In today’s video, I offer my thoughts on the notion of “alpha widows” as it relates to “The Red Pill,” and retroactive jealousy.

Read or watch below to hear my thoughts on so-called “alpha widows.”

Zachary Stockill: If you have any familiarity with the “red pill” section of the internet, otherwise known as the “manosphere,” you’ve probably heard the term alpha widows. The term refers to women who are still pining for an ex-boyfriend or an ex-husband.

I get a lot of comments and questions about this whole concept of alpha widows. I couldn’t put off recording this video anymore. So today, I will give you my thoughts on the notion of alpha widows. 

So first off, if you’re not familiar with it, the “red pill” refers to a certain section of the internet that grew out of the pickup artist space many years ago, which is filled with a lot of guys trying to figure out ways to better deal with women, to make more money, to be more successful, to be more “alpha” overall in their day-to-day lives.

I’ve recorded other videos relating to topics associated with the red pill. It’s generally a topic that I try to stay away from because it’s an emotionally charged area of the internet. It attracts a lot of really angry dudes who are often vicious and unhappy. And in general, it’s just not a big interest of mine. 

But, I understand how this concept of alpha widows can relate to some experiences of retroactive jealousy. 

I’ll get YouTube comments sometimes. And guys will start using some buzzwords associated with the red pill, like hypergamy or alpha widows. They’ll give me these lengthy comments that really say absolutely nothing when you boil them down. And it’s very clear to me, it’s like: okay, this guy just found the red pill. He’s going on these commenting rampages. He’s spending his days being a keyboard warrior and talking about how “you can’t trust women,” and “alpha widows” and all the rest. 

So the first thing I would say is, for God’s sake, don’t let the “red pill” turn you into an ideologue. Don’t let the red pill turn you into some paranoid maniac, like it seems to turn so many of these guys into.

So many guys find the red pill, and sometimes it takes them months or even years to emerge from it. It’s often not a very good situation. I’ve had a couple of buddies who went down that road, and it was not very pretty. 

And I’m not saying that there’s nothing of value to be found in that section of the internet because that’s not true. There are some concepts relating to the red pill that are useful. In fact, I’m planning on recording a whole video or maybe a whole series of videos talking about that.

But beyond that, just make sure that the red pill or any other online community is not turning you into a paranoid maniac. 

Anyway, this whole idea about “alpha widows….”

To my mind, it’s very simple:

If you are dating a woman, and you have some experience with women, and you feel, in your bones, that the woman you’re dating is not truly invested in your relationship… She’s not truly attracted to you… You don’t share the same goals when it comes to your dating lives… If she goes out and talks about her ex-boyfriend all the time, and you’re getting the vibe that the woman you’re dating is genuinely pining for her ex…

Then, it’s very simple: leave her and date someone else.

I don’t know why guys complicate this kind of thing so much. I would never, and I have never, dated any woman for an extended length of time if I got the sense that she wasn’t truly interested in me. If I got the sense that she wasn’t truly attracted to me, I would move on very quickly. 

And by the way, when I have broken up with women who fit into this category, it’s happened a couple of times. But I wasn’t angry at them. I didn’t have any anger or malice. I didn’t go around posting all kinds of crazy comments on their social media or on random YouTube accounts…

I simply ended the relationship because there’s not a fit here. 

I wanted to be with someone who wanted to be with me. Simple as that.

alpha widows

And I moved on. So to my mind, this whole idea of alpha widows is very simple.

Now I suppose the counterargument could be “well, Zach, sometimes these women are hiding the fact that they are alpha widows for many years.” And I have a lot of trouble with that argument as well. 

Because if you give someone enough time to show you who they are truly, eventually, they will. No one could maintain a poker face for a year or three years or anything like that. If you give people enough time to show you who they really are, eventually they will. 

Now, the key qualifier there is to give them enough time. This is another idea from the red pill which I’m 100 % on board with. 

Don’t make some brash commitment to a woman who you just met. Don’t move in with a woman you just met. And, don’t rush any relationship along, whether you’re male or female. 

Give things time, and give people time to show you who they are before you make any kind of commitment to them. 

So even with these women, hypothetically, who are hiding the fact that they’re pining for their ex-husband, or they’re pining for their ex-boyfriend, I think if you’re a reasonably intelligent man, you have your eyes open, and you have some dating experience… Eventually, she’s not going to be able to hide that anymore. 

Eventually, it will come out very clearly. Because demonstrated desire doesn’t lie. Another idea from the red pill that I’m totally on board with: she needs to express her desire for you actively; she needs to actively invest in your relationship. So look for the signs. And if those signs are lacking, it’s probably time to move on, whether she’s an “alpha widow,” or anything else. 

So, if you feel like a woman you’re dating is an “alpha widow”–or in other words, she’s pining for her ex–by all means, that’s possible. On the other hand, if you feel like every woman you date is pining for their ex, then honestly…

I think it’s probably time for some therapy. 

Because therapy can be enormously useful.

If you feel like this–if you worry that everyone you date is pining for their ex, and if you feel like every man out there is better than you, or she perceives every man out there to be better than you–I think that says a lot more about you than about these women.

It’s probably time for you to work on your insecurity and your self-esteem issues. And that can be a long road for certain people. But the best time to start is right now. There is no shame in acknowledging that you’ve got certain psychological hang-ups, and certain things you need to work through.

I also think that most human beings are looking to upgrade in their relationships. 

Most human beings are not going to settle for someone whom they’re not attracted to and who they’re not interested in. 

I don’t think most women are just looking for a “provider hunter,” as so many in the red pill shout from the rooftops. I don’t think most women fit into that category.

Now, are there some “provider hunters” out there? Absolutely. And you should steer clear of them. I’ve steered clear of them in my dating life. And I would recommend anyone else do the same. 

alpha widows

In fact, I’ll tell you a story. So several years ago, I was dating a professional model. Absolutely striking, gorgeous woman. We’d been dating for a couple of months, and things were going pretty well. And she asked if she could move in with me. She was going through a bit of a financial rough time. The short version of the story is I said no

Eventually, that relationship dissolved. Now do I know for sure that she was a provider hunter; that she was looking to “entrap” me or whatever? No, I don’t know that for sure. But I started to have questions about that, just a little bit, in the pit of my stomach, just a tiny, tiny bit.

So I ended the relationship. The reason I mentioned that she’s a model, and she was strikingly beautiful, is to emphasize that it was a difficult decision.

But at the end of the day, I knew what I had to do, and the relationship dissolved. 

alpha widows

So sometimes you have to make those choices, even if they aren’t the easiest thing to do in the world.

If something in your gut is telling you that something could be “off,” that the woman you’re dating may be pining for her ex, or she might be a provider hunter: trust your gut, try to get some outside feedback, talk to a friend, talk to a coach.

But the point is: don’t ignore those feelings. Investigate them, decide whether or not they’re rational, and make rational decisions based on that. Know your value. Know your standards and live true to your standards. 

But to all the “red pill” guys out there: I would say you can do that without anger, without malice, without turning into a misogynist. That’s a bit of a caricature. But I’m sure you know, if you’ve spent any time around the “red pill,” that those guys exist in abundance. The red pill tends to produce guys like that.

You don’t want to live that life because I’ve seen what that mindset can do to men, and it isn’t pretty.

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Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.