Hero vs. Alpha and Omega
Women tend to think men rejoice at the knowledge that he is the great love of her life and that she would sacrifice anything for him. Tell him too soon, and he runs for his life. Too much responsibility, too many expectations. When dating, a man does not want to be the Alpha and Omega of a woman’s life. He does want to be the Hero. She will die for the Alpha and Omega, she will make sacrifices for him, she will climb mountains, swim seas and give up her home, change her job and her own plans for him. (Notice, she is doing all the work for him.) Alternatively, when he is her Hero, she gracefully allows him to do stuff for her and to impress her. (Notice he is now the one taking action.) Because he is the man, he needs to conquer her heart, not the other way around. He wants her to be worthy of his effort, and she should be appreciative.
He wants to kill the bull for her. When she is killing the bull, she is not very attractive. He will kill the bull for the woman he really loves, but not for every woman. It’s tiring. “For you I kill the bull, for your sister, I kill you,” said one famous man.
I am not telling women to play hard to get, I am only stating that men tell me they are hunters. They want to feel the prize was worth the hunt. However, men don’t like to explore a forest set with traps. A woman set upon “being in a relationship” with no other interest in her life, is trapping a man. Real life is not a Jane Austen novel – not in men’s books.
Men are wired to hunt
When a man encounters something new, he is curious. His senses alert him. He sees her, he smells her, he hears her and he wants to touch her. Now several processes are set in motion. His brain experiences a dopamine secretion. Dopamine is called the pleasure hormone – I dub her Aphrodite. Aphrodite promises pleasure – her allure lies in the anticipation of pleasure and in the addiction to the promise. Anticipation is extended when the hunt is prolonged by unexpected twists and turns, when he cannot always control the events, when he has to think on his feet and exert his skills to capture her. His testes release testosterone – which I dub Achilles – and it primes him for the hunt. It affects his risk taking abilities, his mood, his lean-muscle mass, it makes him walk taller, talk deeper, his muscles gleam and it makes his coat shine. He becomes a man with a purpose. Testosterone also spikes his sexual fantasies and he has a target in focus. Aphrodite and Achilles work in unison when the hunt is on. The third character to enter the stage is the hormone adrenalin – the cheetahs. When hunting, he will have to move swiftly. He needs oxygen in his blood. Adrenalin works fast to provide the fuel needed for the hunt, but just as a cheetah can only run full speed for 20 seconds, adrenalin is a short-term solution for providing fuel, it only lasts a few minutes in the blood stream. The adrenal glands which secrete the adrenalin, then release the wild dogs, called cortisol. Cortisol also stimulates dopamine and binds with the endorphins – the feel good hormones, or dolphins – which dull all sense of pain. The hunt seems glorious to the primed hunter.
Alluring Aphrodite promising pleasure; virile warrior Achilles flexing his muscles and swinging his sword; lean, mean cheetah bristling with excitement to chase; a pack of wild dogs baying and yanking at the chains to be let loose in their fury; and playful happy dolphins frolicking in the waves. Imagine this wonderful fountain of thrilling hormones flooding his body, readying him for action, like a naked Greek athlete crouching in the starting blocks at Olympia. He anticipates the hunt and the more interesting the hunt, the more he appreciates the reward. He has to feel he has earned it. How disappointed he must feel and what a let-down, when all this energy and anticipation is wasted when he runs a league or two and is then already presented with the winning laurels! It’s just too easy.
This is exactly what happens when a woman succumbs to a man too soon. She robs him of the hunt. He might linger a little for the sexual pleasure, but soon enough a new challenge will lure him away. Or he may linger much longer, purely for the sexual pleasure and because he is too comfortable or too lazy to hunt, but his heart is not in it.
Do not underestimate the interactive neurotransmitters in men, for it motivates them into action. They are wired and pre-programmed to hunt and they want the reward to be worth the effort. The more unexpected and unpredictable the rewards, the more dopamine is released, the more he becomes addicted to the chase.
This chase can exist even when couples have been married for 40 years. A woman who understands this hunting instinct, will never bore her man. Once they become firm life partners, she can inspire him and accompany him on other hunts. I know a famous geologist, who travels the world, searching for the most interesting phenomena, with his wife at his side, supporting his quest. He actually solved the riddle of the Sphinx, proving it was much older than originally estimated, by analysing the water erosion marks on its backside. This dates the origin of the Sphinx to about 7000 – 5000BC and not during Khafre’s reign circa 2500BC. This geologist dedicates his life’s work to his wife. What a beautiful real life example of how inspiration can work when the Hero finds his Muse.