His Take: “Are Men Intimidated By Strong Women?”

“Recently, I was talking with a male friend about my most recent relationship and why things didn’t work out, and he looked at me and said: “Frankly, you are too much of an alpha male.” Yes, I’m a strong, confident women, and I’m willing to admit that I can be rough around the edges, but once you get to know me I’m a great, caring person with a lot to offer. When did being a confident, independent and powerful woman and not being a pushover become such a bad thing to the opposite sex?” — Alpha Woman

MATT: You know who sort of drives me nuts? Mariah Carey. She treats every note like a water-park slide and she pours herself into dresses so short that I feel like I’m going to see her little Mimi every time she steps out of a fur-lined limo. Plus, I feel like she’s made a conscious choice over the years to look less black (you know what I mean?), which really bugs me. But, here’s the funny thing…for every complaint I could make about her, there are probably ten times over a boatload of folks who love her (many of my gay brethren amongst them).

I think your male friend’s comment might have been well-intentioned, but he’s not commenting on what’s wrong with you, he’s commenting on his preference. For every one of him, there might be another guy who is totally revved up by this whole “pack-leader” vibe you’re apparently working. So, I say you just go right on being your assertive, direct, powerful, sexy self because the bottom line is this: your friend was really just expressing his taste, and he doesn’t (and couldn’t possibly) speak for all men, just like I can’t speak for everyone’s opinion of Miss Carey. Tell him you appreciate the feedback…and then growl at him and order him to fix you a drink.

ERIK: Being a powerful woman is not a bad thing; it’s a fantastic thing. Your friend sounds like a wimp. Anyone who views confidence as something that one can possibly have too much of is sick in the head. Maybe he meant you’re too pushy or domineering, in which case that may or may not be a fair point, but being “too much of an alpha” is no better criticism than “too good in bed.” Your strength of character might push some people away, but that’s because they feel insecure next to you, not because confidence is a bad thing. That is, unless you like wimpy men.

ART: Fuck that guy! When did being a confident, independent and powerful woman become such a bad thing? The same day that guy was born with a tiny prick. A strong, confident man will love a strong, confident woman. If you have to change who you are to be with a guy, kick his ass out.

JMAGIC: At our core we feel like we need to be providers, but some of us actually enjoy a woman like you who is strong, ambitious, and doesn’t always look to us to ‘fix’ things. But be careful, because based on your question I’m wondering if your attitude about your abilities comes off as more arrogant than confident. Especially your “rough around the edges, but once you get to know me…” comment. Nobody likes arrogance. Be sure of yourself, but not just to prove a point and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

ALEX: Some men don’t want strong, confident and independent women. This is because they themselves are not strong, confident, independent men. They don’t want you. You don’t want them either.

JOE: One of the biggest thrills of dating is to become a special part of someone’s life – to be different because you are allowed “in” in a way that others aren’t. The expectation is that, when a person feels close to us and feels we’re special, they’ll show us facets that others don’t get to experience. That exposure of their sensitive side is part of what creates the bond in a relationship, as does feeling mutually needed and wanted.

I suspect that perhaps, in relationships, you’re so concerned with showing how capable and self-sufficient you are that maybe you’ve forgotten to let your guard down and to show that you care about your partner and that he’s special to you. Tell him how you feel about him. Let him do (some) things for you, not because you can’t do them, but because it’s a chance for him to show he cares. Let him see that you’re not always 100% ready for everything, not because you’re weak but because you’re human. The problem isn’t being too “alpha male.” The problem is being afraid to truly let him into your life and past those rough edges. Be strong enough to be vulnerable.

* If you’d like to ask the guys a question, simply email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with “His Take” in the subject line and I’ll pass your question along to them.


  1. fast eddie says:

    I love the strong confident woman I married. The demure “take care of me” types were, and still are, a complete turn off for me. We’ve built a successful life together as equals in our careers, investments, and personal lives. We still argue about money and home decoration but the partnership and mutual consideration in all things is the main reason we’re successful.

    1. halleluja, Does it ever occur to some guys who want the demure type, that underneath the ‘strong’ capable woman is a demure one who has taken responsibilty for what she wants and often works hard to provide it for herself but would like a partner wo shares the responsibilities of running a home providing a haven for all who live there.

      Think guys how would your demure helpless partner cope if you left the scene , surely you would like to think she could manage or is your ego so big you would she suffer and struggle without your abilities ( this is not love). Thsi works both ways for women who need to be in charge of the internal domestic chores. It ouwld be more loving if you made each other independant but willing to share Hey what a new concept.

  2. ArtsyGirl says:

    Your friend’s comment sounds like something from the early half of the 20th century. Thank you to all the guys who gave amazing advice on this one!

  3. AnitaBath says:

    Maybe this is just me being pessimistic, and we obviously don’t really know enough to know how the LW acts, but a lot of the time, when people say things like, “alpha male” or how they’re a confident person, that’s their take on it. What everyone else sees is someone who’s overbearing, pushy, and kind of mean. Kind of like when some people say that they “tell it like it is,” when really they’re just mean and don’t have a filter.

    1. I so agree with you on this one! I hate it when people say, “I just tell it like it is. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem.” That totally is code for, “I’m a jerk who’s going to say mean things that make you feel bad about yourself.”

      Not saying this is the issue with the LW, but that could be a definite possibility.

    2. AnitaBath says:

      Yeah, I think it also needs to be taken into consideration that all the friend said was that she was an “alpha male.” She filled in all of the rest of the blanks herself.

      Just something for the letter writer to consider. If you’ve ever said the mentioned phrases, or if you’d had people tell you that you’re rude, mean, or pushy before, maybe just reevaluate how you’re presenting yourself to people.

    3. I totally disagree. “Telling it like it is” is NOT code for “I’m just a jerk” to everybody. I’m blunt and honest and my friends don’t think I’m a jerk- they value my opinion because they know I will tell them what the actual truth about a situation, not what they WANT to hear. Many people can’t handle that and so they complain about someone being “mean” when really they just can’t handle the truth. I don’t want someone to tell me I look nice when I don’t, or that something is a good idea if it’s not.
      If you have people telling you things you don’t want to hear, maybe should re-evaluate YOURSELF.

      1. WatersEdge says:

        Ironically, with 10 thumbs down and counting… maybe YOU should re-evaluate YOURSELF.

      2. WatersEdge says:

        with all my caps I sound meaner than I meant to… but my point about how everyone is disagreeing with your idea that it’s ok to “tell it like it is” without considering feelings, stands. just know that I didn’t mean to be so harsh!

      3. I really don’t think friends being honest with each other is rare at all. The fact that you think it is, is pretty clear that your definition of “being honest” leans pretty far away from helpful honesty, to being bitchy.

      4. My parents always told me this rule:
        Before you say something, think, Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If its two out of 3 things you could say it.

        So feel free to speak if its true and necessary, or true and kind, but its its true, and unkind, and not necessary, why say it? Just because you “tell it like it is” and if they can’t handle it it’s their problem? Thats rude, and immature.

      5. AnitaBath says:

        When did I say being honest is rare? I’m saying that people who have the tendency to need to always defend themselves and their comments, because people are often accusing them of being mean, usually defend themselves by saying they “tell it like it is” when really they’re just being unnecessarily mean. If people aren’t bitchy when they’re being honest, they usually don’t have people get mad at them and they usually don’t have to come up with cliche phrases to back up their comments.

      6. AnitaBath says:

        *cough* Unless that wasn’t directed at me. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where those bars on the side are lining up O:)

      7. I loved Anita’s comment but to Camille, I think there is a huge difference between how we speak to our friends and how we come off to new love interests. I give my friends “tough love” all of the time because I know that I can. I know my friends love and respect me no matter what and I love and respect them enough to be honest about what I think. Would I act that way on a first date though? No way!

        I do see people coming across as jerks who really ARE too confident. Confidence is not an excuse to be mean to other people, it is about being nice about yourself. I think the two actions are too often confused.

    4. AnitaBath says:

      Wow. There’s a difference between, “That shirt doesn’t look too flattering on you, maybe you should try that cute one you wore a couple weeks back,” and, “Wow, where the fuck did that spare tire come from? Uh, yeah, change.”

      In my experience, the people in the first are being honest. Oftentimes, the people who feel the need to defend their position because people keep labeling them as rude because they’re being unnecessarily mean are the ones that tout themselves as “telling it like it is,” and, “If you have a problem with my honesty, it’s on you.”

      1. caramelpuff says:

        I don’t think she’s honest in terms of your second example. I think she meant she’s honest but more discreet which in a way is telling it like it is. Otherwise you’d be lying to say ‘that shirt looks great.’

      2. AnitaBath says:

        The LW didn’t even say anything about “telling it like it is,” I just used that as an example. It’s impossible to tell which one the LW is, all I’m saying is that someone told her she was an “alpha male,” and she filled in all of these blanks about how she’s a confident, strong woman who can be “rough around the edges.” Instead of completely ignoring the possibility, maybe she should look at how she presents herself and see if people have a tendency to label her, not as “confident,” but as “overbearing.”

        Hell, maybe she should find someone who “tells it like it is” and ask them if they think she often comes across as a bitch.

    5. That’s pretty much exactly what I was thinking as I read LW’s question.

  4. parton_doll says:

    I am a “relationship alpha” and my husband said that when we began dating, he was a little intimidated by me. I agree that something that might help you is to show a little “human” side … or in other words, that you’re not so self-sufficient that you don’t need anyone else in your life. I have to say that I agree the most with Joe’s advice, especially:

    “Let him do (some) things for you, not because you can’t do them, but because it’s a chance for him to show he cares. Let him see that you’re not always 100% ready for everything, not because you’re weak but because you’re human.”

    Now I didn’t let down my guard with my husband completely at first, because you don’t need to let everyone in. But it is okay to show a little vulnerability every now and then, with things that are within your comfort level, of course. Everyone wants to feel needed in a relationship, even if it is small ways. And what I love so much now is that while I am still a strong, confident, capable woman who CAN be completely sufficient on my own, I CHOOSE to have my husband be a contributing part of my life. And that enriches me so much more.

  5. I am a strong woman and completely comfortable with the label. I undoubtedly inherited it from my mother, who is a pragmatic Italian with a low tolerance for nonsense. However, she is also kind, compassionate, and deeply considerate of the feelings of others; she showed me that being “strong” does not mean being a bulldozer. But it was through my most recent relationship that I learned the most important counterpoint to strength: acknowledged vulnerability. True intimacy involves genuine vulnerability. The greatest gift my boyfriend and I give to one another is a safe place to be our complete selves, even in weak moments. I think it is hard for a man to let down his defenses if the woman does not let go of hers. This may not apply to the LW, but it was something I had to learn through trial and error.

  6. RoyalEagle0408 says:

    I thInk my biggest problem is showing weakness and I know I need to work on letting others do things for me, but it’s hard because I don’t want to seem needy or incapable of taking care of myself. At some point in my life, I acquired a chip on my shoulder and have spent a really long time feeling like I need to prove myself constantly.

  7. Skyblossom says:

    Being a strong, confident woman in no way prevents men from being attracted to you. I know lots of strong, confident women who are happily married. If you’re strong and confident you have nothing to worry about.

    I wonder whether your friend was trying to find a kind/polite way to say that you’re overbearing or domineering? Do you know the exact way that everything should be done? Do you demand that things be done your way on your schedule? Are you open to various opinions? Do you compromise or is compromise weak? You may need to ask your friend to clarify.

    1. Skyblossom says:

      One thing that I’ve seen is that couples may have different ideas about what something means. Sometimes words that seem the most obvious cause the most trouble because you assume everyone knows what they mean.

      For one family do the dishes may mean take the dishes from the table, rinse them and then load them in the dishwasher. At our home do the dishes means load the dishwasher because everyone is expected to take their dishes to the sink and rinse them so that they are ready to load in the dishwasher. To me, vaccuum the living room means to vaccuum the floor in the living room but I know a family where it means vaccuum the floor plus every surface of every couch and chair so they vaccuum all of the cushions and under the cushions and every side of every piece of furniture. That same family considers clearing the table to mean clearing the dishes from the table, wiping down the table and wiping down every surface of every chair at the table.

      Do you have a way that each thing must be done? Do you talk about differences in expectation? If you come from a family that expected more than the average family when doing a job you might consider your partner lazy or dirty when they are just doing things to a different standard. Have you every asked questions like, “What does do the dishes mean to you?” Sometimes you need to clarify what is meant or intended and allow for differences in the way things will be done.

  8. Painted_lady says:

    Oooh! Me! Me! Look, there are the confident women who are self-sufficient and independent that they may intimidate men who would rather have a shy, retiring woman who won’t challenge him, that he can make all the decisions in the relationship and she’ll do nothing but be grateful that he takes care of her. And you don’t want that type of guy.

    But maybe you’re like my roommate – she’s good at her job (fantastic, actually), she’s completely brilliant, an absolutely amazing friend, and one of the funniest people I know. But she’s incredibly insecure around men, and it’s become more so as she gets older. She copes by letting them know exactly how much she doesn’t need them, how dumb and childish she finds them, and needs to win constantly – every argument, game of cards, baseball playoff bet. What she means to do is to flirt, but in a way where she doesn’t have to show any vulnerability. Which, obviously, is impossible. And she cones across as bossy, overbearing, competitive and blunt. Which breaks my heart because she runs off every guy she’s interested. I’ve nearly pulled a couple aside to say, “She’s being a bitch because she really likes you.”

    The few guys she’s met who haven’t been terrified of her have all been ones she’s worked with long-term. At work, she’s the girl I know – sweet, funny, smart, maybe a little teasing but never overbearing – and so these guys get to see who she really is. Of course they love her. But if she’d met them out at a bar, she’d have scared them off.

    So think about who you really are and who you feel you should be or need to be to protect yourself. If you put a wall up to keep yourself from getting hurt, trust me, you’re still going to get hurt, you just won’t have anything to show for it.

  9. Whenever I get a piece of puzzling feedback, I always ask myself two questions: 1) How credible is the person giving me the feedback, and 2) Have I heard this before? In other words, this was only one friend’s opinion. If this friend knows you very well, and has proven to be a touchstone of honesty and common sense in the past, then perhaps there is a bit of truth to what he’s saying. However, if the source isn’t that credible, and this is the only time you’ve had anyone say something like this to you, then I honestly wouldn’t worry about it too much.

    Regarding the second question: if this is something that you’ve heard in various forms before from other people (close to you or otherwise), then it might be worth looking into as a possible pattern in how others perceive you. It might very well be possible that what you perceive as strength and confidence is unfortunately coming off as arrogant or pushy, and this friend was trying to couch that in a nicer way. Chances are, if you hear this all the time, from people both close to you and from mere acquaintances, then the common denominator is you. And that bears a bit of introspection so you can see where the disconnect is between how you see yourself, and how others do.

    1. I think your advice is absolutely perfect!

  10. Green_Blessings_Goddess says:

    First off, Matt, I love Mariah Carey. She is a woman and is herself, she is confident, sexy, she has big boobs but she isn’t fat at all, she is very fit and I think incredibly sexy. I have some of her videos and in We Belong Together she has a short dress that is a bit lowcut in the scene after she starts walking down the isle and I love her legs. I love her skin tone too. Too many of the models now a days look like men or the too thin boyish body, no boobs. So, you may not like Mariah but there are plenty whom do, the All I Want for Christmas video has sold as one of the top videos of all time.

    Alpha Female, It could be at times you are too pushy and domineering and part of being confident and successful is being able to take constructive criticism when you asked for advice. I hate when people ask questions for advice and then get upset.

    Also, I wouldn’t say your friend is a wimp, I think that is too harsh, we need more specifics about what he is referring to specifically that is too much like an alpha male to know if his statement is accurate, so there isn’t enough info to say either way.

    What I will tell you is that there are different types of people in this world. For example, I can think of evangelical Christian men that want to be married to a woman whom wants to stay at home and homeschool the kids, they want the long skirt, dowdy frumpy looking woman whom will be submissive and raise mini versions of themselves.

    I do not think this would be your type of man and you would not be his type of woman, neither is wrong or right, you are different types.

    I once dated a guy that didn’t like my skirts because they were too short for him and he thought that was too “sexually aggressive” for him, never mind the fact I never did and had no intention of sleeping with him especially after he revealed he was not interested in marriage just in trying to get me into bed and then dumping me, hence my point is he didn’t like my skirt and another man didn’t like my dress and thought it was too short for church. I am not their type and I wouldn’t want to be with either of them.

    Some guys I dated don’t like women with makeup or whom trim their hair and get their eyebrows waxed regularly, one short lived jerk relationship sneered at me after I put on makeup before going out with him and his little terd kid.

    For some guys you will probably be too confident and successful, If I were you, I would be careful about not being too pushy but I would also accept that there will be men that would find me not attractive and not like my personality and there will be men that will like me for me.

    At the end of the day, you want to be with someone whom accepts you for yourself and respects you.

    1. FYI Mariah’s boobs are fake. That’s how she can have such big ones and not be fat at all.

  11. WatersEdge says:

    I think that the only guy who really spoke to the issue at hand was Joe. I don’t think that the answer is “that guy is an idiot, ignore him”. I think that for a person to be secure in themselves, they have to be sort of intrinsically non-alpha. To me, if you’re really secure in yourself, you don’t need to impose your will on other people. If you really think you’re smart or awesome, then you don’t have to minimize other people’s intelligence or awesomeness to prove that point. If someone whose opinion you trust told you that you are too much of an alpha male, then he probably means that you can be abrasive and cold, from an interpersonal standpoint. Being vulnerable isn’t easy, but it ratchets up the warmth factor pretty quickly.

    1. sobriquet says:

      Exactly. The friend didn’t say that being strong and independent was a turnoff to men, he said that her alpha-male personality was. The alpha-male personality can be strong and confident, but it is usually bossy and domineering.

  12. I think Art is right with “A strong, confident man will love a strong, confident woman.” Like AB commented above, if she’s being abrasive, that’s something different, and it’s likely because she’s _not_ as strong and confident as she passes herself off to be. Insecurities manifest themselves in so many ways, and people try to cover them up to not appear weak or vulnerable – it’s hard to tell if that’s the underlying issue, or she’s just not dating the right guys.

    “Let him do (some) things for you, not because you can’t do them, but because it’s a chance for him to show he cares. Let him see that you’re not always 100% ready for everything, not because you’re weak but because you’re human.”

    I’m going to disagree with this – if he expects you to let him do some things for you that you can already do, it’s not about giving him a chance to show that he cares, but it’s about trying to boost his own self-confidence. There are many ways that a person can show they care about someone, but I think a strong, confident guy would find it patronizing for a girl to pretend to “need” his assistance. I think what is important is when you truly need assistance, you not be too proud to ask for it.

  13. sobriquet says:

    It’s gotten to the point that whenever I hear a woman complaining that men don’t like her because she is “strong” and “confident”, I just roll my eyes. “Strong, confident woman” is to women what “nice guys finish last” is to men.

    No man worth dating will ever dump a woman for being strong, confident, or successful. Just like no woman worth dating will ever dump a man for being nice. 9 times out of 10, men that get dumped for being “nice” are really getting dumped for being too needy/clingy just like women that are dumped for being “strong” are really just bossy and controlling.

    1. WatersEdge says:

      I love this comment!

  14. Addie Pray says:

    Notice how every one of the male contributors says they like strong women? Every guy says they do… But then you look around and see time after time that the needy, less confidant women are in relationships and the strong independent women are alone. Similarly, every guy I know says they’d welcome a woman who makes more many than they do, but, when I look around, I don’t see guys dating high-powered successful woman with fat wallets…. So I’m at a loss. I want to see guys ACTUALLY dating strong confidant women and not just SAYING they would HYPOTHETICALLY. Having said that, I definitely believe these male contributors would date strong confidant women (or men). But these guys are clearly the exception to the rule. I mean, they want to write for Wendy. They’re not your regular dude. All that to say, I’m not convinced. I think the right answer is deep down guys just want to feel smarter and needed – they want easy girls who do not threaten their ego. [Side note: I’m really bitter today. I worked all weekend. And I really want to see this movie tonight but have no one to go with me. It’s ok, I’ll go alone. But yeah, I’m feeling bitter today. So take this with a grain of salt.]

    1. Addie, I hope you feel better later on today:)

    2. WatersEdge says:

      I’ve noticed that a lot of men (people, actually) like to feel needed. Strong women don’t make them feel needed unless those women can also be vulnerable and ask for help. Women do this too- if a guy gets a cold or needs a favor, she’s typically there and thrilled.

      I think that some people minimize the human desire to feel wanted or needed as stupid or not worth considering. It’s not stupid to want to feel helpful and important to the people you care about. So some strong women, who don’t allow a man to have a place in her life, who don’t open up and get vulnerable and be emotionally intimate, and instead put up a facade that they are completely competent and can do everything themselves, send the signal that the man is not necessary (and can therefore go away). That’s why some people are saying that it’s ok to artificially generate a situation where a guy can feel needed. That sends the message of “I want you to help me because I like you and I want you to stick around”. “Acts of service” is even one of the five Love Languages, or ways that people express their love according to some relationship experts. Letting a guy help you is a way of showing him that you care, just like him helping you is a way of showing you that he cares.

      1. RoyalEagle0408 says:


    3. SpyGlassez says:

      One of the things my boyfriend has said from the beginning is that he loves how strong I am. He had dated the needy, clingy, and “broken” (always needing something fixed about themselves) types before, and didn’t like it. I am two years older than him, got my masters, have a decent job, bought my own car, etc. He genuinely likes that I can – and do – “help myself” and don’t rely on him to take care of me. However, he also likes it when I do ask him to help me with something, whether it’s work related or dealing with my car or building bookshelves. He wants to be able to contribute, but he definitely sees the value of being with someone who is perfectly capable on her own.

      Being strong and independent can mean being confident and handling every task that comes along – I got that from the women in my family on both sides, because I come from a line of women who won’t take guff from anybody. It can also mean jumping up and down and arm-waving “Ooh! I can change my own oil! I can tear down and rebuild engines! I can field-strip your hunting rifle! I’m SO STRONG AND INDEPENDENT!!” That gets old after a while. We all do it from time to time, but that isn’t what confidence is about. Being confident is being able to hold your head up and know in your heart that you are able to do whatever is set before you – whether it is changing your oil, starting over in a relationship, or dealing with aging parents – and know that you can do it with grace.

      One last note. My grandmother was the strongest woman I knew. She was a divorced widow when she married my grandfather (at a time when divorce was uncommon, of course) and she raised four children plus all of us grandchildren. After my grandfather died, she kept living alone, driving herself anywhere she needed to go, taking care of her life and the grandbabies. I don’t remember her ever being indignant about someone doing something for her (a gentleman opening a door, or a stranger offering help when she had car trouble) but you always KNEW that she could have, and would have, done it herself with no hesitation and no qualms. That is what true strength and true independence are about, not being bossy and making others do things “Your way or the highway.”

  15. On my job I work with a guy who is wonderful person most of the time. He consistently tells the bosses how he feels about certain projects and what he will or will not do. People say, “Dan doesn’t take an sh–t!”, and laugh it off. He is the typical Alpha male.

    But when Jane does it, she is considered a bitch and difficult to work with. Both says what they feel with the same tone and conviction, but thier comments are received differently. Why is that? I have alway seen this type of reaction on the job and I have been working for almost 30 years.

    1. PS. I notice this in relationships as well. I guess in our society, a guy is expected to act this way, but a woman should not. I am not attracted to either one myself.

  16. spaceboy761 says:

    With all due respect, I’m calling shenignans here. Our group of male histakers are a self-selected bunch of men that willingly offered to comment on what is primarily a women’s relationship site. Their opinions on ‘alpha women’ are going to differ greatly from that of the general male populus.

    What your friend was trying to tell you in so many words is: “You’re a domineering bitch who habitually drives men away. You will probably die alone.”

    1. WatersEdge says:

      I agree that these men seem to be saying what women would want to hear and not what they, or maybe the average guy, would really think. Except Joe- I think he nailed it.

    2. spaceboy761 says:

      JMagic hit it pretty well. Essentially, much like every other man or woman on the planet, LW has to find the line between ‘confidence’ and ‘asshole’. She’s probably veering a little south of the border.

  17. I am one of those “Alpha” women. Independent, emotionally and financially secure, fixes my own plumbing and takes my own trash out. But, I agree with Jmagic, Alex, and Joe. When in a relationship I do let men “take care” of little things for me. For instance, I am perfectly capable of taking my car to the shop, having an educated discussion on what it needs (or doesn’t need) and handling my own auto repairs. But I let my Ex do that for me – he is a mechanic and just always “knew” that I was going to be taken advantage of, being of the “fairer” sex. It made him happy, I got to drive his snappy little Jeep when my car was in the shop – it was a win-win.

    But, I do not let men demean my accomplishments, not criticize me for being strong. I have heard many variations of the “But, you just don’t need me” speech. (Usually as they are walking out the door to go hook up with the basket case, emotional wreck of a woman who “needs them”) Yeah, I don’t need you to take out the trash and fix the leak under the sink – but I do need an equal partner that will be supportive of my endeavors and care for me despite who I am.

    So, Bravo to all the “Aphla” women out there!!! Hear me roar.

  18. It sounds like he was just being nice when he said you were an “alpha male.” He was probably sugar coating it so you wouldn’t feel bad. The truth it, men DO like confident, independent women. If men don’t like you, it’s probably because you are something else. No man wants a woman to be a pushover, but they don’t want to have to be pushover themselves around her because she is so bossy and moody.

  19. I think the LW doesn’t really understand the concept of an Alpha, which is just a name for people with Type A Personality. People with Type A personality tend to be controlling, competitive, impatient, aggressive, assertive, etc. It has nothing really to do with being independent. Both A and B personalities can be highly independent, the B’s just tend to be more relaxed and easy-going. They’re not overly concerned with deadlines, stress, being in the lead, etc. So by this guy calling her an Alpha Male (which was a fucking bone head thing to say, at least call her an Alpha Female), he was likely just pointing out she is too much of a Type A and he is not into that. It’s not a bad thing, it just means it is not a personality he is attracted to. And neither am I. I am very much Type B (yet, I am in a vested career, own a home, and have confidently and successfully lived on my own and supported myself for almost 10 years). I find the Type A’s to be just a little too intense for me. But then again, if you don’t have your shit together (job, financially secure, independent), then I have no interest in dating you. Those things don’t make you an Alpha, they just make you a secure person.

  20. I ended up really busy yesterday and completely missed this, so, while I’m so late to the party that the cops have already left, I have a few comments.

    Regarding spaceboy761’s comment that our opinions on ‘alpha women’ are going to differ greatly from that of the general male populous: Wendy treated the baker’s dozen of us to a spa sauna treatment this weekend, and as a result of that, I can tell you that what we all have in common is that we’re each a well-endowed, stunningly attractive Adonis of an attention-whore who has Internet access and is at least functionally literate in English. Other than that, there are few traits common to the entire group. While it’d take many thousands of men to truly represent every aspect of the male populous, I think we do a fairly good job of being diverse. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t, but I think we represent.

    Second, I really like that, unlike some other topics, there’s a lot of diversity in the replies to this one. Not only does that mean that different people have different takes on assertiveness (or however you’d phrase it), it also shows that a given letter is subject to an immense amount of personal interpretation as to what the letter writer’s situation and personality is like. At most, we get a few hundred words to assess, and that will seldom be sufficient. So… what you see here is not only our opinion on alpha-male-like behavior, it’s also our opinion of what the LW and her friend meant by what they said.

    We each gave the advice we felt was suitable to the mental model we had of the writer and her world. Between all of us, we probably got close at least once, but there are a lot of very different women in very different situations who could have written this exact letter, so… who knows? It’d be very interesting to hear from the LW at some point.

  21. I don’t mean to be a bitch or anti-feminist or whatever else I’m sure I’ll be called…
    I promise I’m only trying to be honest.
    I’ve been in quite a few relationships and most of my friends are guys. I know that most of them would not prefer a woman who is dominant or more “alpha male” than they are.
    This is not because they’re weak men, or not strong themselves (they’re amazing people), but because they like to be the caregivers and they prefer to make a woman feel safe and loved. A lot of men truly enjoy the more traditional gender roles, not because they are sexist but just because they like to be important to someone.
    I’m not saying that it’s bad to be a strong woman, but a strong woman typically likes to say she doesn’t NEED a man. And in that case, she should find a man who doesn’t NEED her. A girl like the writer should just choose more carefully what type of man she dates, because most men like to be the MAN in the relationship.
    And while a lot of men say they don’t mind a strong powerful woman, they might not realize exactly what that means until they meet one.

    1. RoyalEagle0408 says:

      I see what you’re saying, but as Joe pointed out, an “alpha female” can still let her SO do things for her to make them feel needed. Everyone (theoretically) has a softer side that others don’t see. That’s the beauty of a relationship- letting that other person see the side you don’t show the rest of the world.

      I’m about as Type A as they come, and therefore need to be in an alpha female role, but for me romantic relationships don’t have alpha and beta roles. I’m all for equality in relationships and needing each other.

    2. You can’t be important to someone and also be a strong, confident person? I don’t want to stroke a man’s ego like that, no thanks. I’ll make him feel wanted but he should also do the same. Roles are so restrictive- why can only one person be the caregiver? Also, are you saying that if you’re not in the “caregiver” role you’re not important? That’s a destructive fallacy.

  22. This Is Why Many Of Us Good Men Are Still Single Today says:

    Well honestly the way that i feel about it is that most of these women that are strong and independent are very selfish, greedy, and very spoiled as well since they expect the best of all and will never settle for less. They just can’t accept many of us good men for who we’re since i will admit that many of us men don’t make the kind of salary that these women are making nowadays since many of them are making a six figure income as well. But the real problem with these women that make way more money than we do is that they really have no respect for us men at all since they will mouth off to us when we will try to start a normal conversation with the one that will attract us. This has happened to me already unfortunately which i didn’t do anything wrong at all since all i said to her was good morning which this certainly turned out to be a very bad mistake for me unfortunately. I know a friend that had a similar experience as well which it is very sad how these women put us men down just because they have a very high salary job which makes these women such pathetic losers as well the way i see it. These type of women do have a very bad personality and no good manors at all either which makes it a real shame how the women of today have really changed since the old days when they were so much different than today. Most of the women years ago had a lot of respect for the men in those days as well as most of the men that had a lot of respect for the women back then as well since most of the women did have a very good personality and good manors which made it very easy for the men in those days finding real love the way that our family members had it too. Both men and women back then were struggling to make ends meat which you can see how different that it was since most of the men and the women in those days hardly had any money at all and were living with their parents or other family members at that time as well. Quite a change in the women of today unfortunately which certainly explains why many of us good men are still single today when we really shouldn’t be at all since it really does take two to tango.

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Yeah, you really sound like a “good” one who slipped through the cracks. These six-future-earning women don’t know what they’re missin’!

      1. HeIsRightYouKnow says:

        A lot of what this guy has said is right on the money.

      2. RedRoverRedRover says:

        We’re happy to miss out, thanks.

      3. SpaceySteph says:

        Hmm, is this “Good Guy” with another username or is it the LW from Cold Feet? Place your bets now!

      4. RedRoverRedRover says:

        My guess is a contender from out of left field… Good Guy got a buddy to come on here and set us all straight.

      5. A buddy who doesn’t capitalize random words…

    2. I think it’s you, and your approach. My single friend works on Wall St as a VP at a bank, lives on the UWS, and is a fabulous person. She said recently two different guys had approached her on the street. One said something hilarious about, “you have to take my number because…” and I’m blanking on what it was, but it cracked her the hell up, and she took his number and told me she was going to get in touch. Something similar with another guy around the same time, who wasn’t her physical type, but he was able to engage her in conversation.

      You’re doing something wrong. Single, successful women usually want to find a good man. Several women I know have been surprised to find they were actually a great fit with guys who have non-white collar jobs… mechanic, cook, construction, etc.

      If you have something to bring to the table, women will engage with you. It does not have to be money or even super good looks. And if it’s not working for you with these prestigious women, you know, you could adjust your standards a bit and try talking to the ones that aren’t as “fabulous” but might be great people.

      1. Specifically, women can smell your bitterness and lack of confidence and it’s a huge turnoff.

        I ended up dating and marrying a guy who, when I met him at 17, was skinny, dorky, wearing a tank top and ugly glasses, and driving a junky Hundai delivering pizza. But he had the confidence to approach me with his friend and say hi and ask me and my friend if we wanted to go to a party. We actually did, as stupid as that sounds.

        As a single woman in her 30s making six figures, I had no issue at all dating guys who made less money. Who cares as long as they’re good guys and fun to be with??

    3. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      My husband and I have three couples that are our best friends. In all three couples the wife is earning more than the husband. In all three couples the husbands and wives respect each other and work together as a team. Two of the guys had to take early retirement because their jobs ended. One was writing computer programs and his job was sent out of the country. One was part of a geology, oil exploration team and the company had less demand for oil exploration. One guy works on the state road crew.

      You gave one example of one interaction with one woman. Maybe she was grouchy. Maybe she was having a bad day and wanted to be left alone. Maybe she didn’t want some stranger trying to pick her up. Maybe she is rude. My sister-in-law is just rude. She is as comfortable saying drop dead when you say good morning as she is to say anything nice. You can’t blame that on income because she has a low income. Jumping from one interaction with one woman to assuming all high earning women are the same is ridiculous. Are all of the men that you know who make an income similar to yours just alike? Don’t you know some guys who are nice and some who aren’t? Don’t you know some guys who treat women well and some who just like to use them? Women come with as much variation as men. Some are nice and some aren’t.

      1. Maybe a lot of guys who randomly say “good morning” on the street are creeps, sorry. Maybe she’s sick of being catcalled and told to smile by randos. I’m not going to stop what I’m doing and have a conversation with a guy who says “good morning” to me. I’ll probably say “good morning” back or, if he looks weird, maybe just ignore him.

      2. Or maybe she IS just rude. How could you know anything about her from that one encounter anyway?

      3. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

        I don’t think that guys get that it can be creepy having some guy you don’t know trying to approach you and you have no idea what his intention is. Guys also don’t get that you may be busy and don’t want or can’t stop to have a conversation with a random stranger just because he decided he wants a conversation. If someone says good morning to me I usually say good morning but also keep doing whatever it is I’m doing. I’m not going to encourage a guy I don’t know to talk. Having someone tell me to smile is incredibly annoying. It’s only happened to me a couple of times. The first time I’d had very little sleep and was just trying to get through the day without messing anything up and the second time I have no idea why he said it. It’s interesting that women never say it.

      4. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

        I’ve never seen guys catcall anyone here so it is different here. Also, everyone drives so not much interaction on the street. I guess it insulates us from random creepy guys. I do go out walking when I take a break at work and when the weather is good there are lots of people out and still don’t see anyone catcall. I think aggressive guys, as in coming on too strongly, are creepy and catcalls fall into that category plus they show a guy who is objectifying a woman and just looking at her as a sex object and not a person with feelings.

      5. Catcalling is more a city thing. I live in a close suburb of Boston, and I don’t go into the city for work. But when I walk just into the main area of my town, I’ll get a lot of like “hi” or “hello, gorgeous” kind of shit. I’ll say hi back mainly so no one goes psycho on me, but no way am I going to stop and talk to mr. “hello, gorgeous” who’s probably saying it to every lady who passes by. I was raised with manners (not manors though, haha), but my safety is more important sometimes.

      6. dinoceros says:

        @Skyblossom, yeah, definitely. A guy in my old city is walking behind me, saying “Hey lady!” and I have no idea if he’s just going to keep walking or if he’s going to keep talking to me or he’s going to follow me or even attack me. And I also know that I have to respond perfectly, if he is bad news, or I’m going to make it worse. Some guys need you to be firm with them so they leave you alone, and some will get angry and aggressive. But then some get angry if you ignore them. Some will go away if you just smile and don’t act bothered, but others will take that as an invitation.

        When a man doesn’t understand that, what they tells me is that he’s not very good at acknowledging that there are other people in the world and that they might have different experiences as him, and that those experiences also matter. It’s very selfish and arrogant to not be able to grasp that another person might feel differently than you’d expect by something you’ve never had to experience before.

      7. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

        We don’t have catcalls on the street but we do have guys come into where we work and ask us out while we are working. We are a public place and we get everyone from across the spectrum of employment and income. One guy asked me out and then started making sexually suggestive remarks and double entendre jokes when he would come in. Luckily, our manager can and does kick people out if they misbehave. After making a particularly gross double entendre joke our manager took him into her office, told him he was inappropriate and kicked him out for a month with the warning that if he did it again he’d be kicked out permanently. He’s very well behaved now. I don’t know if that was his way of flirting or if he thought his jokes were funny or what.

    4. dinoceros says:

      I’d say it’s much more likely that women don’t like your bad attitude and the way you think they are all terrible, but that’s just me.

    5. Skyblossom says:

      This guy is also fantasizing about a past that didn’t really exist. There is a reason that in Cockney rhyming slang a wife was sometimes called trouble and strife. Men didn’t call their wives trouble and strife because they all got along perfectly and respected each other. There were lots of bad marriages and because divorce was rare men and women were stuck with each other whether they liked or respected each other.

      This guy may have seen superficial politeness or he is imagining it but none of that means that men and women always respected each other. Then as now, some men respected women and some didn’t. Some women respected men and some didn’t.

      As a general rule of thumb I think you have to earn the respect of every person you deal with. People will respect you if you are respectable. If people don’t respect you then you are messing up. You will occasionally run into someone who doesn’t respect anyone and you have to deal with them but they are the exception rather than the rule and you won’t respect them because they haven’t earned it.

    6. So many references to today and nowadays. Something tells me this OP would like to go back to the time when women couldn’t support themselves and so had to find a husband quick and cater to his wishes or else risk being destitute. Being desperate is not the same as having respect.
      Honestly, I bet women can see the red flags waving on your 1960’s gender roles view and are not impressed. Also, anyone who rants about how “women these days don’t like good guys” is not a good guy. Good guys let their actions prove that for them.

      1. Ugh, a few months ago I needed an eye exam and new glasses and sunglasses. I decided to give the local joint a try, because local business, and it had an Italian name and I stereotypically believe Italy has the most stylish eyewear. So the guy is all, wow, these look great on you, wow, do you model? (I’m 40 and 5’4″), and THEN he’s like, so these frames you’re trying on are pretty expensive – does your husband have a good job? And proceeds to tell me that in Italy, you know, its better because men are men and women are women.

        So I bought one pair from him because he did give a free eye exam, and now when I see him on the street he hits on me and it’s gross and I know he voted for Trump because generally the Boston Italians did. Now I’m just like, “hi, can’t stop to talk.” That attitude is such a turnoff.

        For those still playing, yes, men are intimidated by strong women. A lot of them can handle it; some cannot.

    7. RedRoverRedRover says:

      Because there’s nothing a successful woman wants more than a man who gets all pissy that they don’t just fall into his lap. They presumably have a lot to offer a partner. What do *you* have to offer? Here’s a hint, if no women are interested in you, it’s not because all women are bitches. It’s because of you.

      1. Oh, PS, the guy who got my friend to take his number with a funny line on the street? Turned out to be really creepy. I asked her for an update and she said:

        He made the mistake of getting too comfortable and saying he wanted to come over to hang out at my house so I could “get to know his hands” ?

  23. I think this warrants two answer. Yes, many men are intimidated by stronger women. Those are not men anyone wants however. If a man can’t handle a woman’s success, independence, etc. then he is no catch himself. Move on.
    I know men (my ex of 10 years) who prefer these type of women. My ex always says he could never be with a pushover and wants a woman who will challenge him.

    On the other hand I have been told countless times I am “intimidating”. When asking for further explanation I usually get “you walk with your head up and looking confident”. Wow, just wow. If projecting confidence intimidates a man he can move on also. I am not the most confident person. I have as many insecurities as anyone else. I just chose to not project those into the World. I keep my head up high and smile. I believe the things I am insecure about may be someone’s favorite things about me so why put that out there.

    Now I am still single at 34 ha, so perhaps I am wrong. I would however, much prefer being with someone I can be myself around rather than alter myself for anyone.

  24. Anonymousse says:

    Catcalling, and saying hello to random women on the street is rarely going to go well. Why? Because women get it all the time. I have known personally men who will catcall 100 women in a day, because one might respond to it. Men who will hit on anything that moves do it to as many as they can, because one might respond and maybe it will lead to sex.
    Women get hounded all the time. A women who doesn’t respond to you or is rude has been hit up twenty times already. Cut her a break and work on your own manners and abilities to talk to women. On the street, as women are rushing to work and evaluating their safety at night (or anytime) is not a good time. Talk to women at the coffee shop, the bookstore, in the train, whatever. Work on being less of a threat and not a creepy man. Be an interesting person to talk to. Read a book.

  25. baccalieu says:

    I’m not complaining (quite the contrary really – it’s nice to have an opportunity to re-read and comment on these old posts) but can anyone tell why and how this old columns are coming back to life. This one seems to be because the poor deluded fool above decided to use this as his platform to gripe about the loss of the good old days, but how are these pieces coming forward again?
    It is rather useless to complain that your failure to find a mate is all the fault of the opposite sex, because, even if you are right, they are not going to change for you, and if “it’s not me, it’s them”, then you are pretty much doomed to be alone. I know I have a tendency to do something similar, although I tend to blame life and circumstances rather than women (I really don’t expect anyone to look past the rather battered and tacky cover to see the sterling contents of my book) really the same argument applies to me. So I do hope he’s wrong.
    I do like the comment above that says that in the past it was desperation (or at least necessity) that drove women to pursue or tolerate less attractive (in all senses of the word) men. No one would regret the passing of those days but it would seem that the poster and I and other beta (or gamma or delta) males have to get used to the loss of a previous advantage.
    So is there anything we can do other then just suck it up. I have a real problem asking women I meet in a non-romantic setting out on a romantic date. It just seems wrong and I know that it is more likely than not that the question will not be appreciated. I don’t want to be one of those guys that you are talking about here. And I have the fear that the only difference between a creep hitting on a woman and a nice guy asking her out is that if she is interested in accepting the offer, he’s a nice guy and if she isn’t, he is a creep. I do get that constantly getting hit on or worrying about dealing with getting hit on or worse is big problem for women. so what is the right way to do it? Does anyone have a story about rejecting a guy and thinking better of him for the way he approached or the way he accepted rejection? (It doesn’t count if you eventually accepted his offer – you don’t want to give us false hope.) Or someone you interact with professionally or socially hit on you, you rejected him, and it all turned out fine?

    1. RedRoverRedRover says:

      The reason all these old articles keep coming up is that Wendy opened comments on them. They used to be closed on old articles, so people could google and find the article, but couldn’t comment, so we didn’t see it. Now they can comment so it shows in the sidebar.

      I think the best advice for you, Bacc, is what we said in one of your other threads. Meetup groups or other similar. If what you say about yourself is true, then you’d do best with a group of acquaintances where they can get to know you, and as you get to know them the two of you might feel a spark. The other plus is that you can expand your social circle which has been contracting for you, sadly.

      And for the record, I’ve been asked out in, like, the grocery store or bookstores or wherever. At the grocery store (this has happened twice) the guys asked my opinion on something first. Like I took something off the shelf and the guy was like “I’ve been thinking of trying that, is it good?” Same in a bookstore, ask about the book (or book section maybe) that they’re looking at. I never found it insulting, particularly since they opened with asking my opinion, which gives the impression they’re interested in actually talking with you.

      The thing to avoid is situations where the woman is either trapped, or is clearly in transit. Not walking down the street, not sitting on a bus or subway. And not if she’s “closed” – wearing headphones or reading a book. Those are all situations where she’s probably not interested in having a guy intrude on her.

      1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        Thanks, RRRR — You’re right; I think it was a little over a year ago (maybe longer, I can’t remember) that I closed comments on posts two weeks or older. I did this to deter spammers because I was getting so many spam comments. A few weeks ago I decided to open comments on a trial and I think it’s working out well. So far, the spammers have stayed away, and I’ve enjoyed seeing old threads be resurrected and new readers be able to share their thoughts and maybe feel encouraged to participate and get involved in the site.

    2. I have a couple answers FWIW:

      “So is there anything we can do other then just suck it up. I have a real problem asking women I meet in a non-romantic setting out on a romantic date. It just seems wrong and I know that it is more likely than not that the question will not be appreciated…”

      So, it’s a pretty tricky thing to do. The only way I can really see it working is if you’re able to get her laughing somehow, and have some funny conversation and then give her your number because you’d like to get a drink sometime. I really can’t think of any other way (if you’re not some tall hot confident dude). It’s certainly easier when you are in a singles setting where people are doing a leisure activity because they’re looking to meet people. That way you know they’re open to meeting someone, and they’re there for that, not running around trying to get shit done.

      ” I have the fear that the only difference between a creep hitting on a woman and a nice guy asking her out is that if she is interested in accepting the offer, he’s a nice guy and if she isn’t, he is a creep.”

      This is actually not true, though I see why it seems like it should be. My friend who I mentioned above took the guy’s number and got in touch with him (on her work Samsung, not her personal iPhone, haha). In the course of texting with him, she realized he was a creep. Creeps can be very charismatic, funny, charming, and attention-getting.

      “Does anyone have a story about rejecting a guy and thinking better of him for the way he approached or the way he accepted rejection?”

      No. Here’s an example: I had met a guy online. He lived in Southeastern MA which is quite a haul from where I am. He was tall and very funny and fun to talk to. He drove to meet me on the Cape on a Sunday and we had a good time. He actually drove all the way to Boston the next time and we again had a fun date. Ultimately, although he was pretty much my usual type, there was just some physical attraction barrier I couldn’t get past. I wanted to, but I couldn’t see making out with him. So he texted me about a third date and I was honest with him that I really had a lot of fun with him but the chemistry wasn’t there (I feel like I phrased it better than that). He was super cool in his response and let me off the hook really well. But it didn’t make me rethink anything. I still thought he was a good guy and wished I could have been into him. I think with women, if we turn a guy down, it’s because we couldn’t get to a place of being attracted, and as well as he takes it, it won’t change our mind.

      1. Or we may just turn him down because we think he’s creepy, meaning a threat to our physical or emotional safety, and generally when you turn down those guys, they act like jerks and prove you right. I’ve never rejected a guy I thought was a creep and then he took the rejection well so I rethought it.

    3. SpaceySteph says:

      “I and other beta (or gamma or delta) males have to get used to the loss of a previous advantage.”
      We are not dogs and therefore not every woman is interested in a so-called “alpha male.” In fact, I’d say to a successful, smart, feminist woman a “beta” male might actually be more attractive as a total package because he wouldn’t presume superiority over her or other people and would instead act as a partner. Funny story: there’s an old photo of my husband on fb from college with a girl labeled only as “the hottest bartender ever” and the first comment on there is “you dummy, you didn’t even get her name?!” Yeah, that’s not an alpha… one of the many reasons I love him. So step 1 I’d say is to stop filling your head with that pickup artist nonsense because an alpha it’s not what all women are looking for.

      “And I have the fear that the only difference between a creep hitting on a woman and a nice guy asking her out is that if she is interested in accepting the offer, he’s a nice guy and if she isn’t, he is a creep.”
      The assumption of creep is a defense mechanism. It has nothing to do with you personally and everything to do with a woman wanting to make it home alive and unraped at the end of the day. It’s not personal it’s self preservation. The burden of proof is on you to show you aren’t a creeper, not on a woman to take your word for it and risk her safety in the process.

    4. ele4phant says:

      I don’t think I’ve thought “better” of guys when they took my rejection gracefully, because that’s the way it should happen. You shouldn’t get extra brownie points for behaving how you are supposed to.

      That said, I have been approached by plenty of men I’m not interested in, and then when they were respectful in taking my no as the final answer, I absolutely did not think they were creepy.

      In my mind, being creepy is defined as giving a someone unwanted AND sustained attention. You may ask out a woman who isn’t interested in your, but if she says thanks but no thanks and then you leave her alone, then you’re not being creepy. If you don’t take the hint she’s not interested, or you try to negotiate with her about why she should say yes, then sorry man, you’re being creepy.

      Of course, the best way to ask out someone in a non-romantic way is to not do it cold. Try to preempt the “unwanted” part of the equation by actually having a light, low stakes conversation with her first, putting out some feelers to see if she might be interested (do you seem to have chemistry, shared interests, shared sense of humor, does it come up that she’s even available) before you ask. If you’re just asking out women without talking to them first, even for a few minutes and assessing whether they might actually be interested, you’re going to potentially weird out a lot of women.

      1. ele4phant says:

        Also – I’d say people (ALL humans communicate non-verbally this isn’t just a woman thing) communicate first non-verbally. So you may think if you’ve asked her out and therefore she said no only once, but she may have tried to indicate her disinterest several times and in several ways leading up to that. From her end, the attention was both and unwanted and sustained, therefore creepy.

        If you’re talking with someone and they do things like avoid eye contact, give you monosyllabic answers, if they don’t make any effort to keep the conversation going, if they lean physically away from you or are closing off their body, if they are trying to pull other people into the conversation, these are all “nos”.

        Pay attention to how the woman is behaving and don’t make her say no to you umpteen different ways. You will come across creepy if you ignore her non-verbal cues.

      2. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

        Bac It might help you to read a book on body language. Any body language book to begin with and then one or more specifically about the body language of dating or romance. You can find them at your local library if you don’t want to buy them. I find the whole topic fascinating so read them for fun whenever I see a new one. People give off lots of signals and if you watch for them you will have a good idea of whether a woman is interested or not and when you see the signals that she is you will feel more confident asking her out. You will also be more aware of your own body signals. What signs are you giving to women. I’ve read enough of them that I pick up on things now that I probably wouldn’t have noticed before or would have thought was odd.

        You will learn to watch for things like is she open or closed off. If she is putting things between the two of you she is closed off. This includes crossing her arms or putting items between the two of you on a table. See which direction her feet or belly button point. They will point in the direction of her focus or thoughts. If they are pointed at you she is focused on you. If they are pointed at someone else her focus is on the someone else. If they are pointed at the door her focus is probably on leaving. If they are pointed at food or drink that’s her focus.

  26. baccalieu says:

    Regarding the original question as to whether men are intimidated by strong independent women, of course we are, just as we might be intimidated by an extremely beautiful woman. Any attractive quality is going to be intimidating as well as attractive, at least at first. Would you not be intimidated, at least a little bit, by a very attractive, confident man? However, at least for me, I also find strength, intelligence and independence very attractive qualities and would very much want them in a partner. I think a lot of other men, and probably most other men, feel the same way, in that the strong and independent women I know (which is actually most of the women I know) don’t seem to have any trouble finding partners.

    However, it should be noted that the OP’s friend did not say her problem was being too strong, opinionated and independent, he said she was being too “alpha-male” and (rather interestingly really) she translated that into the good qualities of being strong and independent and having and maintaining opinions. However, in addition to their desirable qualities, alpha males also often have qualities that are not so desirable, such as being selfish, narcissistic, monomaniacal (about whatever their particular interests and goals are) and disinterested in anyone else’s thoughts, desires or feelings (sometimes these traits are part of what makes them successful). The OP’s friend may have been trying to suggest to her that she suffered from these problems. While being independent and opinionated is good, there is such a thing as being too independent and too opinionated for both men and women (and in an ideal world they would be the same behavior)
    I do get that there is double standard here in that what is considered in men to be a positive display of strength of opinion and independence would be considered in women to be something negative. We obviously have to fight to change that perspective, but doing so doesn’t mean deciding that no amount of being independent and opinionated in a woman is too much, just as it can be in a man. (it reminds me of an old cartoon that showed a male employee visiting the CEO’s office and sitting on top of the CEO’s desk with his legs splayed out across the desk and an arrogant expression on his face and the CEO saying, “I like you, Farnsworth – you’ve got guts.” In any real office, this would be seen as a demonstration of too much strength and independence).

    1. I think you’re right that typical alpha males may have some of those qualities. If you’re a woman who wants a CEO, well… you’re gonna have to be prepared for some trade-offs.

      However, there is a middle ground between a “beta” guy with no confidence and a typical “alpha.” For me, that’s been guys who are tall, funny, had a rough childhood and had to fight for themselves, got onto a sports team, ended up having a strong social circle in college and later, and has the outward alpha personality and confidence though they, like everyone, have some inner insecurities. That describes almost every guy I’ve seriously dated. They all had to overcome something, were bullied or made fun of as kids, and developed into strong, confident, social, athletic men.

      That’s my thing, but I think there are other ways of being alpha without being an asshole, just thinking of guys I know at work who are super focused on achieving, very competitive, but also great guys in strong relationships.

      Beta guys are not my thing, but I know they can make wonderful partners too.

      1. Also, I just took a quiz to see what alpha really means in a woman. I’m not alpha, I’m a hybrid of mid-alpha and mid-beta supposedly, whatever that means, but yes, there were a lot of qualities on that list that could cause someone to come across as very dominant, maybe obnoxious. The key, though, is that wherever you fall on the spectrum, there are potential matches on the spectrum for you, and others that would be bad matches. And yes, I agree that extreme bossiness or lack of empathy or stubbornness could be too much (though maybe they match with someone who’s also like that).


      2. And if this quiz has any validity, I think you may be in the “beige” box, Baccalieu, meaning you’re really vulnerable, maybe too vulnerable to date until you work out your stuff in therapy. If you’re not beige, the quiz gives you some insight on what types you could work with in a relationship and what types to avoid, although I guess you have to buy the book to figure it out in more depth.

      3. baccalieu says:

        Where was the quiz?

      4. It’s linked like 2 posts above.

      5. Do you see it? It seemed fairly accurate, although I think I’d be blue rather than lime green. But close. I’m curious where you’d fall. It says it’s a women’s quiz but seems unisex.


      6. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        I got purple (low alpha and mid beta). It doesn’t fit me, saying that I avoid confrontations (not true) and lack confidence (not true). I really hate letting people down, I feel guilty a lot, and I worry about how other people are feeling and try to make people in my life happy/ feel better even at the detriment of my own emotional and physical well-being, which I think it where my scores leaned away from alpha. But, I have no trouble speaking my mind, standing up for myself and others, fighting for my beliefs, and being a “self-starter.” I’m not a natural leader, exactly, but I don’t have a problem taking the lead if I see that no one else is stepping up.

      7. SpaceySteph says:

        This quiz is very confusing. So many colors! I got Orange and idk, I would never describe myself as “laid back” or “low key.”

      8. Yeah, it may be BS. Kind of interested to see the qualities on the list though. What I took away from it is that you could have alpha qualities but also beta qualities, and maybe how you interact in a relationship will depend on what kind of mix your partner is. I can get on board with there being a spectrum from primarily alpha to completely vulnerable with a lot in between. It’s maybe not as black and white as people think. And you could be very aggressive at work maybe but not really want to be that way at home.

      9. I took it and I was blue. Low beta and high alpha. Which isn’t really me at all, I don’t think. I think is some areas, I’m more dominant, but in others, not so much.

      10. I got “avoids confrontation” too, and I was like, no. Haha.

      11. baccalieu says:

        Thanks Kate. I found it. I actually got blue – mid-alpha and high beta (you made a mistake KTfran) I am kind of surprised that I came out so high in both categories I might have thought I was beige myself. Maybe the quiz doesn’t take into account the depths of my insecurities, which are truly Mariana- Trench-like. I also am not sure what it means to be high and low in beta (I think I can grasp alpha) I presume that high beta means being empathetic and wanting to get along in a group, there were a lot of questions about whether you cared what other people thought of you and unfortunately I do a lot, even though I don’t seem to have the knack for getting along with them. I believe I scored relatively high in the alpha because even though I am not very good at it, I would like to dominate and lead as much as the next person.

      12. SpaceySteph says:

        @Kate– yeah I like the premise of the spectrum, but I’m not convinced that the test did a good job of assessing it.
        It also leaves a lot of room for people subconsciously (or not so subconsciously) skewing their score by picking qualities they *want* to have or *think* they have. Situational things are better to assess this than the “I like to be ___” type questions. You can like to be a leader all you want, but to be a leader then you have to actually have people follow you.

      13. RedRoverRedRover says:

        I think people are mischaracterizing beta. The pickup-artist community has kind of co-opted the word and made it synonymous with “loser” or “pussy”. That’s not really what it is though. It’s essentially just not-alpha. A lot of people in STEM are betas, in my experience, and I prefer them. I could never, ever be partnered with an alpha. I got lime green. Personally I identify more with betas, but I guess I have a lot of leadership qualities and confidence which push me a bit away from being full-on beta.

        I think this comic characterizes it pretty well:

  27. baccalieu says:

    Thanks Kate and Red and Steph for the responses.

  28. This Is Why Many Of Us Good Men Are Still Single Today says:

    Well with the kind of women that we now have out there which certainly speaks for itself since most of them unfortunately are very pathetic since they have no respect for many of us good men since they have no personality and good manors at all these days as well. First of all with all these strong independent women today that have a career really think that they’re God’s give to men the way that they’re acting with us good men when we will just say good morning and how are you doing to start a conversation going which doesn’t go to well for us. There are times when they will mouth off to us for no reason at all when we will try to get to know them which many of these women just don’t want to be bothered with us men which i really believe that they most likely had a very bad experience with the men that they were with at one time unfortunately. But they’re now taking their problems out on us good innocent men really looking for true love which obviously there is no such thing these days which is a very good reason why many of us are still single unfortunately. The women now with their careers making a six figure income are the worst of all since they’re very nasty to us men since they really think that we owe them something too which makes these women even more sad as well. This is why many of us good men out there will never bother with these type of women anyway since they’re a real turn off to us anyway because of the way they act these days which makes it very sad that the real good old fashioned women aren’t around anymore since most of the women back then were really the best at one time and really did put these women today to real shame altogether.

    1. You’re not a good guy though. You are judging “today’s women” as pathetic, lacking personality, arrogant, sad, mouthy, nasty, the worst, and lacking “manors” (It’s “manners”). A good, innocent guy wouldn’t do that.

      If you’re being mouthed off to or treated nastily, I am pretty sure it’s because you are approaching women in a way that’s lacking good etiquette and makes them uncomfortable.

      1. This Is Why Many Of Us Good Men Are Still Single Today says:

        I just keep meeting the Wrong women all the time unfortunately instead of the Right good one which it isn’t My Fault at all which it is just my luck i guess. You have to remember that this isn’t the 50’s and 60’s anymore these days which Most of the women back then were Totally Different than today. It is just too very bad for us Good men that we happened to be born at such a Very Bad Time which i wish that i could really go back in time and start all over again since we really Can’t.

      2. Aww, I wish you could go back to the 50s too. I’m sorry you were born at the Wrong Time 🙁

        It’s definitely not Your Fault in any way.

      3. SpaceySteph says:

        Hah, Kate, I love your whole comment!

    2. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      You are imagining women that never existed. You have this fantasy past in your head that is just that, fantasy. Women have usually tried to be picky about who they paired up with. In the past it was even more critical because her future depended on his future. If she made a bad choice she ended up with a bad life. Today women can support themselves so they don’t have to stay stuck in a bad relationship.

      If your approach isn’t working then you need to try something else. If all of the women find your approach offensive then you must be doing something offensive. I met my husband through a club we both joined. I got to know him casually before beginning to date. If he had been some random stranger trying to talk to me I would have found it creepy.

      For our safety women are taught to not go out with men we don’t know at all. If you approach us and we don’t know you we find it creepy because we don’t know if you are safe or not. Random men who approach women are usually after sex, not a long term commitment. They approach a woman based on her looks and nothing else. If the woman isn’t interested in that she’ll let you know which is probably what has happened to you.

      Don’t approach women you don’t know and try to start conversations. As you can see, it doesn’t usually work very well. I know it is easier to blame all women for your problems but the one common denominator is you. Other men are managing to go on dates. Not all men all the time but some men some of the time.

      1. This Is Why Many Of Us Good Men Are Still Single Today says:

        Once again which i have No Reason to blame myself at all since i see this happening to other men as well which makes it very sad now that we’re living in a different time today unfortunately. The women of today have Really Changed since the Past which many of them do put us men down that would really know how to treat a Good woman with a lot of Love And Respect since there are many of us Good men out there that are innocent. Why would i Blame myself anyway when i Never did anything Wrong in the first place? You can see years ago how very Easy it was for our Family Members that were very Fortunate to be born at that time which certainly explains why we’re here today thanks to them. It is very hard for me to Approach women that do put us men down all the time unfortunately since many women that do have their Careers now has Really Changed them when they Weren’t like this at all back then. Thank you very much for your support. Peace.

      2. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        Why do you capitalize random words in the middle of your sentences?

      3. RedRoverRedRover says:

        Well I’m glad you have No Reason to blame yourself. Must be every woman in the world’s fault then.

        You say the women act like you owe them something, which seems to piss you off. But YOU act like women owe YOU their time. They don’t. They don’t owe you a damn thing. I said before, what do you have to offer? Because from what you’ve written here, it sounds like all you have is anger and bitterness and a feeling of entitlement. If you walked up to me on the street with that attitude, I wouldn’t touch you with a 10-foot-pole.

      4. Anonymousse says:

        Yeah, it definitely must be the women, and not you being a sexist pig at all.

    3. Avatar photo Guy Friday says:

      I don’t mean to pull the #notallmen card, but, to be clear, this guy doesn’t speak for me or ANY of my male friends one bit. Sure, some “independent” women can be abrasive, but then again so can some “independent” men, or “non-independent” women (whatever that means), or . . . you know what I mean.

      Personally, I love independent women. My wife’s a bad-ass engineer who develops things I can’t even fully understand. She doesn’t need me to succeed in this world, but she wants me there anyway to celebrate her good times and soften the bad times and make a life together. It’s a much better feeling to be chosen than it is to be a crutch.

      1. snoopy128 says:

        Guy Friday, you gave me all the feels this morning with your last paragraph.

      2. This Is Why Many Of Us Good Men Are Still Single Today says:

        Well you were very blessed to find a Good old fashioned type of woman since your life is very much complete when many of us men which i will speak for others Weren’t that fortunate at all. My ex wife left me once she started making a lot of money which really had Changed her personality for the Worst of all that i started to notice which you can really see how Hurt i am since i was a Very Good Husband that showed her a lot of Love And Respect and i was Very Committed to her as well. And guess what, which it still Wasn’t Good Enough for her anyway since i know other people that had this happened to them as well which makes it very sad how women can Change since they have the Power to do so which i will Admit. But it is the innocent Good men like us that suffer right? Well unfortunately it is. I feel very sorry for the ones that have children that had this happened to them already. How sad. And like i said in the beginning of my comment which you were Very Extremely Blessed to find a Good wife to love you for who you’re and make sure that you hold on to her even during the worst of times that you may argue when something goes Wrong. Peace.

      3. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        I’m curious — when you were married, did you do half the work at home? Did you ever cook, do laundry, clean the house, grocery shop, buy household items, replace the toilet paper when the roll was empty? Or, did you consider this all women’s work? Do you thin it’s possible that your wife left you because she felt even though you “respected” her and were “very committed” to her, you didn’t provide enough support? Maybe, since you seem to have “old-fashioned” views about women’s place in the world, you didn’t mind that she had a career and made good money, as long as she did all the housework, too, and she was like, fuck that.

      4. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        Because, seriously, fuck that.

      5. Seriously. Go to therapy and take a writing and grammar course.

      6. Oh, I get it now.

      7. RedRoverRedRover says:

        He wasn’t just randomly “blessed”. He’s a great guy, plus he respects women. He looked for an equal partner in life and he found one. You hate women and blame them for your failures. I’ll say again, it’s not the women, it’s you.

      8. Also, how is a bad-ass engineer a “Good Old Fashioned Woman?” It’s my understanding that men weren’t too keen on women having bad-ass jobs in the 1950s, because they had all just come back from the war and THEY needed those jobs that women had been doing while they were off at war. So they said, “ok dolls, you’re gonna need to stay home now and keep house.” So women did, because they had to. A lot of them would have preferred to be bad ass engineers and make a lot of money.

    4. SpaceySteph says:

      You’re right, the extinction of humanity is imminent because women These Days don’t need men. What a sad day for us all.

      1. Right? It’s not like I’ve been to a dozen+ weddings in the last few years. Apparently there are No More Good Women left to marry all the Good Men, so I don’t know how all these marriages just keep on happening!

        How do you know the pay scale of every random woman you try to say “Good Morning” to, anyway?

  29. This Is Why Many Of Us Good Men Are Still Single Today says:

    To Wendy, yes replying to your comment which i did all those things for your information. But like i said with my last comment which it still Wasn’t good enough for that very Pathetic Low Life Loser that she turned out to be. Eventually i had her followed and she was caught since i had a feeling something was Wrong when she acted so cold with me. Do you know how many people out there that had this happened to them already since this is the unfortunate real world that we live in now and this is going to keep happening right up to the end of time.

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      So, your ex girlfriend cheated on you? Do you think men don’t cheat on women all the time?

      1. RedRoverRedRover says:

        But that was ok though. That’s his whole point. That we need to go back to the 50s and 60s where men could do whatever they wanted, and women just had to take it because they weren’t allowed to earn a good living on their own. Utopia.

      2. This Is Why Many Of Us Good Men Are Still Single Today says:

        But it is real fact that women cheat more than men do nowadays. Gee wiz, could it just be why the divorce rate is so very high today? Maybe? Yeah, i would say. Been there and done that.

      3. dinoceros says:

        The divorce rate has been falling for decades. Do you ever like watch/read the news or really anything?

      4. Bittergaymark says:

        The Divorce rate is falling? Really? I doubt that very much. Source? Please.

    2. Anonymousse says:

      Yeah, having her followed is really creepy. I wonder what other terrible things you did.

    3. The divorce rate has been going down since the 90s. Women ARE cheating more than they used to (as much as men apparently), but that’s not causing higher divorce rates.

  30. baccalieu says:

    So “This is why….”, I am just wondering what your point is. If you are just wanted to “vent” about the passing of the old days, fine, I guess. But you really haven’t chosen a very sympathetic audience to vent to. Even if you are right, you don’t expect things to suddenly go back to the way they were, do you? So you had a marriage that didn’t work out, that happens to a lot of good people. (If what you are telling us is correct, it was because your wife didn’t appreciate you and cheated on you, but it doesn’t really matter whose fault it is, does it?) Presumably you would like to find a new and more compatible partner. So what have you been doing to find one? (To other commenters: yes, I know – I should follow my own advice. But at least I’m not laboring under the delusion that my being single has nothing to do with my own characteristics.)

    1. This Is Why Many Of Us Good Men Are Still Single Today says:

      Everything that i have said was the real truth by the way which i have no reason to lie at all since most women nowadays unfortunately like sleeping around with all kinds of men which it is very hard for them to commit to just only one man. Many women just have commitment issues since a friend that i know had the same thing happened to him as well.

      1. Omg, can you believe it? An article came out this year that said women are now cheating- wait for it- AS MUCH AS MEN!!!!

      2. ScreenSinger says:

        Wait, it happened to a friend of yours that you know also in addition as well? Well, that just nails it shut. Case closed, women are awful.

        Or, rather, people are awful. As Kate wonderfully just pointed out, you aren’t describing male v female problems. You’re discussing problems that many people have in general. Commitment issues? I refer you to Vince Vaughan in…well, any movie, really. There’s a reason that men usually embody that trope in film, but you’re also not wrong to say that women experience it AS WELL.

        And, for the record, commitment issues aren’t the only reason for sleeping around. They’re a popular reason because, hey…sex is wonderful. It has some meh moments, but the beginning and end are fantastic. But that aside, many people actually cheat for the somewhat nonsensical reason that they’re actually afraid of breaking their commitment. They aren’t happy in their relationship, but they don’t want to admit it. So they do something awful as an escape, that they may or may not regret depending on how unhappy their relationship makes them. I don’t know if that’s your case. But to suggest something as general as “commitment issues” about everyone who cheats–especially on the basis of which genitals they carry around with them–is to ignore a lot of complexities of both relationships and general human behavior.

      3. ScreenSinger, you may have missed it above, but he has another theory, which is that women want to sleep around with all types of men. I know I do. All types. Add me on Snapchat!

      4. Oh wait, no, you picked up on that. Nice work!

      5. Anonymousse says:

        Your personal experience is one experience. Your “friend’s” (possibly also you) is yet one more experience. That’s hardly demonstrative of anything.

  31. I know that this is an old thread but to the original point, if one of your friends tells you that you have a “strong personality” or are “too much of an alpha” which “intimidates” “weak” “people” they are not complimenting your personal fortitude. They are trying to find a euphemistic way to tell you that you’re a difficult person.

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      Yes. EXACTLY!!

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