In this era, where extraversion is lauded and self-absorption seems to be the key to all things, the Alpha Male is seen as the ultimate catch.
Attractive, confident, outspoken, sexually aggressive, and usually a bit of a badass, Alpha Guy is the type that a lot of women are trained to seek out and “win."
Well, okay, but what happens when you actually get him? The self-assuredness that was first found attractive turns out to be arrogance. The giddy thrill at winning this dude transforms quickly into frustration and anxiety when he makes it clear that you’re more of an accessory than a real partner.
Beta Males are a different type entirely, and make much better companions for myriad reasons. In terms of TV characters, think Sam Winchester rather than Dean on Supernatural, or Jamie Fraser from Outlander.
If you spot most of the following traits in your guy, you may indeed be in Beta territory… and that’s a very good thing indeed.
1. He Sincerely Wants To Spend Time With You
Unlike Alpha guy, whom you’ll only really hear from when the whim strikes up, Beta guy makes an effort to let you know that he’s thinking about you and would like to see you.
You might get a random text in the middle of the day just to say hello, even if it’s just a silly photo of something that he thinks might make you smile, and he’ll make sure to ask what your schedule is like so the two of you can organize time together.
Chances are he’ll even go to a knitting festival or petting zoo with you and have fun doing so, and will be delighted if you accompany him to Comic Con.
2. He Remembers Your Birthday
…and anniversaries, and your mother’s birthday, and what your kid’s favorite ice cream is, and all those other little details that make you tear up when you realize this guy actually cares.
And he does.
Betas are sentimental, and if something is important to you, it’s important to them as well, even if it’s seemingly insignificant.
3. Sex Isn’t The Main Objective
He enjoys sex as much as the next guy, but he’s also totally okay with cuddling while watching a movie. He’s not just spending time with you because he wants to get off: he enjoys your company, your conversation, and even hysterical laughing fits while playing Cards Against Humanity or similar.
But speaking of sex…
4. He’s Attentive In Bed
Alpha men tend to place their own wants and preferences as top priority, and put little (if any) effort into pleasing their partner. Their dominance and aggressiveness may be a turn-on at times, but it’s all about what they like. As soon as they’re done, they’re done.
Your Beta male partner will take the time to find out what pleases you, and actually wants to make sure you enjoy yourself as much as he does.
Instead of rolling his eyes or finding something more important to take care of when you need to talk to him about something, your Beta guy will take the time to listen to you and work with you to resolve issues that may arise.
More than that, he’ll sincerely hear what it is you’re telling him, and won’t just brush off what you’re saying as oversensitivity or needless worrying.
In fact, chances are that if there’s something that he feels needs to be said, he’ll talk to you about it in turn: he won’t just bottle it up and seethe with resentment until he finally explodes and/or ends the relationship. He’ll communicate, even if that involves writing you letters or emails about the subject if verbal communication proves to be too difficult.
6. He’s Creative
Beta men often have hobbies or pastimes that are quite creative, whether it’s cooking, woodworking, music, etc. If you’re dating a guy like this, he’ll be encouraging and enthusiastic about your pursuits and show real interest in your creative endeavors.
In turn, if you make it clear to him that you care about the things that he’s passionate about, he’ll light up and eagerly show you what he’s working on.
Alpha dude usually needs to get an attention fix on a regular basis, and this includes being fawned over in public. If he wants to take you out with him, it’s likely because he considers you to be arm candy and wants to show you off as the accessory of the moment.
If you’re with a Beta male, sure, he’s proud to be seen with you when you go out together, but he’s also absolutely cool with getting into comfy clothes and ordering takeout while binge-watching Netflix on your couch.
In fact, he may very well prefer that, as you’ll get to spend quality time together and enjoy a bit of domesticity.
8. Domesticity Isn’t Balked At
This isn’t a guy who will make excuses for why he can’t do his share of housework, or complain loudly when a household issue needs to be tended to.
When something needs to be done, he’ll do it.
If you live together, he’ll do things that he can see need to be done without having to be bribed with favors, nor will he demand that his efforts are acknowledged as somehow being special.
9. You Can Count On Him
This is a guy whom you can actually count on to be there when you need him, or to step up in difficult times instead of running away. You won’t be carrying the entire world on your shoulders, alone: he’s a real partner, not merely a plaything.
10. He Appreciates The Small Things You Do for Him
Alpha guys usually have such a strong sense of entitlement that when you do something that’s sweet or endearing, they’ll take it in their stride because they feel they deserve it. Or, they’ll gloss over it, roll their eyes, and feel like you’re getting too attached for their liking.
Beta guy will smile when he finds the note you’ve slipped into his lunch, will truly appreciate the fact that you’ve taken the time to learn how he likes his coffee. He’s also more likely to enjoy a small gift you’ve made him instead of a flashy, expensive piece that you’ve saved up for to prove how much you care.
11. “Commitment” Isn’t A Terrifying Concept For Him
Whereas Alpha guys tend to avoid catching feelings and prefer to have short-term, casual flings, Beta men like the idea of making a commitment to a person and cultivating a genuine relationship with them.
If he’s fallen for you, he’s yours.
Beta guys are more likely to be faithful, as integrity means a hell of a lot to them, and they wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt you. They like the idea of a lifelong partnership with someone they love: a partnership with a person with whom they can grow, and cultivate a beautiful life.
12. When He Does Kind Things For Others, It’s Not Merely For Attention
Betas tend to be really good guys. They’ll often go out of their way to do small acts of kindness for other people, and are sincerely concerned for other people’s happiness and wellbeing.
If Alpha guy gives change to a homeless person or opens a door for someone with a grand flourish, he’ll often look around to make sure that such a gesture has been noticed and acknowledged. His actions are all for show, to boost his own ego.
If the guy you’re dating helps someone – whether it’s to assist a blind person cross a street, or making a donation to a charity without shouting about it on social media – it’s because his heart is in the right place and he wants to help.
When it comes to authentic, meaningful relationships, Beta males are definitely the way to go. If you recognize that you’re with a guy who exhibits a lot of these traits, you’ve managed to snag one of the good guys.
Catherine Winter is a writer, art director, and herbalist-in-training based in Quebec's Outaouais. She has been known to subsist on coffee and soup for days at a time, and when she isn't writing or tending her garden, she can be found wrestling with various knitting projects and befriending local wildlife.