I'm only attracted to Alpha men - my therapist says I need to find a Beta

Another year, another Valentine’s Day and it is about time that I reviewed my list of Irish Men I Would.

Since Hozier still hasn’t responded to my constant declarations of love — it’s like he’s too busy and important to know who I am or something — I’ve decided to replace him with Domhnall Gleeson.

I think Domhnall might have a girlfriend (which is the only reason nothing will happen between us, obviously) but I hope he understands the full magnitude of this honour.

He’s joining the likes of Max Irons, Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell, and Uncle Gaybo, an illustrious list if ever I saw one.

Of course, there are some who would suggest that the reason I’m still single is because of my ridiculously high standards.

(See above. Unless you have the talent of Fassbender, the charm of Farrell, and the devastating charisma of Mr Byrne, then walk on, my friend.)

There’s an element of truth in that. I am exclusively attracted to Alpha men; men who are ambitious and driven and highly goal orientated. 

I have this genuine, crippling fear that if I was a young girl living in Nazi Germany I might have – deep breath – been a bit taken with the monster that is Hitler. 

I might have been all “Oh mein Gott in Himmel, that Adolf eh? What a good public speaker! Sleep with one eye open, Eva Braun. You in danger, girl.

Since publishing two books — they’re great! You should all buy them! Mama needs her royalties — the only type of men that I meet are Alphas.

At book events and interviews and launches, the men I am introduced to who are intelligent and successful and charming.

They tell me they love my work and their eyes don’t even glaze over when I start ranting about misogyny and the Beauty Myth and the pressure young women are under to attain an often unattainable standard of beauty.

Honestly, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. I should have written a book years ago! Eh, because of the whole self-expression thing.

Oh, and starting a conversation about issues that directly affect women’s lives. All that stuff. (But also – CUTE MEN.)

The only problem with dating Alphas is that I happen to be an Alpha as well.

At the beginning it’s fun.

It’s like we sniff each other out, smiling in recognition at someone else who has made their career their golden idol and treats romantic relationships in the same manner as your everyday sociopath.

Amazing, we both think, here’s someone who won’t get too attached to me and start talking about their feelings all the time but it inevitably ends in a tug-of-war type struggle to determine whose job is more important (mine) whose opinions are more valid (mine), and whose wishes and desires are more worthy of being respected (again, mine).

My therapist argues that I need to find a Beta, someone who will be endlessly supportive and understanding and who will take care of me.

She says I’m still single because I’m going for the wrong type of man which seems a bit simplistic to me.

I could pick far more realistic reasons:

1. My abrasive personality.

2. I’m missing the Romance Gene.

My friend Cat, also an author, is basically a beautiful Disney Princess come to life; she believes in true love and romance and happy-ever-afters.

I’m like the wizened old crone in the corner, muttering about divorce rates and the patriarchal elements of your average wedding.

3. My obsession with my female friends. I’m lucky enough to have women in my life who are incredibly intelligent, politically engaged, and hilariously funny.

The wittiest people I know are women, so much so that I feel like writing a deliberately provocative article titled “Can Men Ever Really Be Funny?” and wait for the hate mail to start pouring in. 

Come at me, bro. 

This love for my gals is something I talk about constantly, so much so that my therapist thought I was gay for the first six months of our working together. 

Me saying “Ha! I wish” when she finally broached the subject probably didn’t help to convince her otherwise.

4. My desire to live my own life, unencumbered by societal pressure to conform. 

I don’t believe in gender norms and these seem to become further exasperated in relationships. 

This is the ‘woman’s role,’ in relationships and this is the ‘male role’, and trying to ignore all that social conditioning and figuring out what works for you as individuals seems to be a never-ending and often exhausting struggle.

I want to be an Auntie Mame type figure, utterly conventional, living on the fringes of society, having affairs with minor European royalty.

The only problem with this is that I’m fairly certain my parents would love a grandchild. 

And by parents, I mean my mother. 

They’re far too polite to ever say such a thing, of course, being the sort of people who feel they should encourage us to be honest and authentic and do what feels right for us.

They obviously thought that was a great move when my sister and I were teenagers (march to the beat of your own drum, girls! You do you!) but I wonder are they slightly regretting that now that we’re both in our thirties and remain resolutely uninterested in settling down.

I’m counting on my sister to take one for the team and have the white wedding (gross) and do the whole childbirth thing (double gross). 

Even though she’s clearly content with her life the way it is, I’m prepared to sell her out.

So here goes my sales pitch. 

She’s pretty, she’s kind, she’s a goddamn primary school teacher — she works with kids! 

She’s great with them! 

She’s into CrossFit but she doesn’t act like a high level Scientologist about it. 

She is extremely eligible. I’d recommend her to a friend. (If interested, please send correspondence care of the Irish Examiner’s office. They’d love that.)


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