Alpha Males In Relationships: Characteristics And How To Deal

Dating experience | |
Updated On: February 5, 2024
alpha males in relationships

Alpha males in relationships take greater risks, reveals a new study from Concordia University. In fact, Concordia doctoral student, Eric Stenstrom explained, “Since women tend to be attracted to men who are fit, assertive, and rich, men are apt to take risks with sports, people, and money to be attractive to potential mates. What’s interesting is that this tendency is influenced by testosterone exposure — more testosterone in the womb can lead to more risks in the rink, the bar, and the trading floor in later in life.”

On that note, is your man a risk-taker aka alpha? Is he assertive and confident? Are you wondering about the signs an alpha male likes you? If that’s the case, should you be doing things differently to really connect with him? Let’s find out everything you need to know about alpha male relationship psychology.

Who Is An Alpha Male?

What does alpha mean in a relationship? To understand that, let’s go back to the origins of the word. The term stems from the concept of socio-sexual hierarchy coined by American writer Theodore Robert Beale. Here are the 6 personality types in the hierarchy which cover a wide spectrum of socio-sexuality: Alpha, Sigma, Beta, Delta, Gamma, and Omega. Even though Beale’s concept is widely disregarded today as being misogynistic and inaccurate, the notion has stuck.

“Alpha personalities are… confident, charismatic, goal-directed, intelligent, and self-motivated,” says Dr. John Tholen, a retired psychologist and author of Focused Positivity. It’s not hard to see why one may be attracted to alpha personalities. After all, these men are characterized as:

  • Very good at leading group tasks and climbing the social hierarchy
  • An epitome of assertive/confident body language
  • Natural leaders and usually extroverted people-pleasers

Alpha males are the kind of people who enter a room and immediately take charge. And they do such a good job at it that no one questions their authority. These men exude confidence and appear to be in command of any situation that comes their way. The alpha male psychology makes them believe they’re destined for greatness, and you’ll most likely find in them an innate desire to achieve worldly success. Let’s take a look at exactly what they’re like, so you can spot them easily (well, they are hard to miss).

Related Reading: Love Bombing – What Is It And How To Know If You Are Dating A Love Bomber

7 Characteristics Of An Alpha Male

An alpha male is confident, assertive, charismatic, and capable of taking charge of situations. If you’re in love with such a man, you’re definitely not dating a man-child. Nor someone who is in constant need of attention and validation. The problem is that pop culture sometimes misrepresents alpha male traits. It depicts these men as cocky, dominating, and narcissistic. However, this depiction doesn’t paint an accurate picture of their behavior patterns. Learning about the characteristics of an alpha male will help change your perspective:

1. He is courageous

One of the hallmarks of the alpha male personality and a driving force behind their take-charge attitude. This means that alpha males in relationships won’t give up on their partners and bolt when the going gets tough. As long as they believe in you, you can count on them to stay by your side and fight the odds. This usually translates very well in a romantic sense, since alpha males in relationships:

  • Aren’t afraid of going after what they want
  • Strike up a conversation with you a lot more confidently than others
  • Don’t let minor problems get in the way of a lasting bond

2. He is in control of his emotions

Another one of the archetype alpha male characteristics is their ability to be in control of their emotions. Owing to this tendency, they’re often mistaken for being cold and detached. Perhaps, to an extent, that assessment is true. But this ability to not let his emotions spiral out of control is what allows an alpha male to handle challenging, high-pressure situations effectively.

He realizes the importance of emotional intelligence and makes sure he’s not spending valuable time crying over spilled milk. Whether it’s getting fired from a job or being dumped by the love of his life, he will not let a meltdown control his actions. Instead, he will calm his mind and plan the best course of action to handle the situation.

3. Alpha males in relationships like to be challenged

Who is an alpha male? Someone who likes to be in the driver’s seat, steering the course of his life, staying in total control of his circumstances. Given that he is in control of so much, he enjoys being challenged every now and again. Here’s the alpha male psychological profile:

  • When he faces new challenges, you’ll see a desire in him to want to succeed
  • He doesn’t shy away from stressful situations and is a pro at tough decisions
  • When life throws lemons at him, he probably has a whole business model planned out for his new lemonade brand

What type of woman is an alpha male attracted to, you wonder? Someone who keeps him on his toes. Someone who is complex, mysterious, and capable of challenging him. If he doesn’t find something that’s going to entice him, he won’t embrace emotional vulnerability and may move on easily. The only time an alpha male will pursue a woman is when he thinks it’s going to be exciting and challenging.

4. He is driven by purpose

alpha male characteristics

Alpha men without purpose are like fish without water. They simply cannot survive, much less thrive, if they’re not constantly working toward a goal. Whether it’s climbing up the corporate ladder, using their passion to excel in a sport, or even taking their relationships to the next step, they’re driven by a quest for progress and improvement. You will never see an alpha male floating through life aimlessly. If your man always aims for the stars and never lets his goals waver, it’s one of the biggest signs an alpha male likes you.

5. His doesn’t let just one aspect of his life define him

Alpha men are great at striking a work-life balance. So, they attach equal importance to their work, relationships, friends, hobbies, health and family, to live a well-rounded life. The best part is that they value personal space in a relationship.

6. He takes care of his body

Alpha males in relationships are a good influence on their loved ones. Here’s why:

  • They have an active lifestyle and focus on physical strength
  • They are self-aware and know when to eat healthy and when to cheat on their diet
  • They may struggle with their feminine side/perfect yin and yang balance but they excel at nurturing their masculine side

7. He is extremely protective

The alpha male relationship psychology is all about protecting their partner. If you’re being treated poorly, he won’t stay mum. He won’t shy away from being chivalrous and making you feel safe. He will set some really high standards that most people won’t be able to meet. But that is also an alpha male weakness. He may get aggressive or start a fight to protect you. He may even display the signs of an overprotective boyfriend.

Though they may sound great on paper, it’s possible the varying intensities of emotions might end up making a few of these fine gentlemen a bit harsher than the rest. In some cases, you might even struggle to figure out how to deal with an alpha male in a relationship.

Related Reading: 11 Tips To Deal With A Narcissist Boyfriend Smartly

How To Deal With An Alpha Male?

Alpha males in relationships might always be self-aware. But you may end up discovering personality traits that are not exactly easy to put up with. What seemed sexy at first may become an irritant or a chronic relationship issue if you don’t know how to deal with the alpha male mentality. This can leave you feeling confused.

We know it is quite difficult, but don’t worry, it isn’t impossible because we have sorted it out for you. Here are 11 ways that can help you deal with an alpha male:

1. Let him take the lead

Alpha men tend to be perfectionists. They want to do things themselves and take the credit. Unfortunately, this trait might make you feel lonely in your relationship. But, if you love this man, you have to give him the space to be himself. That means letting him take the lead, especially when it comes to things that are important to him. Alphas feel extremely joyful when they take on responsibility. You can also switch the driver’s seat, depending on the situation. As a Reddit user mentions, “Don’t compete against him. A&A. Talk to him. Be alpha WITH him. Give each other value..”

2. Calmly communicate the things you do not like about him

You might get really frustrated being with a partner who is extremely proud of himself. However, it is crucial to penetrate the wall of pride delicately, without making him feel attacked. In addition to a sense of pride, a tendency to come across as overconfident or unwittingly embarrassing you in front of others can be common alpha male traits in dating. Most of the time, he may not even be aware that his actions may be embarrassing to you. Being his partner, you will have to:

  • Improve communication with him
  • Point out instances where you felt any negative emotions because of his alpha male personality
  • Talk about what bothers you and find solutions together (don’t blame him though)

This is not going to be easy because the first time you bring it up, he’s probably going to get defensive about it. An alpha male always thinks that he is right. It might take a while for you to be able to tackle his responses but try not to give up on him. Persevere and persist, and you will get through to him eventually.

characteristics of an alpha male

3. Be as straightforward as you can

Another one of the typical alpha male characteristics is a tendency to dominate. These men know how to get things done, so they are very authoritative. They tend to bring this personality trait into their relationships as well. You definitely do not want to do things just because he said so. Maybe once in a while, you can do something to make him happy but not if it affects your peace of mind. So, you have to learn to identify the signs that he is dominating and say “no”:

  • When he wants you to cancel your girl’s night to meet his friends and you know that you cannot compromise on this, say it
  • Rather than beating around the bush, trying to find ways to not hurt his sentiments, say it right to his face
  • Do things you truly want to do, instead of taking his opinions only and compromising your own needs

To him, being the alpha male in relationships is all about control. It may be his way or the highway, but you cannot keep making sacrifices just to please him. Stay firm about your choices. He might feel hurt and may try various ways to get you to change your mind. Gradually, he will understand and get used to it, even if he doesn’t like it.

4. Make sure he doesn’t make you feel inferior

Alphas excel in almost every aspect of their life. This can cause them to become a little too sure of themselves. They cannot stop talking about their glories/achievements. While this may seem fascinating at first, after you spend a considerable amount of time as romantic partners, his superiority complex can turn into an irritant. You may even wonder if he is a selfish husband. In fact, a relationship with an alpha male can even trigger an inferiority complex in you. If that happens, you must identify the negative self-talk, eliminate it, and replace it with positive self-affirmation.

Related Reading: My Husband Has An Inferiority Complex And Is Abusive. Please Help.

5. Start taking authority of your own life

With an alpha, it is important to be independent financially and emotionally. There might be days when you fight and he may list out everything he has done for you and that is not going to be a pleasant conversation. This is why, from the beginning, stay in control of your own life.

  • He is your partner and you should definitely take his opinions, but make sure the final decision is yours
  • It should be made clear to him that no amount of manipulation will give him control of your life
  • It’s time to stand up and let him know that things are going to change from now on

6. NEVER, ever tolerate an alpha male’s tantrums in a relationship

Do not placate his ego just to end an argument. You cannot encourage his desire to always have his way because it will only encourage him to continue doing it. Even if you have a disagreement, show him that it is possible and important to fight respectfully.

Related Reading: Dealing With A Cranky Husband – 13 Tips That Work

Whenever you are in a fight and he decides to storm out of the house and vows to not come back, keep your cool and let him go. After an hour or two when you don’t give him the attention he wants, he’ll come back, confused as to why his tantrum didn’t do the trick. Eventually, he will get the message that disrespecting you is not going to get him what he wants.

7. Meditation can help deal with the stress

While there are very few things that you can change about a person, there are surely a lot more things to change about yourself. Dealing with an angry partner can be difficult. Most of the time, you will end up feeling annoyed and frustrated. But if you value your relationship and want to make it work, make sure you learn to handle things calmly.

A composed mind can become your biggest strength, especially in dealing with his behavior patterns. For that, take 10-15 minutes a day for yourself to meditate. Or you could do anything that makes you feel calm. It could be soothing music and closed eyes or yoga or exercising.

8. Accept that alpha males in relationships are perfectionists

You have to understand alpha male psychology. He holds you to high standards because that’s just his way of being. It has nothing to do with you. He expects out of you what he expects out of himself. Science says lasting relationships come down to 2 basic traits: kindness and generosity. So, be kind to him when he is not kind to himself.

unhealthy relationship unhealthy relationship

9. Stay in touch with your hobbies

How to be irresistible to an alpha male, you wonder? Or what type of woman is an alpha male attracted to? Someone who has a life of her own. So, don’t let your hopes, dreams, and passions take a backseat just because you’re in a relationship with a man with a big personality. Want to pursue a Master’s degree? Go for it. Want to take up a language class? Sign up. Want to do more volunteer work with your friends? Make it happen. Remember, the more you invest in yourself, the more high-value you become to him. And if you diminish your life to fit into the role of his partner, he will lose respect for you.

10. Be mysterious

Who is an alpha male and what does he look for? The answer to this question can be summed up in three words: surprises, spontaneity, and independence. Keep him on his toes, and soon you will see the signs he is ready to settle down with you. This doesn’t mean that you start playing hard to get but try to keep things interesting to make an alpha male chase you. If you continuously change things up, he will start spending more time with you, take you on dates, spoil you, and treat you like his best friend. Let him do some hard work!

11. Know when to walk away

If despite your best efforts to deal with the dominant male traits in your partner, the relationship gets too overbearing to handle, you have to learn to prioritize yourself. If there’s alpha male toxic masculinity, walk away, no matter how hard it seems. Know that nothing is more important than your peace of mind. Do whatever it takes to have a good and successful relationship with an alpha male but make sure you know where to draw the line. Do not harm your emotional well-being in order to love a person.

Key Pointers

  • Alpha males in relationships are natural leaders and extroverted people-pleasers
  • A good sense of responsibility, a need to be challenged and an active lifestyle are some of their defining characteristics
  • To deal with an alpha male, you need assertive but calm communication
  • Don’t forget to nurture your hobbies and practice mindfulness meditation to soothe your mind
  • If an alpha becomes abusive or toxic, then you have to let him go

A man who is alpha is never going to be able to change his basic nature since it’s pretty much ingrained in him. You can only find a way to live peacefully with him, as is the case in any other relationship. But that’s not to say that they’re bad people. Alpha males in relationships may just end up being extremely caring and loving since they value what’s important to them and aren’t shy to admit it.

FAQs

1. What do alpha males want in a relationship?

Alpha males in relationships want excitement and fulfillment. As opposed to the common perception that because of their dominating nature, alpha males desire partners who are meek and submissive. They thrive in relationships where their partner challenges them.

2. Do alpha males cheat?

No. In fact, honesty and loyalty are extremely important to make a relationship with an alpha work. Not only do they expect it in a partner, but also make sure they practice what they preach. But you can expect them to be faithful only when they’re emotionally invested in their partner.

3. Are alpha males narcissists?

No, there are some alpha male vs narcissist differences. An alpha male is typically considered to be a confident, assertive, and successful individual, who is respected by others and takes a leadership role. A narcissist, on the other hand, is someone who has an excessive sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy for others. 

4. How does an alpha male show love?

An alpha male shows love by being a dependable partner. Alpha males in relationships won’t give up their partners and bolt when the going gets tough. As long as they believe in the relationship, you can count on them to stay by your side and fight the odds.

5. What makes alpha males fall in love?

When an alpha male knows that you will always have his back, he’s bound to feel love towards you. Loyalty, trust and honesty are all aspects of a relationship that alphas can not compromise on, and by knowing they’re a part of a healthy dynamic, they’re going to feel a lot more invested in it. Also, you can make a power couple if you have dominant woman traits.

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Readers Comments On “Alpha Males In Relationships: Characteristics And How To Deal”

  1. I’m in a new and long-distance relationship with an alpha male. I’m very strong and also very emotional and sensitive. We met at a time when I am EXTRA sensitive and emotional due to circumstances and some health/hormonal challenges. He fell fast and hard in love with me, and I took a little longer. Which he had a very hard time with. He’s very hard on me—except when we are together in person. Because then he can take care of and comfort me through challenges. He’s taken a new job even further away than before (was already pursuing prior to our meeting—he has since looked for work near me—but there is not as much available without him taking a step backwards in his career path), and consequently he’s more concerned about the distance and not having me close by (I’m in schooling for a career change for 2 more years. It may be possible to look into schools near him, but he needs to be the one to suggest it). Ok—my question (finally!!!). I have had a few hesitations as far as moving forward with him. My “fear” frustrates him. So much so, that he has pulled back as he embarks on this new transition. Problem is—we both agree—we’ve never had this good of a “match”—in a romantic partner. Ok NOW my question: Do I let it be and not contact him? Hold my ground? Or—is there a way to reach out to him to suggest that—he’s a F*****G idiot if he lets me go? (Gentler, of course). I’m in new territory and have never been with such a l grown-up man before. Signed Not-yet-heartbroken in California

  2. I’m in a new and long-distance relationship with an alpha male. I’m very strong and also very emotional and sensitive. We met at a time when I am EXTRA sensitive and emotional due to circumstances and some health/hormonal challenges. He fell fast and hard in love with me, and I took a little longer. Which he had a very hard time with. He’s very hard on me—except when we are together in person. Because then he can take care of and comfort me through challenges. He’s taken a new job even further away than before (was already pursuing prior to our meeting—he has since looked for work near me—but there is not as much available without him taking a step backwards in his career path), and consequently he’s more concerned about the distance and not having me close by (I’m in schooling for a career change for 2 more years. It may be possible to look into schools near him, but he needs to be the one to suggest it). Ok—my question (finally!!!). I have had a few hesitations as far as moving forward with him. My “fear” frustrates him. So much so, that he has pulled back as he embarks on this new transition. Problem is—we both agree—we’ve never had this good of a “match”—in a romantic partner. Ok NOW my question: Do I let it be and not contact him? Hold my ground? Or—is there a way to reach out to him to suggest that—he’s a F*****G idiot if he lets me go? (Gentler, of course). I’m in new territory and have never been with such a l grown-up man before.

  3. Hello. I am in a relationship with an Alpha male, it is getting unbearable. My question is, what happens when we get children? He will likely not “allow” me to take decisions on parenting because this is not about MY life, it is about the life of another human we have both created together. I am ruminating over this every second and it is really affecting my mental health. Many thanks, NB.

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