I have a crush on a married man.

I’ve had enough of crushes by now to deal with them with placidity. The reason I stopped to think about this one, is that the guy in question is so different from the kind of man I’m usually attracted to.

He isn’t abnormally brilliant, isn’t a fanatic super-achiever, is not drop-dead gorgeous. He has a normal job, not-too-different ideas on books, music, movies and politics. He has some friends, is neither a loner nor a social butterfly. He loves his wife without being a slave to her and is fun enough on his own. He’s the kind of guy that it’s easy to be friends with, whether you’re a guy or a girl. He isn’t Mr.Gorgeous, not a Bad Boy or even a Pedigreed Pup. He’s just a regular guy with a regular life. While I wouldn’t go so far to call him ordinary (no one is really, when you get to know them), prima facie there’s nothing supremely extraordinary about him. In short, he’s just not an Alpha Male. Let’s call him the Beta Male.

It was Hyde who gave me this phrase while explaining the concept to me. He said that most women today were dazzled by the flashier, more visible men who invariably hurt them. And they paid no heed to the Beta Male who could be just as intelligent, charming and caring as they wanted but just wasn’t as easy to notice. Well those weren’t his exact words but I think that was the gist of it. Correct me if I’m wrong please, sir…and thank you for a great idea, it has taken me a year to understand the gravity of it.

Now coming back, I find that this is the sort of man I most likely would have overlooked (probably still do). I don’t think I’ve ever been the bitchy sort, deliberately snubbing people but well….by my own admission, indifference is the worst sort of treatment. The Beta Male is someone who has taken a few knocks and understands what it is to fail. It also makes him a little easier on other people’s flaws and also not obsessed with being Superlative, even at the cost of other people’s emotions. The Beta Male has a world bigger than himself…and hey, it’s actually quite a nice place. I know… I’ve been friends with some Beta Males and yes, they really are great people. I have seen them make mistakes, I’ve watched them fail, I’ve known them to be human beings.

Quite a drastic difference from the men I’ve dated. No wonder I see boyfriends and male friends as two separate species! They are Alpha Males and Beta Males respectively.

I allow myself a brief moment of regret while I reflect on the fact that if I had been a tad wiser in the choices of my heart I might have been a happier, much less cynical person in love today. A lot of my Beta Male friends are married, some of my girlfriends married Beta Males after having dated the Alpha Males. Is that what maturity is about? Learning to discern the gilt from what truly is precious? In that case, I salute you, women of wisdom greater than mine…and finally the hitherto unsung Beta Male. You are a better human being than I have ever been. I’ve been a trophy collector, no better than my boyfriends.

There are times when I think that your bad choices come back to haunt you. And then again, it would seem like the good choices that you never made hang around to make you realize just what an idiot you yourself are. Ah, Tantalus, you live on in each of us, everyday!

9 thoughts on “The Beta Male”
  1. This may seem a little weird, but I like both. Believe it or not they are similar in a lot of ways. Alpha may be loud and boisterous, but Beta can be quiet and sneaky.. Alpha may be a “Dog” in your face, but Beta can be a “Playa” behind your back. I have brothers, tons of male cousins, and they are all different, but when you get right down to it they’re kind of all the same, only difference may be that they handle their situations/business differently…. (just a lil insight)

  2. idea smith,
    interesting. liked the honesty, the observation and above all the turn of phrase in this. to be frank, the term ‘beta male’ is new to me but i have known for a while that they exist and i like the distinction you make between the two. and the phrase ‘has a world bigger than himself’ – it says so much.

    on a more flippant note — reading as I did, this post after reading ‘in praise of the older woman’ i was wondering whether the ‘beta’ was the greek or the hindi in ‘beta male’

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