Dating Tropes Explained – Part X – “Being Alpha”

Anyone ever tell you to “be alpha”?

Yeah. If you’ve been reading male dating advice for more than a couple weeks, you’ve surely come across this phrase.

And, when most of us get advice, we do the practical, obvious thing (don’t we?) – we go out and use it.

Thing is, that doesn’t quite work with “being alpha.” Part of it is that “being alpha,” as a doctrine, is very vague and confusing. Here’s what most people (who don’t really understand it) think it means:

  • Alphas act confident.
  • Alphas take charge.
  • Alphas aren’t allowed to talk about feelings, show interest, or do anything that might otherwise seem weak – especially to other Alphas.
  • Alphas don’t take no disrespect
  • Alphas go to the gym and can lift like, 400 lbs!
  • No, no, no, true Alphas don’t care what other people think they look like!
  • You kidding me? Alphas are the most attractive guy in the room, 60 percent of the time, EVERY time!
  • Okay, fine – but you have to agree that Alphas practice THESE particular sports, but not THOSE sports – those aren’t alpha enough!
  • Bullshit! Alphas do what they want, when they want, all the time, without giving a rat’s ass about other people!
  • You’re thinking of sociopaths.
  • ALPHA!

… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See that? That’s a fundamental lack of understanding of what being alpha truly means. If I were to encapsulate the never-ending debate surrounding alpha-ism, most people seem to think that being alpha is a big old circle-jerk of inferiority complexes.

And sadly, based on my vast pool of anecdotal evidence and my own condescending proclivities (hey, you’ve been listening to me insult you directly for 40-some articles, don’t tell me you didn’t know), most people are not far from the truth when they think that about people who are “trying to be alpha.”

But, see, that’s the thing. Looking at someone who is trying (ie failing) at being alpha, and then judging the concept based on that, is like meeting someone who is trying to be a fish and saying that because a man can’t breathe under water, fish suck at life.

But, occasionally, you meet an actual alpha, and you realize you have no idea what the f*ck you’re talking about, because, hey, it’s a normal person. You didn’t realize he was being any particular way because a real alpha is just himself – and who he happens to be is someone who invariably kicks ass at whatever he wants to kick ass at, and doesn’t at whatever he doesn’t. He doesn’t, like, answer to YOU, maaaan.

Let that sink in: Being alpha is all about being the ultimate expression of who YOU are, and is thus whatever the hell you want to make it mean.**

**My job is to make sure you truly know who you want to be. Very rarely is it “prince charming who gets walked all over by everyone in his life because he lacks a spine.”

Haven’t you been reading Dating Doctrine?

“But Vichet,” you protest. “Your site is funny and clever and has really good advice! It CAN’T be about becoming alpha like those douchebags I see at bars who all dress the same and dry hump everything they can get their arms around!”

I’m gonna let you in on a secret: misconceptions like the one you have are why I use terms like the “Ultimate Man” – because such a term doesn’t bring to mind the negative connotations that jaded folks out there have pasted onto seduction advice. In fact, misconceptions like that are why the entire “Dating Tropes Explained” series exists.

Really think about the fact that the way you go about your existence is in your hands, along with the consequences of your actions. If you can be at peace with that, you are on the way to becoming alpha.

No, this is not your license to drop everything and turn back into a whiny bitch.

So, again, look at the Ultimate Man. You think he has any of the following thoughts when he goes out?

  • “I’m not talking to her right now. I should go talk to her. Be alpha!”
  • “I’m not standing cool enough. I need to, like, stand cooler. Be alpha!”
  • “My wang isn’t bulging through my pants enough. I need to readjust. Be alpha!”
  • “Super Secret Forbidden Pick-Up Technique, OCTOBER MAAAAAAAAAAAAN!”
  • “It’s over 9000!”

If you think the Ultimate Man has any of those thoughts, you would be wrong, sir. In fact, the Ultimate Man probably doesn’t have any thoughts about how he should act in the moment at all. He just IS. He acts a certain way, because he IS a certain way.

Chuck Palahniuk already had Tyler Durden (the literary character, not the dating coach, though he probably agrees) say it best: “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”

The Ultimate Man isn’t born – he’s made. He trained himself to be that way. He started out like you or me – with those thoughts, with those doubts, with people telling him to “be alpha.” After many, many, many failures and a lifetime of introspection and shifting mindsets, he has landed on complete freedom from external constructs. He is the Ultimate Man, and doesn’t think about a thing when it comes to how he should express himself. He is the Ultimate Man when he sleeps, when he showers, when he leaves the house, when he’s at work, when he’s talking to a guy, when he’s talking to a girl – in ANY context, he is still the Ultimate Man, because it’s something he has become, not something he thinks about doing.

A tiger doesn’t think about being a tiger. He doesn’t leave his tiger house in the tiger morning for the tiger office job and think “I’m going to be really TIGER today!”

And that’s the difference.

So in conclusion, I want to be very clear when I say this: if you have to think about being “alpha,” then you are not.

Being alpha is an end that becomes a mean. You develop yourself as a person, and internalize those developments, so your attitudes and ways of being are as natural as walking, breathing, or, you know, hadokens.


Don’t get me wrong – you don’t become alpha overnight. Your mindset is intertwined with your daily actions and your habits. In order to shift one, you have to shift the other, and vice-versa, little by little, every day.

When you’re shy (assuming you don’t want to be), you need guys like me to make you accountable, giving you that kick in the ass to make moves in spite of your shyness. But a funny thing happens. After a while, you don’t need guys like me anymore for that particular thing. It just becomes natural.

So, things like the techniques and tropes of dating advice are key steps.

Just remember, they’re not the END of your development as a person. When you get to the crossroads with your newfound power, you’ll be thinking “what next?”

That’s when you need to start really listening to yourself, what you want, and who you want to be. And be that every day, in every context, until you want to be something else. THEN, you’d be alpha, in the sense that it should be understood.

Of course, if you’re alpha already, you probably could care less about the title.