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How do alpha couples make their relationship work?

An alpha couple is one where both partners have strong distinctive personalities. They set an example for others on how equality can be achieved in a relationship

Successful alpha couples are clear that they are on the same side and work together towards a common goal. Photo: Pixabay

By Simran Mangharam

LAST PUBLISHED 10.02.2024  |  01:00 PM IST

How long will an alpha couple’s marriage last is a matter of speculation for many. Most people assume that two strong personalities will not be able to make a lasting relationship, the longevity of which is based on ‘compromise’. In society, the alpha-beta match is considered a good one. However, the earlier combination of alpha male and beta female is now being reversed and fast gaining acceptance. Another combination, of alpha male and alpha female, is also being seen in urban India, where each partner has a distinctive and dominant personality.

Today, all around me I see only alpha couples in my friend circle. One couple, G and V, have been married for 19 years, and they have a child. The other couple, B and N, have been married for 25 years and have no children.

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Let’s start with G and V. It’s not that they have had no major disagreements and fights. In fact, they rarely agree on parenting decisions. Yet, it is clear in the way the two talk about each other that they both are very proud of their partner, sans the professional success. G and V value each other’s opinion. They sometimes fight and disagree in front of friends, but there is always this palpable playfulness underlying the friction. A couple fighting in front of you is an extremely uncomfortable situation to be in for a friend, and yet I’ve never experienced that discomfort with G and V. Saturday is a regular date night. They are courteous and respectful of each other. That is the quickest way to ascertain if the partners take each other for granted or not.

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Being together for 25 years and still being into each other is no mean feat. B and N, though, make it seem really easy. One is an extrovert, and the other the exact opposite. Neither can tell the other what to do, and yet they take care of the minutest of details for each other. For instance, B knows that N always likes to have a sleeve on his beer can. She carries it in her bag to every party. N knows B loves having the latest gadgets. So, he orders them as soon as they are available to buy. Their physical chemistry also seems to be quite powerful. The ease with which they hold each other’s hand or show physical affection, without it seeming fake, is proof of that. They travel a lot together and seem to enjoy spending time with each other. I’ve seen them argue from time to time, but never felt that they were trying to be one up on each other or even trying to have the last word.

The number one thing that I feel works for alpha couples to have a successful relationship is authenticity. Liking and respecting each other as individuals is the other big aspect. In both situations, the partners value each other, leading to them enjoying one another’s company. Successful alpha couples are clear that they are on the same side and work together towards a common goal—something that each of them has helped define. Both couples I’ve mentioned are totally aligned on how they wish to lead their lives.

Appreciating and not taking each other for granted perhaps comes naturally to alpha couples. The reason for that could be the innate confidence of an alpha personality. I encourage all my clients to be aware of how they want to be treated and let their partners know that, to have a healthy relationship.

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Across the world there are quite a few famous successful alpha couples. Barack and Michelle Obama (married since 1992) , and Narayan and Sudha Murthy (married since 1978) are on top of my list. Each of them has very distinctive and strong personalities. Generations have strived to achieve this equality in marriage, especially when it comes to women, who have been expected to be the beta partner. Many alpha women took on that beta role as they were not allowed to question it. An alpha couple is in the best position to show others how equality can be achieved in a relationship. Urban India has many such successful alpha couples, they are true examples of a relationship of equals.

This is a limited series by Simran Mangharam, a dating in and relationship coach, who can be reached on simran@floh.in