My friend Caitie said that a guy who lets a woman dictate the relationship lacks the qualities that women associate with masculinity. This was right after she got dumped by a guy who would tell anyone what he thought about anything at any time. He called our friend an idiot to her face with no irony. He championed gun rights on Facebook an hour after the Newtown massacre. He actually told Caitie that his new Chinese girlfriend smelled exotic and sexy and that she just smelled like a random white girl. He said this. And Caitie wasn’t even fazed. She was just like, yeah, this is what he does, he shares his opinion.
I hate to say it, but he’s just a harsh example of how women crave aggressive men. Every guy I’ve ever liked has always expressed himself with really strong conviction. Conviction in general makes anyone interesting. Voicing strong conviction (especially about something unpopular) means you’re bold, which means you have a lot of testosterone, which means that you’ll probably have healthy kids. Another sign of high testosterone is the ability to block other things out so you can fully focus on a single task. So if you’re a high testosterone guy, that combination of conviction and tenacity can make you successful both with women and at work.
Unfortunately for me, Caitie, and the billions of other women who love you, it also means that you’re probably never going to put us first. We put a picture of us with you up as our profile, but your pictures with us are relegated to the photos section. We tell you about our day and you listen, but you keep adding glib commentary to demonstrate that your conception of our day is just as important as ours. For some reason we want you to know more than us. We want your will to be stronger than ours at all times. I think that’s why we nag you, so you can prove both your ability to out-argue us and your interest in doing so. We get at least as much joy from being with a winner as we do from winning. No matter how ambitious we are.
I’m seeing a mild-mannered guy who thinks I’m phenomenal. He says that the only thing he really feels strongly about is being a great partner. In other words, I am his conviction and he has no other one. Sounds like a pretty clever solution to the problem, right? Wrong. It sucks. We have nothing to say to each other. I nitpick him to pieces just to make conversation. It wouldn’t even matter if he did have interests, because he’s a gentle person and my reproductive urges clearly think I need someone who is so intense at all times that he might as well be bouncing on his heels to go stab that mammoth and drag it back for me.
Worst of all, he thinks I’m a good girlfriend. But most of the time I feel nothing but guilty for not being able to love him.
It doesn’t matter much what your conviction is, as long as you’re vocal about it. If you’re a small-town hero who’s at every party fighting off half the girls you’ve known since kindergarten, I want you. If you’re one of those bearded Marxist time bombs that goes off whenever anybody says “capital gains,” I want you too. If you’re having a manic episode and your crazy blue eyes are flashing as you tell me you’re writing a guide to World of Warcraft that will bring back the Renaissance, I’ll be hot as hell for you. If you’re a sensitive guy who makes damn sure everyone knows how well you can read people, I’ll fall in love with you instantly. And frankly, if you’re awkward, depressed, not the cleanest person on Earth and you holler your opposition to pop culture ranging from Inception to football in favor of being a brony, I’ll give you a shot.
You think I’m kidding. I’m not. Those are real examples.
Subtlety works too. I never got over the last guy I hooked up with in college. He was four years younger than me and terribly shy. But he wore red boots that called attention. He made a killing selling guitars and other hipster paraphernalia on eBay. He had an indifferent air of self-possession, and when I brought him home he made sure I knew what he thought of everyone else in our dormitory. He also let me know that these were the positions we were going to do and this was when we were going to do them.
The last day I saw him, he gave me a painting and a polyester 70’s shirt. He came downstairs to kiss me, I snapped a picture of us, and he pulled away first.
Caitie has a new boyfriend now. But she would take Ron back in a heartbeat if she didn’t think he’d leave her again. She’s still madly in love with him, because he makes sure his opinion is heard. I hope I’m not as crazy as she is, but please guys, I’m telling you. Have intent. Show it. Be the leader.
Because I don’t want some nebbishy chump who agrees with everything anyone says to avoid conflict. I don’t want him to use words like “heavyset” and “differently abled” so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. I don’t want to have to fold in my shoulders and look down at my lap as if to say see that wimp there? That’s my boyfriend.
I want a guy who’s blunt, unapologetic, and original. I want a guy who can read me well enough to know how to dominate me. I want a guy who can balance me perfectly with everything else he loves, but in the end he will love me more. That last part is a tall order and I’m having a hell of a time finding someone who can fill it. But I want a guy with wit. And charm. And power.
I want an alpha male.