This post is a follow-up to my previous post concerning Alpha and Beta attributes. Having already explained Alpha attributes, I now turn my attention to Beta attributes or traits.
The important thing to understand is that Beta traits are not attraction traits. As frequent manosphere commentator deti noted:
Women want men with beta traits. However, they want those traits IN AN ATTRACTIVE MAN, and they want the man to display those traits only when they want him to display them.
Beta traits will not affect your ability to attract the notice of a woman. In fact, it might even be the case that they could impair a man’s ability to be attractive, although I don’t believe that to be true. Instead, I think that Beta traits are useful to help maintain or retain the attraction of a woman. Which is why I call Beta traits Retention Vectors, because just as the LAMPS vectors can vary in strength and importance, the different Retention Vectors can also vary. Some call them comfort traits, but I don’t think that is entirely accurate, because women find comfort and security in Alpha traits, not Beta traits.
So what are some Retention Vectors? Deti helpfully supplied a few:
provider/provisioning, industriousness, fidelity, loyalty, affection, affability, friendliness) are desirable.
Others include compassion and patience. I’m not sure that I could create a comprehensive list, because there are far more of them than there are attraction vectors.
So we know what some are, but how exactly do they work? This is where we get to the heart of my theory on why Beta traits are useful to have for (some) men, and why I call them Retention Vectors.
(Side note: just like women, men have an attractiveness rating. The standard 1-10 scale probably works just as well as any other measurement scale, and that is what I used for my graph in the previous post.)
What Retention Vectors or Beta traits do is they act like force multipliers, and enhance the attractiveness of the man in the eyes of his woman. This can push a man’s perceived attraction level a point or two higher, and thus help him mate guard. For example, a man who is a 7 with a decent Beta score can push his perceived Alpha score up to an 8. So if he is married to an 8, then she won’t feel there is a disparity between their relative SMV values and her hypergamous instincts will be less likely to kick into overdrive. Beta traits are admirable in attractive men, and can help distinguish a man from men who are just as attractive. If you have have two men who are both 8’s, but one is really romantic and a hard worker, then his value will be higher than the other man’s. Now, this only works if the woman considers you attractive in the first place, but if your goal is a LTR (including marriage), then every little bit helps.
I don’t know exactly how much a Beta or Retention value affect this Perceived Attraction Rating (PAR), so I can’t quantify it. But my guess is that it isn’t that great of an effect. You might be able to turn an Alpha value of 6 into a PAR of 8, but I don’t see how the PAR could be pushed more than 2 points higher.
Once you examine Beta traits in this light, you realize that Retention Vectors are far and away less important than Attraction Vectors. Alpha > Beta. This isn’t exactly surprising, and certainly not a novel idea in this part of the web. But I think it is important to remember that Alpha and Beta don’t have to be opposed. Alpha is what actually gains you the attention of a woman, and Alpha is far more important in keeping her. But Beta is useful in keeping a woman once once she is attracted to you.
So as a practical matter, a man should focus his efforts on improving his Alpha value as much as possible. But he shouldn’t throw away any useful Beta traits if it isn’t necessary. Especially if you are marriage minded as a man.
12 responses to “Alpha versus Beta- Part 2- Retention Vectors”
A few critiques and friendly disagreements I might offer.
1. Beta traits have to be minimally ladled out at the beginning. First you build attraction, then display beta traits. A man cannot build attraction with beta traits like provisioning, friendliness or affability. By the same token if he is still all alpha a year into the relationship and has shown no beta traits, she will wonder if there is any relationship there.
2. I disagree that beta traits bump up attractiveness. What they really do is grease the gears and fuel the engine of the day to day, month to month functioning of the relationship. They are the gasoline and lubrication for the relationship. They are what “make it work” from the man’s standpoint.
3. It is important to remember that Money is an attraction vector, but provisioning is a retention vector. It is having the money and being able to command money and resources that is attractive. It doesn’t become a retention vector unless and until the man makes a decision to make the resources available to the woman for her use or for their joint use.
4. I agree that Alpha/attraction is more important than beta/retention. That’s why I said on the other thread that alpha with a side of beta is more important than beta with a side of alpha. I still hold that view.
Addressing your points:
1- Agreed about building attraction first. This is the only place where I think Beta traits are bad, because a man may get sloppy and emphasize them over Alpha traits.
2- That is why i called it “perceived attractiveness.” My goal/theory was that the to merge to form a single rating inside a relationship.
3- Good point. Money is the only trait that acts as both. Which is partially why I think it should be separate from status.
4- Agreed. A man who is 8A and 6B is much better off than a man who is 6A and 8B, even a man who is 10B. I will probably update my post later, but man should never stop showing Alpha traits. They must always be there. Beta traits just help add a little something extra.
This may qualify as a disagreement, or just another point to ponder, or perhaps even restating the same thing in different words, but…
I’m not so sure if it’s “too much beta” that kills a guy’s chances in the early stages of an interaction with a woman as it is “not enough alpha” – basically, not demonstrating enough value, as PUAs would put it, and not establishing a romantic/flirty/sexual tone with a woman early on. A guy can have his beta traits, yes, and those might be seen as net positives by the woman… but he must make his intentions known from the start – i.e., that he doesn’t want to just be her friend, he wants to be her lover.
Also, what I’ve found through my experiences is that women want men to lead things along sexually and romantically – i.e., be the first to declare romantic interest, escalate and all that – but they do not want men to lead when it comes to pursuing a serious relationship or desiring commitment. A guy who demonstrates too much of his interest in a serious relationship too soon will be dismissed as readily as a guy who doesn’t demonstrate his romantic interest soon enough.
So I don’t know if it’s “too much beta” (at least as Donal is using the word here) so much as it is “not enough alpha” and “too much eagerness for a relationship”, respectively.
Just my two cents.
I don’t think we are in disagreement. The problem is, as you say, too little Alpha. That is what I was trying to communicate, however poorly. It doesn’t matter if you are a Beta “10”, if your Alpha is only a” 5″ you aren’t going to do well with most women. Since they tend to pay attention to only the top 20% of men, you must increase you alpha score as high as possible.
Beta is all about retaining a relationship. It is only useful once you have commitment, not before.
“Also, what I’ve found through my experiences is that women want men to lead things along sexually and romantically.”
This is the woman looking for a high Power value in a man. She wants a man who is firmly in control, with a dominant masculine frame.
“but they do not want men to lead when it comes to pursuing a serious relationship or desiring commitment.”
Disagree. I think that the problem for most men is that they signal a desire for commitment too soon. You need to fully captivate the woman with your masculinity, and move her into your frame, before you can make that move. If you move for commitment too soon, it signals desperation to the woman, and gives her the power in the relationship. At that point you are at her mercy, and well… women aren’t known for their mercy.
I think we’ll just have to agree to (sort of) disagree on this. Men’s experiences are going to vary, of course, and those experiences are going to shape our different views. But it seems to me that, for the relationship-minded man, erring on the side of not showing enough interest in a serious relationship is far better than erring on the side of showing too much interest in a serious relationship, at least in the early stage of things. That’s been my experience anyway.
The last part of your sentence is critical. Making a move for commitment is all about timing. If you move too soon, then the woman is not in your frame. If that happens, then the power in the relationship has shifted to her. That will probably doom it. If a woman is talking with you about commitment, then you can be fairly certain that she has moved into your frame.
Interesting analysis. I think there is merit to a second dimension; however, I am not convinced that Beta is it. Beta is a location on the same continuum as is Alpha. And that continuum is SMV as rated by the woman (using her instincts). Retention is a function of male sovereignty and desire. Women are not civilized and need to be tended, farmed as less evolved humans mentally short of cultural capacity. Husbands must practice husbandry on their wives and children. If the second dimension was authority or the like, it would support retention of the ‘marriage’. If rank-and-file men have the cudgels of power, if we have free civilization which is patriarchal, cad behavior would be scarce by penalty from dads and wanna-be dads of distributed political might and the male will for retention of a wife would be practically a given. There is a political synergy of citizenship at play that defines retention.
The ‘Ideal Man’ per the chart in part 1 is a trace of feminism to be scrubbed by further red-pill reflection, IMO, since ideal is regarded from the woman’s perspective, and women don’t have a perspective grounded in reality on these things. A man’s attributes measured on two dimensions could be ideal for society, but then patriarchy is the best basis for human society. But then if men had the political power in the rank-and-file instinctual Alpha would be irrelevant because men in charge would force women into a masculinized culture (redundant but pedagogical) where they would not have their preferred options (which is antithetical to culture). Thus we would have one diminsion for womanized politics and the other for masculanized politics, so I am not sure that would work either, and so I am not sure retention is relatable with female SMV rankings of men. Women faced with economic reality without privileged cannibalism and false validation are perhaps forced from their pre-cultural, natural ranking system to one of cultural necessity they are forced to realized out of fear for survival and for low social rank. As Rollo might say, women’s reproductive impulses are monetized in conjunction with the men’s when retention matters. Neither are monetized when women have their earliest whims met until they face the exhaustion of their own SMV and their society.
“I think there is merit to a second dimension; however, I am not convinced that Beta is it. ”
I just chose that name because Beta in the manosphere is most commonly associated with what I call Retention traits. Really, if you wanted to, you could change it from Alpha and Beta to Attraction Rating and Comfort Rating, and it would provide the same general idea. Mostly, I wanted to explore the notion that so called “Beta” traits do have value, namely by helping a man who has already attracted a woman. Icing on the cake, as it were.
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