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Where Have all the Alpha Men Gone?
They see each other across a crowded room. She smiles warmly, indicating her interest. When this is met with only a quick glance, she decides to make a point of letting him know she is interested. So she works her way across to where he is standing, and again makes eye contact and an attempt at conversation by offering a witty comment or asking a friendly question. He seems receptive as he smiles back and offers a little conversation of his own. Then it gets quiet for a minute. She goes along with it until she fears he may be pulled away by his friends, then tries asking him something not too forward or personal about himself in order to move the conversation along. Again, he offers up his answer willingly, but only follows up with a vague or indifferent question in response. Just when she begins to think he's just not that into her, he tells her he is getting another drink and asks her if she wants to order something as well. She moves up beside him to do so, and after he gets his ordered, steps back so she can handle getting and paying for hers. Afterwards, they stand and talk for awhile and the conversation goes along fairly smoothly.
After talking for awhile, his friends ask him if he wants to leave and go somewhere else. He says he does and turns to her to say good-bye. She makes her move and offers him her business card, telling him she would love to get together sometime. He agrees, and writes his number/email on a napkin, suggesting she give him a call or send him an email or text. A week later, she has not heard from him, so after much deliberation and discussion with her girlfriends, she decides to send an email- letting him know she enjoyed meeting him and would love to get together sometime. She does hear back from him and they arrange to meet. By the time she is ready to see him again she begins wondering how interested he really is and why she had to do all the work to get to a first "date." Is it lack of interest, bad timing, or something else?
When a guy is just not interested, his behavior is usually fairly consistent. He avoids eye contact, making any meaningful conversation, and will not be open to giving out his contact information and/or asking a woman to get in touch. If he's had a lot to drink or just having an off night, he may be persuaded to hand out some information--but don't expect to hear back from him if you call or write. Guys disappear when they are not into you, period.
Therefore, if a man shows even a mild interest during that first meeting, states that he would like to see you again, and gives you his contact information--he is demonstrating at least some desire to know more about you. However, if he waits for you to make all the moves, or demonstrates a lack of real enthusiasm, he is sending a nonverbal mixed message. The key is to learn how to decipher it and tell if he is someone who is not into you as much as you are him, or is someone who has lost touch with his inner alpha male.
Some of the reasons men have sublimated their aggressive, dominant sides can be due to the following:
* He is uncomfortable making the first move because women seem more responsive when he acts hard to get.
Unfortunately, there is some truth to this. Women do find guys who are coolly aloof to be interesting and worth making an effort to know. Perhaps it is a mistaken impression that they have higher self esteem or a greater sense of confidence. If women could be more aware of this, perhaps they could learn to distance more when a guy acts this way--which would give him room to move forward and make those first moves.
* He has heard too many women complain of "desperate" men who come on strong and try to move too fast.
Again, we females do tend to be wary of men who seem too eager. I?m often reminded of one of Groucho Marx's famous quotes, when he said; "I wouldn't join a country club that would have me as a member." Is there something in us, ladies that believes that if a guy is really into us, he must not have very high standards? Think about it. Nest time, when a man shows a strong interest; give it some time--you just may end up with a nice, sexy, alpha male.
* He has had a lot of rejection and is more comfortable if she takes the lead.
It's absolutely true that we learn to adapt our thinking and behavior to the experiences that we have had. If a guy has heard no a lot, he will be gun shy. This doesn't mean that something is wrong with him, by the way. He may have a history of attraction to the wrong kind of woman. He may be a really great guy who has a shyness problem or needs to work on his communication style. Again, consider giving him a second chance. He just may surprise you. It's like those women you know who are married to "nice, great" guys. Maybe they knew something you don't.
* He has been reading a lot of articles on a seduction website that advises men to play hard to get and communicate a lack of interest, which will then make them more appealing to women.
Believe it or not, there are many websites and articles for men that preach this. If life were just a game, it might be useful advice. However, even if it works in the short run, it can't be sustained in a long term relationship. Then what? Listen up guys--nothing sells like the confident, direct approach. Women love strength and assertiveness in men.
* He was more interested in another woman in the room and was holding back to see if anything would happen there. However, he didn't want to give up on the interested woman altogether and end up empty handed.
Yes, we all know this happens. Sometimes the lady he is checking out is your friend, and he approaches you with the goal of working his way in her direction. If this is what is happening, you will know it. His nonverbal communication will tell you by where he looks, leans, and directs his comments. Go with your gut and be ready to back out gracefully. He is neither an alpha nor your Mr. Right.
One last important point is that he may be a shy guy (really, they do exist)--which does not mean he is boring, unassertive, or weak. With a little encouragement and initial lead taking on your part, his alpha male could come roaring out. Another myth is that men who are quiet, reserved and somewhat shy socially, lack ambition, strength of will and character, and/ or are men who are unsuccessful in their professional lives. Not necessarily so. Many a very successful guy got that way by having a strong and encouraging woman standing behind him.
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
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