It isn't easy to define him, even if I know this guy pretty well...
Let me start by describing what the Beta male is not.
He isn’t a headstrong, aggressive brute. He isn’t an insensitive bully, cruelly lacking in subtlety.
In short, he isn’t an Alpha.
The Alpha male is the hero of most romance books (especially of the bodice ripper variety), and action movies. Think Clive Owen, Daniel Craig and Channing Tatum.
In stark contrast to the Alpha, the Beta male is calm, smart and sensitive. He keeps in the background. He can be strong and good-looking, but in a low-key, unassuming way. He’s never a bully. Which doesn’t mean he’s a coward with no self-respect.
In the past, the Beta male could be a shaman, a monk or a bard. Today’s Beta often goes by the name of “geek”, “nerd” or “shy guy”. What he lacks in testosterone he makes up for in ingenuity. He can be as brave, strong and dignified as the next Alpha, but he won't go around puffing his chest and roaring at the top of his voice about his exploits.
If you haven't yet met him in real life, you must have seen him in romantic comedies. Think Paul Rudd, Justin Timberlake and Tobey Maguire.
You and I, and nearly every woman I know, want it all: equal rights, a fulfilling career and a loving relationship with a faithful man. There’s nothing wrong with that. Thankfully, technology has made the traditional division of labor between the sexes obsolete.
The trouble is that many of us want it all AND an Alpha male. It's as if some remote, dark part of our brain still refused to believe we’d survive without a protector in this big big world. As if we still expected a saber-toothed tiger to lurk in the darkness behind the bushes.
Fair enough. But here's the catch: we also want that Alpha to respect and understand us. We want the poor testosterone-overwhelmed Alpha to open doors for us, pay compliments and do the dishes. We’d like him to be sweet AND authoritarian, trusting AND jealous, rakish AND loyal, seeking our opinions AND all-knowing...
That's a tall order, don't you think?
There’s a certain type of romance novel that contributes to the myth that such a man is possible or, indeed, palatable.
FYI, I don’t write that kind of romance.
But I'm digressing.
Here's my point: The answer to the modern woman's conundrum is the Beta Male.
He is not a chimera. There have been numerous well-documented sightings in every city and town. There's abundant video footage, eyewitness accounts, wedding albums and Facebook posts that prove he exists, and can be found in public places such as cafés, gyms, bookshops and theaters.
The Beta male is gentle (not to be confused with weak), kind and reliable. If he falls for you, he won’t let you down. He’ll stand by your side -- as a caring partner, not an overbearing protector. He’ll respect your choices, personal space and career.
He's the contemporary version of the White Knight.
He's the Hero we need in the modern world.