Stripping Down the Conflicted Romance Writer—Alphas and Betas

I have a confession to make. I love reading alpha male heroes in romance novels. That’s probably not much of a shocking confession. Most women love alpha males in their romance novels. Here’s what’s odd though. I went through a thankfully short alpha male stage in real life when I was younger and here’s the thing—I hate alpha males in real life. Hate them. Loathe them. Now, even though I’m married, I go out of my way to distance myself from even talking to guys who come across as too alpha when I’m at a social gathering. Probably because the end of my personal ‘alpha’s-only’ streak ended with me using the self defense moves one former alpha boyfriend had taught me on the guy who replaced the guy two guys after him. To make a long story short last alpha boyfriend ended up on the floor of a very nice jazz bar, writhing in pain with his balls at his ears and the remains of a martini dripping out of his pretty black hair.

After that I took six months off to not date and then shifted to guys who were a little less swagger and a lot more brain. It took a few more guys to find Mr. Right but I’ve never regretted going Beta. In real life, good, laid back betas are the guys for me. Not just romantically but as friends as well. Put me in a group of easy going beta guys at a party and I’ll be ecstatic. Throw even one alpha into the mix throwing his weight around and I’m making my excuses to the host so I can get the heck out of there.

So, in real life I love betas and hate alphas but then when I read novels I get all tingly for the alpha men. Which is—conflicting to say the least. Right now I’m working on a novel with a very alpha male in it and as I’m writing he’ll do something and I’ll think ‘oh my heroine is going to hate this. It’s going to drive her insane.’ Then I smile and find myself having him amp it up just a bit more.

What about you? Is there anything that you love to read in a romance novel that you can’t stand in real life? Traits that you find endearing in a fictional hero that would make you kick a man in the balls if he did it to you at a cocktail party? Or am I alone in my conflict?

2 comments on “Stripping Down the Conflicted Romance Writer—Alphas and Betas

  1. I hate alpha wannabes. I hung out with so many wannabes. One guy even let his best friend make some decisions for him to help him be more of a leader type — I and my BFF couldn’t stop laughing over that one.

    I’ve known a few alphas who were comfortable in their skins and had nothing to prove and were laid back and let me be me: those are the alphas I like. But I’m very fond of betas, too, as long as they aren’t so laid-back they’re like limp noodles.

    • Patricia Eimer on said:

      You’re right. The one thing worse than an actual alpha guy is a guy who isn’t one whose trying to be. That’s not just dull it’s sort of sad as well.