Richard Cooper: The Unplugged Alpha (Book Overview)

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What is Richard Cooper’s The Unplugged Alpha about? What is the key message to take away from the book?

In The Unplugged Alpha, Richard Cooper—best known for his YouTube channel “Entrepreneurs in Cars”—argues that modern men have been taught three big lies regarding how society works. Specifically, men have been led to believe that women are second-class citizens, that masculinity is a bad thing, and that humans are monogamous.

Below is a brief overview of Richard Cooper’s The Unplugged Alpha: The No Bullsh*t Guide To Winning With Women & Life.

Unraveling the 3 Big Lies: How Society Actually Works

In The Unplugged Alpha, Richard Cooper argues that modern society has taught men three lies that have given them unrealistic views of how the world works. 

The first big lie, according to Cooper, is that women are second-class citizens. In the modern world, most of us learn that society primarily values men and harms women. But Cooper says that in reality, our society highly values women and harms men. This isn’t anything new: Cooper writes that as far back as 20,000 years ago, tribes and empires sent men to die in wars—and if they conquered another tribe, they killed all the remaining men. The conquerors spared the widows so that they could bear children, and the widows consented because the conquerors were now the highest-status men.

(Shortform note: Cooper sees the fact that men had children with the widows of the tribesmen they conquered as evidence that society valued the women. But he doesn’t acknowledge that these women were forced into those sexual relationships to stay alive. Modern data bears out the idea that men subject women to sexual violence in conflict (and post-conflict) situations: In Invisible Women, Caroline Criado Perez writes that 250,000 women were raped in just 100 days during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.) 

What is new is how this social order manifests in the modern day. Cooper argues that now, the world is so female-oriented that anything that doesn’t center around women is automatically seen as misogynistic. For example, modern feminists insist that the fact that women make less than men is a sign that women aren’t as valued as men, and anyone who claims otherwise is a misogynist. But Cooper contends that women choose lower-paying careers; men choose careers that involve riskier work and thus earn more.  

 The second big lie, according to Cooper, is that masculinity is dangerous. Women vilify “toxic masculinity”—but Cooper says that what this really means is that anything masculine is harmful. He argues that the problem isn’t too much masculinity but that a lack of masculinity is dangerous

As evidence, Cooper points to Nikolas Cruz, who killed 17 people in a school shooting in 2018. The media argued that his crime stemmed from “toxic masculinity,” but Cooper argues that it came from Cruz’s lack of masculine influence. Since Cruz was raised by a single mother and presumably encountered mostly female teachers, he never learned masculine skills like the ability to handle rejection. Instead, Cooper suggests that Cruz responded in a feminine way to rejection—in an emotional, violent “outburst.” 

The third big lie, according to Cooper, is that humans desire long-term happiness with one person. In reality, humans are highly promiscuous, and this promiscuity manifests differently in the sexes due to their different biological goals. A man prioritizes quantity: He wants to have as many children as possible, so he seeks to mate with as many women as possible. In contrast, a woman prioritizes quality: She wants her children to have the best possible chance of survival. So she practices hypergamy, which means that she looks for a man of higher status who can supply both good DNA and protection (financial or otherwise) for her and her kids.

(Shortform note: One therapist points out that if women are naturally hypergamous, men must be hypogamous, or willing to mate with women of lower status. Of course, men prefer beautiful women—but because they want to mate with as many people as possible, their standards are far lower than women’s. That said, in modern society, other factors affect our innate tendency toward promiscuity and hypogamy (or hypergamy, depending on your sex). For example, if a woman lacks self-respect, she may date hypogamously because she thinks a lower-status man is less likely to leave her.) 

However, Cooper explains, women recognize that few men provide both high-quality DNA and protection. This type of man is what Cooper calls a “high-value alpha,” or a dominant—a strong man who can support his woman and is the leader in the relationship. However, since dominants are rare, women lower their standards and settle for a “beta,” or a non-dominant. This non-dominant can provide her with kids and protection, but she doesn’t intensely desire him the way she desires a dominant. 

(Shortform note: Some studies cast doubt on the notion that women always prefer dominant alpha men to non-dominant betas, primarily because men express dominance in several ways—only some of which women like. For example, a dominant man might be assertive or aggressive—but women only like assertive (and not aggressive) men.)

You can tell whether she sees you as dominant or not by assessing her behavior. If she violates her norms for you, you’re a dominant; if she holds you to them, you’re a non-dominant. For example, she’ll buy the dominant drinks but tell the non-dominant, “I never pay for drinks.”

(Shortform note: Cooper never explicitly defines what a “beta” male (or non-dominant) is, emphasizing only that if a woman holds you to her norms, she sees you as a beta. In contrast, others argue that alphas and betas have several defining characteristics. For example, alphas tend to be self-assured and comfortable with risk, while betas are less confident and less prone to straying outside their comfort zone.)

Moreover, Cooper warns that even if you start the relationship as a dominant, you may end it as a non-dominant. A woman wants to ensure that she’s with a high-status man; as such, she’ll subconsciously and regularly test you to see whether you’ll assert your power (as a dominant) or let her win (as a non-dominant). If you let her win regularly, she’ll start to see you as a non-dominant—and eventually, she’ll lose her attraction to you because you’re no longer the strong dominant she initially fell in love with.

Breaking Free From Society’s Lies

Now that you understand these three big lies, what should you do? Cooper notes that many men react in anger in a phenomenon known as “red pill rage.” Some limit their interactions with women—either by exclusively pursuing sexual relationships with them (and avoiding all other types of relationships, such as friendships) or by taking the “black pill, ” which means avoiding them entirely. A small subset of men identifies as “incels,” or “involuntary celibates.” Angry at their inability to attract or keep women, incels often act violently: Several self-identified incels have committed mass murder. 

Cooper warns that none of these reactions are productive or realistic because they won’t change society, and you can’t avoid women entirely unless you avoid society entirely. Rather, Cooper explains that men should adapt to the world: If you want to be successful, you need to forget the lies that society has taught you and become a dominant. Doing so will significantly increase how attractive you are to women. Still, success with women shouldn’t be your main reason for pursuing dominant status. Cooper asserts that you should want to become a dominant for yourself; success with women is just a fringe benefit. 

(Shortform note: Like Cooper, John Romaniello, coauthor of Man 2.0: Becoming the Alpha, argues you should try to become dominant for yourself instead of to get more women. Unlike Cooper, whose definition of an alpha is based on how women view you, Romaniello explicitly defines an alpha as someone who’s trying to embody his full potential. Additionally, while Cooper expresses some alignment with the “red pill” community by using words like “unplugging,” Romaniello explicitly separates himself from this community—arguing that men who react in the ways that Cooper describes alienate both women (due to their extreme, misogynistic views) and men (by describing most men except the most elite as betas and, thus, useless.)  

How to Become a Dominant

You’ve now learned why you need to become a dominant, but how do you do so? In this section, you’ll first learn how to determine your current level: Are you a dominant, and if not, how much work do you have to do to get there? Then, you’ll learn how you can become a dominant by embodying masculinity, pursuing excellence, and mastering social skills.

Determine Your Level

According to Cooper, the first step to becoming a dominant is to determine your current level. To do so, first envision your ideal self: If you had to rank yourself on a scale of 1-10, what would 10 look like? Then, determine how you rank now given factors like your finances and fitness. Once you’ve done so, go on a dating app in your area pretending to be a woman, and review your male rivals for female attention. Adjust your score if you need to, then evaluate your results. Unless you’re an eight or higher, you’re not yet a dominant.

(Shortform note: Entrepreneur Will Freemen presents an alternative way of ranking your level. Instead of basing your ranking on how you compare to other men in your area, he assigns specific scores to specific factors on two different scales. In the baseline scale, you have a score (out of 10) based on baseline factors like your fitness, although you can go over or under 10 if you fall into extremes: For example, being muscular and lean gains you two points, while being obese loses you 20 points. You then measure your finances and influence separately on an “amplifier” scale that’s also out of 10. Your ultimate level is the sum of these two scores: If you have a 5/10 on the baseline scale and a 3/10 on the “amplifier” scale, you rank 8/10 total.) 

Embody Masculinity 

Now that you understand how you rank, Cooper recommends that you improve yourself in the applicable areas to become a dominant in the following ways. 

1. Become (and present yourself as) strong and masculine. Start by focusing on your physical appearance. Hit the gym to tone your physique, find clothes that fit well and are flattering, and do something about your hair—whether that’s finding a hairstyle that complements your features or leaning into your hair loss and shaving it all off. 

(Shortform note: In Models, Mark Manson provides more specific recommendations for appearing stronger and masculine. To become fit, don’t obsess over how to exercise or diet; just find an exercise you enjoy and cut out junk food (like soda and desserts). In addition to finding clothes that fit well, make sure they flatter not just your physical appearance but also your personality; a businessman won’t look good in clothes meant for a skater. And be wary of asking any female friends for advice on your looks, including your hair—they’re prone to recommend what they’re attracted to, not necessarily what flatters you.)

2. Check your testosterone levels. As Cooper notes, testosterone is essential to male health. But once you hit 30, your testosterone levels begin to slowly decrease, which manifests in symptoms such as lower energy. So work with a doctor who’ll help you maintain the testosterone levels you need to function at your best (which may be higher than the levels deemed “normal” for your age). Do your best to increase your testosterone naturally, using proven methods such as reducing how much time you spend near electromagnetic fields that disturb your endocrine system—which you can do by keeping your phone out of your pants pocket and away from your testicles.

However, if you want to maintain ideal levels, you’ll likely eventually need to go on testosterone replacement therapy. This involves introducing additional testosterone into your body through medical intervention. 

3. Own a motorcycle. Cooper explains that riding a motorcycle will help you feel powerful and thus masculine, as well as provide a space to process your emotions and thus improve your mental health. It also makes you especially attractive to young women, who love the adrenaline rush of being on a bike. If you feel unsafe, you can substitute a motorcycle with a convertible.

4. Learn a martial art. Cooper explains that you must learn how to be violent when necessary so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Join a Mixed Martial Arts dojo and pick your favorite; Krav Maga is beloved by specialized military units worldwide. 

(Shortform note: Contrary to Cooper’s recommendation, other experts warn against learning Krav Maga because it won’t provide you with any real-world fighting experience. As Cooper notes, Krav Maga focuses on only being violent when necessary and is so violent that it’s not permitted in professional MMA fights—but it’s so violent that many dojos won’t even let you practice sparring it. Instead, experts recommend that you learn a martial art you can practice fighting with so you can protect your loved ones effectively: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which was originally developed as a street fighting technique, is a good choice.)

Pursue Riches and Respect

In addition to embodying masculinity, Cooper contends that if you want to become a dominant, you must become rich and influential. To do so, you must focus on your finances. The more money you have, the more attractive you’ll be to women, who are earning more than ever but still want someone who earns more than they do due to their hypergamy. Money will also help you gain influence, which is essential to becoming a dominant and stems from earning both a high income and respect. Aim to join the top 10% income bracket where you live. Ideally, you should become a millionaire by 40 at the latest: Consider becoming an entrepreneur, as it’s often the fastest way to earn millions. 

In order to become and remain rich and influential, Cooper adds that you must learn how to distribute your energy efficiently. We have a finite amount of energy, so if we waste it on low-value activities (like complaining to customer service), we risk not having enough to spend on the high-value, energy-intensive activities that build wealth and influence (like building a business). Minimize this risk by taking regular cold showers: Since taking cold showers requires the self-control to endure discomfort, doing so regularly will increase the self-control you need to ignore low-value activities and instead focus on the activities that matter most.

Master Social Skills

In addition to embodying masculinity and pursuing riches and respect, Cooper explains that to become a dominant, you must master two main social skills. First, learn to take your time evaluating whether someone is a worthy addition to your life—whether in business or in your personal life. Don’t let their words distract you and instead pay attention to their behavior. If they behave badly, they’re a negative influence whom you should cut off immediately.  

(Shortform note: Research suggests that in situations where the other person’s actions are limited by an external factor, you should pay attention to their words instead of their behavior. In business, someone might be limited by what their company allows them to do. In your personal life, someone might be limited by factors like finances—like if a woman wants to go on a date with you but can’t afford to.) 

Second, you must master the ability to successfully charm women by presenting yourself in the best possible light. Cooper recommends several texts to help you develop this skill, notably The Game by Neil Strauss. (Shortform note: Cooper doesn’t give specific tips to charm women, but Strauss suggests several techniques: Consider using gimmicks (like magic tricks) to impress women. Keep her wanting more by alternating between sending signals that you like her and signals that you don’t. For example, if you’re having a good conversation (a signal that you like her), look around the room (a signal that you don’t).) 

How to Be Sexually Successful 

Once you’ve become a dominant—which you can determine by rating yourself as described in the previous section—how can you get the women that you want? In this section, you’ll first learn who not to date. Then, you’ll learn how to date: What should you do to maximize your chances of finding good women? Finally, you’ll learn why Cooper strongly recommends against marriage—and how to proceed if you choose to get married anyway. 

Who Not to Date

Cooper warns that dating the wrong woman can bring a host of problems into your life. As such, he argues, every man must learn how to identify whether a woman is bad for him. To that end, Cooper presents several warning signs that you should look out for when dating. 

First, Cooper warns against dating women who are emotionally immature —those who are overly possessive, who regularly blow small issues out of proportion, or who don’t know how to calmly communicate any issues they may have with the relationship. Also, skip dating anyone with addictions or who lies constantly.  

(Shortform note: What are signs that a woman is good for you? One key trait is emotional maturity. Unlike an emotionally immature woman, an emotionally mature one will be honest with you—even when she’s uncomfortable. She’ll be able to view situations from different perspectives—so she’ll be able to mitigate her jealousy even if she feels it and will be able to see why something might not be that big a deal. She’ll also be emotionally stable—unlike addicts in the early stages of recovery.)

Most importantly, leave immediately if she’s violent. Since men are commonly blamed for domestic violence even if they’re defending themselves from a woman’s attack, get evidence of her behavior to protect yourself. 

(Shortform note: Despite Cooper’s warnings, men often struggle to leave abusive relationships—often because they don’t realize that their partner is abusive, especially if she’s not physically violent. Your partner may be abusive if she tries to scare you, makes you feel uncomfortable regarding sex, or isolates or insults you.)  

Second, Cooper warns against dating women who exhibit signs of promiscuous behavior, as promiscuous women aren’t as able to have healthy, monogamous relationships. Don’t ask her how many sexual partners she’s had, as she’ll likely lie about her number. Instead, look at the company she keeps and her behavior. If her close acquaintances are promiscuous, she’ll likely be promiscuous. She also may be promiscuous if she regularly goes clubbing, posts provocative pictures on social media, or has any men in her life in a social capacity (friends included): These are all ways that she advertises her sexual availability to men. 

Third, Cooper warns against dating women who won’t value a dominant male. If she didn’t value the dominant male in her life growing up, she won’t value a dominant as an adult—so avoid women who have poor relationships with their fathers. 

(Shortform note: Experts agree that women who have poor relationships with their fathers may struggle to form healthy relationships with men. However, this isn’t because she didn’t value the dominant male in her life. Instead, this is a failing on the father’s part: By not providing for his daughter’s needs, he doesn’t teach her how to interact healthily with men in general—and this pattern continues in the daughter’s life when she grows up.)

You should also avoid feminists: A feminist believes that all women (including herself) are second-class citizens. This means that she views herself as a victim—and this viewpoint ensures that she’ll never be content. Moreover, Cooper argues that modern feminism teaches women that men are evil—so no feminist will appreciate you as a dominant man.

(Shortform note: Cooper’s presentation of feminism is slightly misleading. Feminism doesn’t teach women that individual men are the problem. Rather, modern feminists usually want women and men to be treated equally under the patriarchy—which is the overall system that values men’s lives and contributions over women’s. So a feminist believes that she faces societal discrimination—and she might see herself as a victim, but this isn’t a guarantee. Rather, many people respond to this societal discrimination by taking action that improves the situation and makes them happy, such as by supporting organizations that empower women.) 

Fourth, and most importantly, Cooper warns against dating single mothers—primarily because dating a single mother saddles you with the role of father but none of its accompanying benefits. The kids don’t carry your DNA or your last name, so you are by definition a cuckold (which is inherently bad). 

(Shortform note: Contrary to Cooper’s claim, stories abound of children who’ve taken on their stepfather’s last name. In many cases, this is a choice the children made: Despite not sharing DNA with their stepfather, they view him as their “real” father because of the active role he played in raising (and disciplining) them.) 

Furthermore, she’ll expect you to take care of the kids—and since single moms tend to choose low-paying careers (like nursing), this will likely include significant financial support. However, she won’t allow you to discipline them since they’re not biologically yours—and for that same reason, the kids won’t appreciate your contributions because you’re not their “real” dad. 

(Shortform note: In Invisible Women, Perez elaborates on why single mothers might choose ostensibily lower-paying careers such as nursing. Many modern workplaces are designed for unencumbered workers: people who are able to work fixed hours because they’re not responsible for domestic care. Single mothers must be flexible to accommodate their childcare responsibilities—so they may choose careers that accommodate this flexibility, such as nursing. That said, nursing can be lucrative: One study found that 39% of nurses make over $80,000 annually.)  

How to Date 

Now that you’ve learned how not to date, we’ll discuss Cooper’s recommendations for how to navigate the dating scene successfully. In this section, you’ll first learn why and how to date several women at once. Then, you’ll learn when to date one woman—and how to pick the right person.

Why and How to Date Many Women

Cooper argues that to date successfully, you must date several women simultaneously. This strategy has two main benefits. First, it reduces the possibility that you’ll continuously pine after one woman (who’s usually disinterested in you). This is because by dating multiple women, you recognize that there are many great women and so don’t grow unhealthily attached to any one in particular. Second, dating many women teaches you which women you should focus on: You learn who you like and whether she’s interested or not.

(Shortform note: In Attached, Amir Levine and Rachel Heller suggest that anxious attachers— people who are preoccupied with making their relationship solid and constantly seek reassurance from their partner—are particularly prone to growing unhealthily attached to one person and so should definitely date multiple people. By doing so, anxious attachers will learn how to identify not just the women they like and whether they’re interested, but also how to evaluate which women are able to give the reassurance they need.)

So how do you date many women? The first step is to find them—which many modern men do online. To do so successfully, Cooper recommends that you first ensure that you’re at least 7/10 using the test recommended previously. Second, get good photos that make you seem as attractive as possible: Hire a professional photographer and get real women online to evaluate the pictures using a website like Photofeeler. Third, write a short profile quickly conveying that you’re high-status. Cooper suggests highlighting your job, your connections, and your interests. Fourth, message her only a few times: Start with a playful question. If she’s responsive and clearly interested, get her phone number to schedule a time to meet.

So how do you navigate the date itself? Cooper recommends that you meet halfway between your places: A woman who’s genuinely interested will make the effort to come meet you. Additionally, keep it short—no more than an hour: This is enough to determine whether there’s a genuine connection.

(Shortform note: How should you navigate your first date if you meet in real life? In Models,  Manson recommends that you meet within walking distance of either your place or hers and that you schedule at least three separate hour-long activities to do on the date. The more activities you do together, the greater connection you’ll develop—and if you can walk to either of your places, the easier it will be to have sex at the end of the date.) 

Assuming the date went well, Cooper explains that the next step is to try to have sex by the third date: This ensures that she sees you in a sexual light and that you two work well in the bedroom. To do so, exchange explicit messages after the dates. If she’s uninterested, say goodbye—she doesn’t see you as a dominant male. If she’s receptive, invite her to your home. Crucially, always use a condom and throw it away yourself. This is the only way you can ensure that you don’t have—and are thus financially responsible for—any unwanted children.

When and How to Date One Woman

Eventually, Cooper admits, you may want to date only one woman—but he recommends doing so only if you’re in your 30s or above. If you’re younger, you haven’t dated enough women to determine who is a good candidate for monogamous dating. Moreover, you should be focusing on yourself and becoming a dominant instead of spending time building a relationship. You can still date if you’re in your 20s, but you should only have casual sexual relationships. Don’t treat these women like girlfriends: In other words, don’t introduce them to people you know, and only spend time with them when it’s convenient for you.

(Shortform note: In How to Not Die Alone, Ury warns that not dating anybody long-term can have drawbacks. Ury argues that dating is a skill: You learn how to have both casual and serious relationships by actually being in them. So if you only focus on casual relationships in your 20s, you won’t learn the skills necessary to sustain a long-term relationship in the future—like how to adjust your schedule or introduce your girlfriend to people you know.) 

But what if you’re past your 20s? Cooper says that you can consider making someone your girlfriend only if you meet several conditions, including the following. First, you must have been sleeping with her (and other women) for at least six months. Second, she asks to be exclusive: This indicates that she’s decided you’re the highest-status male in her life. 

(Shortform note: Like Cooper, dating experts agree that you should date for a while before becoming exclusive. However, unlike Cooper, they suggest waiting just two months—long enough to pass the infatuation stage—before discussing exclusivity. And they don’t insist that the woman must bring up exclusivity: Rather, one blogger argues that since you would both be equal partners in the relationship, it is both of your job to initiate the exclusivity conversation.)

Third, if she wants to be exclusive, ask her to tattoo your name on her body and see how she reacts. If she sees you as a dominant with whom she wants to spend her life, she’ll happily tattoo your name. 

(Shortform note: Cooper doesn’t consider that a woman might be reluctant to tattoo your name on her body not because she doesn’t see you as a dominant to commit to but for other reasons. For example, she might not like tattoos, or she might be concerned about the health risks: Tattoos can cause skin infections, and we don’t yet know the long-term health consequences of injecting tattoo ink under the skin.) 

If you choose to make someone your girlfriend, you must decide whether you’ll be sexually exclusive to her. Pointing to the historical precedence of dominants with harems, Cooper explains that a woman would rather share her dominant than settle for a non-dominant. But if you choose to continue sleeping with other women, you should tell your girlfriend beforehand. However, don’t let this become a two-way street: If she is also sleeping with other men, this is now “polyamory”—and may indicate that she sees you as a non-dominant in your relationship. 

How to Get Married (Or Not)

You’ve now learned how to date, but what if you want to move toward marriage? In this section, you’ll first learn why Cooper strongly advises against ever getting married. Then, you’ll learn his recommendations for how to proceed if you marry someone despite these warnings. 

Why You Shouldn’t Get Married 

Cooper contends that men should steer clear of marriage primarily because the risk of divorce is too great. As Cooper points out, even if you do get married, you’re likely to get divorced. This is partly because the family law of many modern countries financially incentivizes women to divorce their partners: In fact, women are most likely to grow rich via divorce. (Shortform note: It’s unclear why Cooper states that women gain their riches via divorce; rather, studies indicate that American women are most likely to reach the top 1% of earners by marrying rich men (and not divorcing them).) 

Cooper explains that a divorced woman receives three major financial benefits from her ex-husband that entice married women to divorce their partners. First, if he earned more than her, she’s entitled to alimony payments—and thus a significant chunk of his future earnings—so that she can maintain her previous lifestyle. Second, she’s entitled to half of the shared assets. This may include assets he had before the marriage—even if they signed a prenuptial agreement, since the judge may deem it no longer valid. Third, if she gains primary custody of the children (as most women do), she’s entitled to child support—an amount that often exceeds the needs of the children because it’s based on government data. 

In pursuit of these benefits, Cooper warns, women will go to extreme lengths that may harm your emotional health and put you at higher risk for suicide. She might try to get your children to hate you. Notably, she may make false domestic violence charges—which allows her to force you to financially support your children without contacting them or being involved at all in the day-to-day parenting. 

(Shortform note: Like Cooper, researchers suggest that alienation from one’s children may contribute to the high rate of suicide among divorced men. Unlike Cooper, researchers are unclear (due to a lack of evidence) whether women are likely to make false domestic violence charges, although one study did find that child custody evaluators believed that 26% of mothers’ allegations were false. But even if the domestic violence charge is substantiated, the risk of not being able to parent your children may not be as common as Cooper claims. In such cases, 40% of evaluators recommend joint legal custody—which means that both parents are able to make child-rearing decisions—”half of the time” to “always.”)

How to Marry Right

As Cooper notes, you may decide to get married despite his warnings. If so, he recommends that you do the following to ensure the best possible results.

First, choose the right woman. Cooper references The Tactical Guide to Women which states that she should be mature and stable and have clarity. Cooper adds that she should be good at handling stress, willing to change her name to yours—and thus demonstrate that she’s committed long-term—and earn a relatively similar income to yours so that you don’t have to pay as much in alimony in the event of a divorce.

Second, spend sufficient time with her. Cooper again references The Tactical Guide to Women, which explains that a woman who wants to get married might pretend to be someone she’s not in pursuit of her goal—so wait at least two years to get to know her well. Cooper adds that you must also cohabitate during this time to really know her; he recommends a minimum of six months. 

(Shortform note: Relationship experts agree that waiting about two years before getting married is a good idea. However, this is not because your girlfriend might be putting on a facade—rather, within two years, you should face enough challenges together to understand whether you’re compatible. And if you cohabitate during this time, How to Not Die Alone author Ury recommends clarifying your expectations with your partner: If she sees cohabitation as a step toward engagement and you only see it as a test run, you both may face heartbreak.)

 Finally, Cooper recommends that you do your legal homework. Prior to marriage, visit a divorce lawyer with your partner to understand the potential ramifications of divorce. Write a prenuptial agreement—and then write a post-nuptial agreement to maximize the chances of the prenup’s terms being honored in court. Finally, if you have children, live somewhere that splits custody by default to minimize the risk of never seeing your kids.

Richard Cooper: The Unplugged Alpha (Book Overview)

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Here's what you'll find in our full The Unplugged Alpha summary:

  • The three big lies modern men have been told about society
  • How to break free from the lies and become a high-value man
  • How you can use this newfound status to become sexually successful

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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