Calling All Alphas: Why Do Our Elastic Relationships Turn Toxic?

[Image credit: José Manuel Ríos Valiente]

All is fair in love and war.
…Or is it? In love, at least, the lines become blurred more often than not; we trip, we fall, we lose ourselves, only to blame our shortcomings on lazy judgment and rose-tinted vision. Hell, my love life has ended up in the land of grey more times than I can count. Why, you ask? Because I tend to be a victim of elastic relationships. Many creative alpha females find themselves in ElasticLand, as well. There’s just one problem with elastic relationships: they can turn toxic with a snap of the fingers.

Elasticity is “the ability of an object or material to resume its normal shape after being stretched or compressed; stretchiness.”

Toxicity is “the degree to which a substance can damage an organism.”

Alphas don’t mess around. We know what we want – well, we think we do, anyway – and we go after it. Usually, what we want from relationships manifests itself in the form of passion and roller coaster rides: enter elasticity. The alpha female attracts the elastic relationship; the gypsy-hearted guy who is just as driven and independent, if not more driven and independent, than she, and with whom she finds herself asking these questions: Does he keep me on my toes? How much can I test the bounds of (stretch) this relationship before it breaks? She craves this uncertain world of grey, these fields of mines, because it is the unknown that keeps her wanting more, yet consistently in the dark.

The creative alpha can’t help her passion for passion. She has the tendency to turn into the femme fatale because ultimately, a relationship that’s too elastic will turn toxic. The more the guy keeps her on her toes, the more she leans in, and the more he pulls away, creating an inevitable snap of the relationship. At this point, the attraction is no longer mutual; the dynamic has transformed into that of a seesaw. Even the baddest b*tch of the alphas – y’know, the one who started as a self-important princess – is left withered down, looking inward and questioning her morals and values. All of a sudden, something that felt so good now only feels bad when it’s good and bad when it’s bad. She is overambitious, so she flies with an overambitious flock. But what draws her toward a man is what sets her back, and even so, she’ll trudge forward with her undying faith, hoping they’ll both make it through.

Such is the struggle the creative alpha female faces: she wants to shine, but she wants someone to shine with her. She wants her ambition to be celebrated, but she always seems to draw in he who feels he must compete with her. The beta male bores her, but he’s stable and gentle. The alpha male excites her, but he’s aloof and unreliable. What she wants and what she needs are in opposition with one another.

Elastic relationships are learning experiences for the alpha. Here’s the general formula: the more elastic capability a relationship has, the more prone the relationship is to becoming toxic. You can stretch and stretch and stretch, but the more you stretch, the further you’ll move from the center, and the more the relationship will lose its original shape. Sometimes, we know we’re entering a no-go zone from the get-go, but other times, the truth comes out only when the worst transpires. Both situations can and will happen; we’re just human.

Plagued with wanderlust and confined by illusion, the alpha female gets herself into trouble. But she’s got a leg up on the others, for she’s not afraid to take chances. She’ll search endlessly for a feeling she knows she deserves. And she’ll bend to the point of nearly breaking but, unlike her elastic relationships, she’ll never break, because her incredible hunger sets her apart from the rest. Her hunger sets her free.



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