As today’s Purple Pill Manosphere tries to sort out what it wants to pick and pull from ideas the Red Pill has been debating for decades now it requires a lot of deliberate misdirection of the old concepts they struggle with. This is actually nothing new. If you look at any of the exchanges I had with Aunt Giggles (Susan Walsh ret.) or various notables from the golden years of this blog you’ll recognize the pattern – Distort the premises of the concepts that conflict with your ego-investments, straw man them, then offer some redefinition of what they ‘really’ mean.
One of these maligned concepts is the phenomenon of the Alpha Widow. I’ve written extensively on this idea for well over a decade now. I’m fairly certain I even coined the term back in my SoSuave days. Back then Alpha Widow was a designation we used to describe a woman’s tendency to become fixated on an Alpha lover she had in her Party Years and still pined for him into her 30s or 40s after marriage. We didn’t just pull the idea out of our asses back then. We came to it because of the overwhelming number of married or LTR men who reported that their wife or girlfriend were pining for old lovers they thought were “the one that got away” or they left them to pursue a new relationship with an old flame.
Back then it was just a useful reference, but it quickly became such a predictable and confirmable phenomenon I thought it deserved more investigation. I mentioned Alpha Widows in The Slut Paradox but it was around this time that Roissy (Heartise) had proposed a simple maxim: 5 Minutes of Alpha Trumps 5 years of Beta. That’s when I decided to look deeper in my own short essay Five Minutes of Alpha. With a Red Pill Lens I began to see this Alpha Widow narrative played out in popular culture. Katy Perry had a song out then called The One That Got Away and it accurately described everything that goes into making an Alpha Widow.
What is an Alpha Widow?
To understand the phenomenon of the Alpha Widow we must look at women’s evolved mating strategy – Hypergamy, a woman’s intrinsic desire to balance the best quality sexual/reproductive male with the best provisioning/parentally invested male. Since a woman’s mating strategy centers on quality in a long term partner(s) women tend to focus on ideals in men. The imperative drive for mate quality extends to both sides of women’s Hypergamous equation; the best genetic, sexual experience and the best long term security potential. Only women are Hypergamous, and Hypergamy never seeks its own level – it is always seeking a better-than-merited exchange in SMV compared to her own. For more information on this concept read False Equivalencies.
When a woman misses the opportunity to consolidate on a confirmed, high SMV (sexual market value) male that man becomes the new standard for what she believes she can attract as a potential mate.
“I’ve had an SMV 8 guy before so in the future no man below an 8 will be my optimal choice.”
Even if a woman’s perception of her own SMV isn’t realistic her Id wants what it believes it can get.
The setting of a mating strategy metric in men is largely a subconscious process for women, but, more often now, high-ego women do consciously acknowledge that one man does (or doesn’t) meet the SMV benchmark of a previous lover. As women have become more comfortable in embracing Open Hypergamy, amongst their girlfriends, on social media, they will readily debate this SMV metric of past boyfriends. The Alpha Widow dynamic is no secret among women. Usually this involves women bemoaning the lack of “eligible” men in their lives when their prime SMV years are behind them. Please note that eligible implies an entitlement to a man who would be an ideal.
This qualification process is a constant for women, and it’s a complement to mens’ Burden of Performance. Women’s Hypergamous filtering process evolved from an Existential Fear of pairing with any man beneath her own (self-perceived) SMV and risking her life on a bad reproductive bet. The worst existential prospect for a woman is to have her mating strategy superseded and controlled by that of a suboptimal man.
The flip side to this dynamic is that, evolutionarily speaking, a woman’s subconscious cannot afford to miss out on an optimal Hypergamous pairing. If a woman’s Existential Fear is to be forced to reproduce with a lesser man, the next fear is to lose or miss out out on the opportunity to consolidate on monogamy with a high SMV man. When I talk about how a woman will make rules for Betas, but break rules for Alphas this is the root of that principle.
As such, a man who exceeds a woman’s SMV, and creates a benchmark of her ‘personal best’ ideal male to breed with and parentally invest with, makes a significant impact on her psyche; sometimes in the long term. When a woman has had this man – one for whom she has genuine, organic desire for – but she cannot consolidate on him (i.e. lock down in monogamy), this represents a critical loss of the ideal Hypergamous/Reproductive/Life strategy option. Mentally this is what a woman will strive in some way to recreate with subsequent men in her life – a return to that ideal state.
This then is the basis of the Alpha Widow:
A mental fixation on the man who made the most significant impact upon a woman as her Hypergamous ideal.
The Fantasy Ideal
Usually this male ideal is an actual man from her past with whom she had some sort of relationship with, but not always. Sometimes the fantasy of that ideal will make a mental impression and sometimes a brief, seemingly insignificant, encounter with an ideal man may be enough to imprint on her psyche.
Five Minutes of Alpha Trumps Five Years of Beta.
Sometimes the smallest brush with an ‘alpha’ male is enough to trigger the ‘what if?’ possibilities of consolidating on a guy like that. This might be one-night sex, the one guy in the foam cannon party on spring break in her wilder college years, or even just a missed opportunity to fully develop a hoped-for connection at a social gathering. The ‘Missed Connections’ forum on Craig’s Lists are filled with these regrets. All that matters is that the guy, knowingly or not, instilled a sense of Hypergamous urgency that she just knew represented a prospect for consolidating on that ideal.
An Alpha Widow can also be ‘widowed’ from the fantasy of her ideal male. This is fairly common among women who marry early in their Party Years. Most feel like they missed out on having made a good Hypergamous choice (or had it made for them by circumstance or social pressures). That missed opportunity leads some women to be widowed from the fantasy of an Alpha who would have been a better choice. Thus, an ideal Alpha mental model is what she pines for. An interest in romance literature is usually exaggerated in this type of widow. The formulaic stories are a form of vicarious fulfillment of an unrealized Hypergamous ideal. I should also add, this this widow, when married, is a prime demographic audience for divorce porn fantasies.
In any of these instances what’s at issue is the fact that women’s mating strategy always moves them towards a “better-than-merited” SMV exchange and a psychological fixation on the man, or the type of man who best embodies it. It’s as if a woman’s Id is imprinted with the model of the optimal Hypergamous pairing (evolution-wise a life or death proposition) and believes that only in recreating it will that male again save her life. This is the source of that unconscious pining.
Social Enabling of the Alpha Ideal
In 2019 it has never been easier for a woman to explore her reproductive options with an ever-increasing pool of potential Alphas from which to be widowed from. Since the Sexual Revolution western cultures have done little else than facilitate women’s mating strategies. In terms of “sexual liberation” the goal has always been to ensure provisioning and support – the Beta Bucks side of Hypergamy – in order to give women the impression that they have an indefinite window of time in which to find their optimal Alpha man. We see this reflected in the age of first marriages getting older and older. And in the age of social media women take for granted that they can remain sexually viable if not indefinitely, then at least as long as a man would. This facility exacerbates the Alpha Widow effect.
Women will fixate on the “one that got away”, but today we have social conventions in place to pander to that predictable insecurity in women. In fact, there are numerous industries that now thrive on exactly this.
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I should add here that the very concept of a soulmate began with women pining for their bygone ideal man. That ‘One’ is much easier to justify cheating with, or agonizing over, if you mix in the metaphysical to aid in rationalizing it. The popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey and Eat, Pray, Love also find their root in the Alpha Widow dynamic. Popular culture tells women they are entitled to that ideal soulmate; and the only way they can remain true to themselves, the only way to live their best lives (even the life they believe God meant for them), is to pursue the ‘ONE that got away.’
The Plan B mating strategy is another social convention that forgives women of the consequences of pursuing that Alpha ideal while concurrently holding on to her next best male option. And lastly, the ongoing normalization of a female-initiated Polyandry is also a social convention predicated on allowing women to hedge their Hypergamous bets with respect to finding that Hypergamous ideal mate.
The following are a couple of the more common misconceptions critics like to presume is meant by “Alpha Widow”. For the most part these are attempts to straw man the phenomenon with no real interest in how anyone came to understanding the dynamic.
• Alpha Widows are the result of “players” who fiendishly used these poor impressionable women before they left them high & dry
Blue Pill conditioned White Knights in particular use this to build their own heroic narrative around women. Of course, not all women are victims of the Alpha they were widowed by. The first part of this misconception is the presumption that no woman would volunteer for her own widowing; the second is that an Alpha “Player” was implicit in his motives to thoroughly imprint himself upon her. The truth is that any seduction requires a willing participant (Art of Seduction, Greene) and in accordance with women’s mating strategy women will eagerly participate in their own seduction. These are Alpha Widows, not rape survivors.
The misconception is that the woman being widowed was somehow traumatized by her former lover. The truth is that the more positive the experience was for her the more impactful the widowing is likely to be. If women didn’t think fondly of the “one that got away” she wouldn’t be an Alpha Widow in the first place. The emotional despair some women feel over that Alpha is usually the result of having missed pairing in the long term with a better prospective man than the lesser man she settled on by necessity.
This is an easy misconception for most Blue Pill men to follow along with because often enough women will refer to their ‘asshole ex boyfriend(s)’ as the man (men) who was responsible for her being damaged. Women in their Epiphany Phase will usually incorporate into it some narrative of their having been used by the Bad Boy Jerk who came before the Nice Guy Beta they found it necessary to settle on. This damaged narrative then locks in with a woman wanting to “do things the right way this time”. Women will often use this narrative as a failsafe to excuse their hesitancy to be as sexually available to the Beta as she was with the Alpha she was widowed from. So, you get a Saving the Best situation for the Nice Guy in the relationship and he’s apt to believe her claims of being damaged by the asshole who had her before he did.
Self-righteous Beta men love this damaged by the Player narrative because it allows them constant opportunities to prove to his woman how positively different he is compared to the asshole Alpha she’s still covertly pining for.
• “Alpha Widows” are just men making shit up and thinking the worst of women because they’re bitter and burned.
Yes, it is entirely possible that despondent Incels may exaggerate the phenomenon of the Alpha Widow to rationalize their giving up on women. This still doesn’t invalidate phenomenon. This misconceptions is generally dropped by critics of the Red Pill who’d rather attack the source than have to address a concept that rattles their comfortable Blue Pill understanding of women. That said, I understand how it might be convenient to disqualify the concept based on the bitterness of the individual piecing together why his wife or girlfriend still seems to be having a relationship with her ex even if just in her head. Self-loathing Incels will then use this as an excuse to give up for the same reason they believe Hypergamy is this insurmountable obstacle to their connecting with juice they don’t want to bother squeezing for.
For the record, no, not all women turn into Alpha Widows. All women are Hypergamous, but buffers and learned self-control have historically been the checks and balances needed to protect against this Alpha Widow dynamic. The problem is that these buffers are popularly considered sexual repression of women today. Women simply wont police the worst aspects of their mating strategy and any interference, personal, political or social, that would prevent a woman from exercising her Hypergamous sexuality is viewed as misogynist, sexist repression.
Statistically women with more sexual partners have a higher incidence of divorce and find it more difficult to form healthy attachments in LTRs based on their partner count. Men do not appear to follow these stats or dynamics, why?
Because men and women have different evolved mating strategies and priorities. Men, it appears, have a much easier time compartmentalizing the sex act and separating it from the emotional aspect women apply to sex. Men’s obsession with pornography is a good illustration of this, but it is reflective of the differences in our evolved mating strategies developed in our ancestral past. Men found it necessary to breed quickly and then move out – ejaculate and evacuate.
However, in a social order where Hypergamy is unbuffered women have more access to more men and have more opportunities to be imprinted by Alpha men while in their peak fertility years than in any other era before. This abundance of reproductive opportunities, and a lack of any social stigma or moral reservations are putting women into a position where their Blue Pill husbands turn their denial into hate for the ‘Players’ who violated and ruined their ‘soulmate’ before he came into her life. They refuse to acknowledge that in most cases his girl eagerly chose to give herself to the man she told her husband was a ‘Player’ from her past.
Blue Pill married men have the hardest time accepting the idea that their wives may be Alpha Widows for a man that came before them. They struggle with the possibility their wives gave a part of themselves to a guy that they’ll never experience, so denial and anger becomes their ego’s protection.
They throw shade at the men who have the Game to seduce women (who enjoy the seduction as well) because they “ruin women for great guys like him”. Thus, they turn it into a moral issue for those men or a personality flaw because it absolves their wives of their modern mating choices.
– Illustration, Stefan Schmidtz