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What Is Beta Orbiting?

10 March 2019 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in Mind, Body & Soul

What is beta orbiting

Building relationships is an integral part of the human experience be it professional relationships, plutonic relations or romantic relationships. Meeting new people you can get along with, learn from and grow with helps us become better at who we are, it helps us gain various perspectives and improves so many aspects of self. In the past, relationships we build on physical interaction and with people in your immediate area. Interactions were brief and meaningful, and if you required more, you could have to make a concerted effort to meet and engage with that person. 

This has all changed in the modern world as technology has given us the ability to remain connected with anyone, at any time of day with the help of social media and instant messaging. This paradigm shift in human interaction has placed our minds into experiences we have not fully grasped and skills we're not equipped to handle yet.

There is now a growing trend that has risen out of this new relationship dynamic and an ability for people to interact at a high frequency. People can maintain multiple relationships and keep suitors at arm's length for the sake of it. This trend has been popularly dubbed "Beta Orbiting", and it can have drastic effects on your mental health for both parties.

What exactly is beta orbiting?

Beta suiters are known to usually hang around(orbit) a man or women they are sexually interested regardless of telltale signs that they are being kept at a distance for a reason. This behaviour is seen as similar to the way as Earth revolves around the sun because of gravitational attraction, hence the reference to orbiting. 

This behaviour is most popular with males as the hapless beta suitor will go into orbit around a person they find attractive in the hopes that they will eventually be drawn closer over time.

The girl he is orbiting enjoys the attention and will use it to extort favours or as a plutonic companion to cull boredom; she will feed him enough to think that his efforts indeed bring them closer together, when in fact she does not have any motivation to take the relationship further. 

But nature, it would seem, it not without a sense of balance and irony as women orbit, too and often a woman who has male orbiters will be the ones orbiting another high-status male. Due to the nature of hypergamy, women want a man of perceived value and an orbiting female will be attracted to a man of very high status, wealth, and power. She will happily make herself sexually available to him, even though she has to orbit him along with other females who are attracted by the scent of his resources or power.

A behaviour which contradicts the narrative of gender equality and woman having the ability to attain goals without the need of a partner.

Why has being beta orbited become so popular?

The concept of power and the power struggle in relationships has always been around, but it was limited due to the limitation of communication mediums of the time. Since the introduction of consumer technology, instant messaging has given us the ablity to maintain and built a number of relationships in real time and provide high-status people with a variety of options at their fingertips. In addition, social media allows people of certain status traits like money, power or sexual attraction to flaunt their desirable characteristics and advertise it on a large scale enabling them to grab attention based on vanity. Together the two mediums have exacerbated the problem and allowed it to flourish. 

Why is beta orbiting unhealthy?

In reality, beta orbiting only exists due to poor communication from both parties not relaying their true intentions for the relationship. This misrepresentation of ideas, ideals and expectations will only lead to frustration, anger, angst, anxiety and both parties closing themselves off to possibilities with one another or with someone else. 

Beta orbiting encourages the orbiter to remain emotionally invested in a relationship that will never reach any conclusion. They will be strung along until the target of affection becomes bored. Often they are not the only orbiter providing the high-status person with various options. Both parties have agreed to shallow relationships with motivations that aren't going to build a long lasting healthy companionship but a temporary solution for filling an emotional void in both parties. 

If you are in a situation like this from either side, it is important to take time out to evaluate your motivations on why you want to enter or continue this type of relationship and work on those issues.

Give us your take on the topics

Have you been a beta orbiter? Are you guilty of keeping people orbiting around you? Share your experience with us in the comments!

Do you seek help with your relationships or mental health?

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Tags: psychology, relationships

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