagree on what were originally discussing and left it at that.
Jayme (who was a few margaritas in) laughed, "You two have an alpha problem."
I was confused. He's an Alpha. I didn't pledge. What was she talking about?
"Not Alpha Phi Alpha. But alpha alpha. As in he's an alpha male and you're an alpha female. It's always going to be a tussle to see who running in the lead position."
"I'm not an alpha female."
Everybody at the table laughed.... except me. "No I'm serious, I think I'm beta exuding some alpha-like qualities. From what I've read the alpha female is kind of a rigid condescending b*tch. And I'm sweet as pie."
Jayme choked on her drink, "The alpha female is b*tchy in such a way that others excuse it because she's charming so it just comes across as a strong opinion. Men want to be with her, women want to be her. She's a great gal pal unless there's an agenda she's not down with and then she's out. She's busy and not waiting around for a man to do what she can do herself. She pays her own way. She's confident, she's driven and takes no shiggity. Men have to work to get her and keep her. Sound familiar?"
Lenny says, "It does to me." He earned a side-eye.
"But..." I wanted to be clear, "I don't automatically assume the lead position. Especially not with an alpha male. I'm only alpha by circumstance or necessity. Otherwise, I'm totally chill in the beta position."
Jayme nodded, "Okay, I will say that you're not initimidating, you're very approachable and though you like to get your own way, you give in gracefully if you don't. And you've found a way to be confident without being a vain egomaniac. We'll call you alpha-beta."
Then Lenny tried to make an argument about not being the alpha male and his two friends shut him down and reminded him that he had nicknames in college "The Alpha's Alpha" and "Top Dog". Ni-ice.
So this got me to thinking - do I only date alpha? Do I prefer alpha to beta or even omega males? Maybe (okay definitely) in the past, I've dated omega who only pretended to be alpha and then I was irked because I had to step out of my beta comfort zone. Hmmm. Food for thought. Can we fall back on the cliché: it takes a strong woman to be with a strong man? Or is it vice versa? Anyway...
Ladies - let's start with you, do you think you're an alpha female? Take the quiz to see.
Gents - Your quiz is over on my Tumblr page. Sorry, I couldn't fit it here so it would look pretty.
BougieLand (ladies and gents) - what say you? Where do you think you fall? Are you drawn more to alpha or beta significant others? How much do you think it matters in relationship dynamics? Thoughts on leading the pack? What's so wrong with hanging in the middle or bringing up the rear? Any insights, commentary, feedback?