in this post and this post i laid out a basic framework for a set of traits that approximate the idea of “alpha”, as pertaining to long-term relationships, graded from -10 to 10. as some readers pointed out, however, the term “alpha” has been bandied about so much that it inevitably causes confusion — so here’s another way to think about it: the idea of “alpha”, as proposed in this series, is strongly correlated with the notion of “yang” in the yin/yang dynamic, as articulated in chinese philosophy.
here are the eight such traits that have already been discussed.
alpha/yang trait 1: sexual dominance
alpha/yang trait 2: sexual aggression
alpha/yang trait 3: control the conversation
alpha/yang trait 4: all interaction is sexually charged
alpha/yang trait 5: authority
alpha/yang trait 6: independence
alpha/yang trait 7: dismissiveness
alpha/yang trait 8: comfort in own skin / ability to cause others to adapt
…and below i’ll discuss one more:
ALPHA/YANG TRAIT 9: INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER WOMEN
-10 = in the event that other women are in sight, his every movement and gesture is an exaggerated, purposeful effort to look away from them — even if his woman is hundreds of miles away
-5 = completely ignores the sexual presence of other women if his own woman is present, as if neutered; can’t or won’t flirt or return flirtation, even completely innocently
0 = glances appreciatively at other women, but won’t interact with them, if his woman is present; may flirt briefly and innocently with other women in his woman’s absence, but with no intention of following through or progressing to the point of non-negligible sexual tension
+5 = engages and flirts playfully with other women, and has little shame about returning their flirtations, in his woman’s presence; normally keeps the tension playful and brief, but may occasionally escalate to the point where his woman feels disregarded or even purposely snubbed (a feeling that usually dissipates somewhat quickly). flirts aggressively with other women in her absence; normally able to control himself in such situations; never drives the final steps of an extracurricular dalliance himself, but may occasionally fall into the web of a particularly seductive interloper if their flirtation escalates too far
+10 = in social situations where other desirable women are present, uses his own woman almost solely a prop to attract more playmates, whether she’s ultimately to be included in those activities or not; in her absence, continues to seduce women as usual, mentioning his own woman/women only in order to evoke preselection and stir up other women’s jealous desires; brings other women home regularly, even if he lives with his woman/women, with no apology — just an invitation to join, or a harsh temporary dismissal — if she walks in on them in flagrante
and then there were nine.
what so often goes unnoticed, especially in discussions about shorter-term pickups (for which cutting one’s losses is hardly a big deal), is the notion that all yang and no yin makes jack a sociopathic boy. a successful relationship requires a viable balance of alpha (yang) and beta (yin) traits.
the use of this word is not an accident. in fact, a greater degree of alpha (yang) should be paired with a likewise GREATER degree of beta (yin), and vice versa, in almost direct contravention of just about everything else that is stated in this little corner of the knowledge jungle.
to this end, then, a brief and slipshod attempt to define a few of the key beta (yin) traits.
BETA/YIN TRAIT 1: GENERAL AFFECTION
-10 = he doesn’t ever want to touch her with his own hands, look her in the face, or sit/stand directly facing her
-5 = he occasionally takes her hand, gives her small kisses, or touches her, usually at times dictated by standards of manners or decorum; no spontaneous displays of affection in public; very little eye contact, always brief when it does occur
0 = some spontaneous displays of affection in public, but usually in tritely “romantic” situations; any amorous gestures outside of such contexts occur only after several units of alcohol; more common, but still brief, eye contact
+5 = frequent bursts of public affection, often completely unexpected (and often unexpectedly passionate); prolonged eye contact on a regular basis; frequent touching in almost all situations that are not physically/situationally awkward
+10 = constant public displays of affection, regardless of whether she telegraphs awkwardness; staring into her eyes almost constantly, like a hungry dog latching onto a guest at a cookout; hands and/or arms in almost constant contact with her, even when physically or situationally awkward
note that “eye contact”, in the above, refers to the tender, loving form of eye contact — not to be confused with the “sexual predator stare” or with the stare of an angry disciplinarian / disappointed master
BETA/YIN TRAIT 2: MATERIAL PROVISION
-10 = he won’t give her a red cent (note that this is NOT the same as “he takes from her”)
-5 = he grudgingly pays the bare minimum
0 = he pays for things in accordance with his means, and well within his comfort zone; he doesn’t splurge on her unless HE also wants whatever he’s splurging on (e.g. plastic surgery, lingerie, slutty clothes, vacations that HE wants to go on)
+5 = he pays for her things slightly beyond his normal comfort zone — as much, or more than, for any of his previous women — but still well within his means
+10 = he buys her not only everything she wants, but also everything she says she wants and everything he thinks she might want, spending well above his actual means
two VERY important considerations for this slider.
note that the above criteria are relative, not absolute, in two ways: (a) relative to the man’s means, and (b) relative to his comfort zone.
both of these are crucial.
the first is obvious — a weekend getaway in a $300/night hotel suite is clearly different to a middle-class man than to a rich man — but the second is underappreciated, especially in the PUA community.
specifically, if a man is dropping sizable amounts of cash, there’s a world of difference between doing so in an aloof, casual, unconcerned way, such that he is obviously calling the shots and her role as the beneficiary is almost incidental, and doing so in a conscious effort to please her or buy her affection. when men spend money on women, it should be mostly in the former way: she should not be the primary focus — even, ironically, when he’s buying things for her. if this sounds like a contradiction in terms — and i know it will, to any of you PUA types out there who follow ironclad rules and firm spending ceilings — consider the way in which a successful pimp or drug lord might pay for breast implants for one of his women. even though she’s clearly the recipient, she’s not the focus. he’s the focus, and she’s well aware that, if she weren’t there, he’d do the same for another, equally desirable woman without a second thought.
see the difference?
the meaning of “splurge”, “bare minimum”, etc. is highly dependent upon the couple’s income disparity and/or living situation. the “bare minimum” for a sole breadwinner husband would be well within the range of “splurging” for a man who makes less than the woman does.
the next two traits generally sum up “empathy”, in terms of what is perceptible to the woman (since that’s all that matters here).
BETA/YIN TRAIT 3: INFLUENCE OF HER POINT OF VIEW
-10 = he never acts on her opinions/desires in any way; he favors his own random instincts even in matters he couldn’t care less about, or in her specialties about which he knows nothing
-5 = he rarely acts on her opinions/desires — almost never, excepting areas that are critically important to her and/or about which she has superior specialized knowledge; when he does, he does so at least somewhat grudgingly, and “keeps a scorecard”
0 = he normally acts according to whichever of their desires/opinions is stronger regarding the matter at hand; two equally strong opinions lead to endless dialogue/deliberation
+5 = he lets her guide most mundane decisions, but still takes the lead in matters about which he feels very strongly (note that this latter category intersects, but is not quite the same as, “matters he thinks are important”)
+10 = “yes, dear, whatever you say”; can hardly dress himself or choose menu items without her input; calls or texts for her constant input in the most mundane, unimportant matters
BETA/YIN TRAIT 4: ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF HER POINT OF VIEW
-10 = completely oblivious to everything coming out of her mouth (note this is NOT the same as ignoring everything, which is a more stereotypically alpha trait)
-5 = sorry, what was that again?
0 = same level of acknowledgment that he’d give to same-status peers/friends
+5 = visibly interested in what she says, to a greater degree than with his same-status peers/friends, especially if she telegraphs via body language and intonation that it’s important to her
+10 = waits with bated breath on her every word, as though he were a goody-two-shoes grade-school student trying to earn a 100% participation grade
notice that neither of the above traits is equivalent to understanding her point of view, which is neither an alpha (yang) trait nor a beta (yin) trait. it all depends on what you do with that understanding.
BETA/YIN TRAIT 5: SEXUAL PASSION/AFFECTION
-10 = won’t even touch her with his own bare flesh (including his hands and unprotected cock); zero foreplay of any type (even verbal); won’t fuck her in face-to-face positions
-5 = sexes her mechanically, distantly, in a way roughly equivalent to how a prostitute would “service” a client (a run-of-the-mill prostitute, not one of the gifted dissimulators who can out-earn her looks fivefold by effectively faking passion and involvement); gets his rocks off and gets it over with; little or no eye contact
0 = kisses her, but not too deeply; touches her enough not to be a robot, but not really into emotional territory; too handsy/attentive for a woman who’s not in the mood, but would seem distant if she’s turned on; intermittent and brief eye contact
+5 = hands all over her body, including places neglected by most or all of her previous lovers; frequent deep kisses; prolonged eye contact, especially during orgasms
+10 = constant, cloyingly sweet eye contact; almost continuous attempts at kissing, even when extremely physically awkward; hands conducting relentless exhaustive searches of her body, treating even neutral zones like elbows and shins as though they were ultimate erogenous zones
BETA/YIN TRAIT 6: BUTTERING HER UP
-10 = familiarity has bred utter contempt; any feedback he gives her, ever, is wholly derisive and critical; he tells her she’s worthless deadweight, a constant force of friction slowing him down
-5 = he criticizes her more than he praises her; most of his compliments appear to come through clenched teeth, sounding insincere (in the “i don’t really mean it” way, not the cloying/overwrought way) or just rubbing her the wrong way; he comes off as resentful and passive-aggressive; negative comments come out of his mouth with a palpable “tip of the iceberg” feeling, as though he’s holding it all back to be civil
0 = balance of positive and negative feedback; occasional heartfelt compliments, though most positive feedback is somewhat mechanical, objective, and/or qualified; most negative feedback is objective and constructive, though he’ll occasionally get snippy with her in heated arguments or say something that comes off much worse than he’d intended
+5 = he follows the schoolteacher’s recipe of 3-5 positives for every one negative/constructive comment; his compliments are heartfelt and are decently well aimed at her feminine sensibilities; he occasionally gives honest criticism, but frames such criticism in extremely euphemistic, sugarcoated terms; takes the high road in arguments, never hitting below the belt unless she has seriously wronged him
+10 = he worships her as though she were a goddess, with total deference; no negative comments ever cross his lips; he apologizes and accepts blame for her wrongs, even her cold-blooded betrayals, reasoning that he just wasn’t being a good enough boy for her
note the fact — revolutionary to some — that this trait is not the opposite of dismissiveness (alpha trait 7). it’s perfectly possible follow the above schoolteacher’s recipe while remaining imperious and dismissive, but that takes a master’s touch.
BETA/YIN TRAIT 7: LOOKING THE OTHER WAY
-10 = he’ll go on a violent, uncontrolled rampage at the mere thought that she might look at another man — just look, even as just people-watching
-5 = he’s uncomfortable with her having any sort of contact, however brief, with other men, whether socially or professionally, even in large groups; if she has male friends, even harmless, neutered, sexually undesirable ones, he’s worried when she’s in their company
0 = he wouldn’t stand for her socializing with ex-boyfriends or ex-lovers under any circumstances, or with other high-status men one-on-one; if she has a night out with her girlfriends, he’ll check in with her and will be mildly distrustful; otherwise he trusts her around miscellaneous male company. he will accept. though grudgingly, a limited amount of her playful flirting with other men, but will call her on it if it is excessive, seems to be leading somewhere, or is blatantly dismissive of him
+5 = he has no problems with her socializing with other men, except those with whom he knows she’s had memorable sexual experiences; he doesn’t mind, and may even enjoy, her playful flirtation with other men, even when it’s somewhat sexually charged; he may forgive her cheating, once, provided she is never the sexual aggressor and has done nothing to engineer the situation
+10 = he encourages her to flirt with, fuck, and even have relationships with other men, on her own and of her own volition, sometimes right in front of his face
BETA/YIN TRAIT 8: EXPRESSIONS OF APPRECIATION (note that this is not the same thing as trait 6)
-10 = never utters a single word of appreciation, even if she saves his life or bails him out of jail
-5 = forced, trite, insincere mumblings of “i love you” at the conclusion of telephone calls or in other such rote situations, often with the same sort of internally seething resentment experienced by a seventh-grader whose mother insists on kissing him goodbye at the dropoff point on the first day of school
0 = mostly genuine expressions of “i love you”, “you look beautiful”, etc., but mostly in conventionally scripted situations (“you look beautiful” before sex, “i love you” after sex, either/both at formal events together, etc.); other forms of appreciation as immediate feedback (“i really like the way you _________ just now”)
+5 = “i love you” meaningfully and spontaneously, often at completely unexpected times and/or amid bustling public backdrops; “you’re hot” / “you look beautiful” / etc. whether she’s dressed to the nines or just to the one-thirds, mostly out of genuine appreciation but sometimes to lift her spirits on her bad days, but never to cloying excess; occasional spontaneous forms of random appreciation (“you know what i like about you? _________”)
+10 = “i love you”, “i’d kill myself without you”, “i’m nothing without you”, etc., frequently, randomly, and awkwardly, to extreme excess in both repetition and dramatic intensity; “you’re a goddess”, “you’re beautiful”, etc., to equivalent excess, even if she’s gotten disgustingly fat, slovenly, or skeletally skinny; cloying appreciation of other personality traits that she doesn’t even actually have (“you’re so good with the kids” when you had to pull them out of the pool, narrowly preventing them from drowning, because her drugs knocked her out)
BETA/YIN TRAIT 9: RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
-10 = he’s never done anything nice for anyone in his life
-5 = he’ll do ostensibly nice things for people, but only when he calculates (or miscalculates) that he’ll achieve some sort of personal gain in return, either as quid pro quo or by ingratiating himself to them — and sometimes not even then
0 = he’ll occasionally do things for his woman, and for close family and friends, without expecting equal reciprocation, but won’t inconvenience himself too much unless the situation is practically a matter of life and death; he’ll notice if there’s too much quid and not enough pro quo, and will cut ties with people who are all take and no give
+5 = he’ll consistently go out of his way for his woman, sometimes (but not usually) more than would be merited by the situation; he’ll give the shirt off his back for his best friends, and can be counted on for help by other friends in a bind; he’ll occasionally perform good turns for random strangers
+10 = he’s publicly demonstrative about doing “favors” for anyone and everyone in sight, whether they actually want/need his help or not, and regardless of their relationship, if any, with him; ironically, he is so helpful to random strangers that he diminishes the apparent value of his actually heartfelt favors to friends, family, and woman/women
there they are.
nine alpha/yang traits.
nine beta/yin traits.
and now, here’s the formula for a successful ltr, which is surprisingly and elegantly simple.
* calibrate the degree of alpha (yang) that your woman requires.
for high-drama, high-estrogen BPD sexual-dynamo femmes fatales, this number may be as high as +10.
for soft-spoken, modest, retiring church mice, this number may be as low as +4.
underestimate at your own risk.
* be as consistent as possible across the nine alpha (yang) traits.
as mentioned in previous postings, this rule will have exceptions in the cases of women for whom traumatic (or otherwise momentous) life events have knocked one or two of them off caliber.
* set the yin/beta traits at approximately 3/5 of the alpha/yang levels.
there’s the formula.
that simple ratio expresses the essence of “contrast game” in three keystrokes.
it explains why the good deeds of alpha assholes count for so much more than the good doings of do-gooders.
it explains why overwrought, poetic expressions of breathless love are the stuff of women’s fantasies when they come from otherwise impassive, guarded, stoic, dominant sociopaths, and why the same words, spoken in the same way, become stalker nightmares from the mouth of a milquetoast.
it explains the resonance frequency of the push/pull dynamic.
it explains how you can make her feel, deep in her heart of hearts, that you know her better than she herself could, and that you satisfy her every urge, but still that she doesn’t control you in the least.
for the aforementioned high-drama, high-estrogen BPD sexual-dynamo femmes fatales, that’s +10 and +6 — welcome to bipolar manic-depressive high-drama highlowhighlowhighlowrollercoasterheavenhell.
for some of us, that’s the only thing that makes us feel alive. most such drama feeders are women; the lucky few men who can harness the storm, and who thrive on doing so, will have control of an endless parade of women who ruin more “stable” men’s lives for kicks.
for women who are traditional marriage material, it’s more like +5 and +3.
as for money, status, worldly power, economic inequities, and fame, those are neither alpha nor beta traits, neither yin nor yang; they are simply wild cards that will allow relationships to survive longer with improperly tuned sliders. more on that later.
finally, the alpha traits should mostly be consistent, but the beta traits should not be consistent.
you should briefly tweak the beta traits in the negative direction, sometimes sharply (here the mixing board is an excellent literal analogy, in terms of throwing sliders to mix beats), to throw a little bit of syncopation into the relationship.
tweaking alpha sliders sharply in the positive direction can provide the same sort of syncopated beat, but most guys couldn’t much pull that off.