Relationships

4 Masculine Archetypes To Look For When Dating

By Jenna Cullman··  6 min read
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Dating can be hard, especially when you don’t know what exactly you're looking for. Here are four masculine archetypes to keep an eye out for when finding a future spouse.

Today, masculinity has been skewed and misinterpreted, often being presented as toxic or evil at its core. While masculine men, as we will learn, do have the capacity for evil, authentic masculinity is noble, courageous, and kind. The book King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette explains the four archetypes of masculinity to their fullest. Moore and Gillette dive into the layers of the male psyche, defending the healthy side of masculinity, while also peering into the shadow sides of each archetype. 

Defining each archetype will inform us on what to seek and what to avoid when choosing whom to date or when evaluating a current boyfriend. We see a plethora of these types in entertainment today, from movies, books, etc. that could be used as examples. By learning each of the male archetypes, we’ll be equipped to understand the men in our lives more and be able to make wiser dating choices. 

The Warrior

The highly skilled Warrior is confident in his abilities and never feels he must prove himself to win favor. He aspires to accomplish a higher purpose in his life. The Warrior’s primary concern is his nonpersonal commitments such as his career, which is often in the military, government, or any profession involved with conflict and power. 

The Warrior always has a strategy for everything. He thinks quickly on his feet and acts swiftly without hesitation. When the need to fight arises, whether that be physical or verbal, he is prepared. He understands his limitations and strengths, while also making the most of both. He is silently confident. The Warrior takes responsibility for his actions and is highly self-disciplined. He hates feeling and showing weakness.

The Warrior strives to accomplish a higher purpose in his life.

Obviously, this type of man has a lot going for him, but if his traits are not moderated, he can quickly become toxic. One of the most significant traits of the Shadow Warrior is a lack of emotional attachment to loved ones and family. The unhealthy Warrior can get violent if he feels his loved ones are getting in the way of his commitments because his goals and life purpose are his top priority. Relationships for the Shadow Warrior are secondary and often noncommittal. Affairs and cheating are common among the Shadow Warrior type. 

Contemporary Examples: Archilles from Troy, Uhtred of Bebbanburg from The Last Kingdom, Thor, Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher.

geralt the witcher warrior

The Magician 

Known for his deep inner knowing and calculated personality, the Magician represents every man’s need to create and express. Conjuring up new ideas and deeper meaning to life, the Magician is often lost in thought. He is forever a student of knowledge, dedicated to growing his comprehension. His greatest strength is his mind.

The Magician uses his “Observing Ego,” which gives him the ability to understand different perspectives and hold a deep understanding of human psychology. This makes him diplomatic and considerate towards others. His greatest desire is to understand himself and the world around him, while growing in knowledge along the way. Many Magicians work in the fields of medicine, science, and engineering, as well as the arts. 

The Magician represents every man’s need to create and express.

The shadow side of the Magician uses his awareness of human psychology to manipulate by distorting the thoughts of his victims and their conscious reality. He uses this power for personal gain, not caring who is affected by his selfishness. He holds a detached and cynical view of people and the world, while being overly critical of others’ opinions. Instead of acting on his own ideas and creativity, he chooses to stay stagnant.

Contemporary Examples: Brain Stark from Game of Thrones, Sherlock Holmes, Leonardo Da Vinci, Walter White from Breaking Bad.

sherlock holmes magician

The Lover

Artists, musicians, and poets are all men who convey the Lover. The Lover seeks to grasp, uncover, and create within the world around him. He longs to express himself to the world. He feels greatly and expresses an almost spiritual, bigger-than-life view of the world. Romance and deep sensual experiences are very important to the Lover and are some of his many creative forms of expression. 

Highly idealistic, he is known for being a dreamer and possesses an ever-expanding, creative imagination. He views the world as vast and complex. Because of this, he is always ready for a fun-filled adventure focused around sensory experiences. Social norms and expectations bother the Lover; it’s not uncommon for him to go against what is considered normal.

The Lover seeks to grasp, uncover, and create within the world around him.

The Lover is a pleasure enthusiast, which can result in a lack of self-control and ability to commit. This is the unhealthy Lover, the shadow Lover. If he lacks confidence in himself, he becomes emasculated, never taking charge, preferring to display a passive attitude towards life. He is often depressed and restless, which leads to self-sabotaging behavior (drinking, casual sex, smoking, overeating, laziness, drugs, etc.). The Shadow Lover will seek validation for his intelligence and talents. 

Contemporary Examples: Benedict Bridgerton from Bridgerton, Romeo from Romeo and Juliet, Jack from Titanic

jack titanic the lover

The King

The King is instinctive in every man, the full embodiment of the other three male sub-archetypes. The King archetype is a pivotal part of male development that is needed to embrace masculinity. Kings create rules and order in chaos. As any good king would do, he guides his subjects (a.k.a. his loved ones) with affection, love, loyalty, and protection. This creates a safe haven for people. He is the perfect father figure, leading by inspiring and guiding those around him to reach their full potential. The King is patient, controlled, and never loses his cool under stressful situations. Leading with confidence, wisdom, and power both in relationships and work, the King is the pure embodiment of positive masculinity in all its glory.

The King is patient, controlled, and never loses his cool under stressful situations.

While the good King rules for the love of his people, the Shadow King rules for power and control. He easily feels threatened by other men’s power and makes his decisions only in his best interest. He is terrified of his frailty and lack of power. He will shame and be overly critical of others for their weaknesses. He may even turn to physical, verbal or emotional abuse to force his loved ones into submission. He gains power by others' weakness, dependence, and vulnerability.

Contemporary Examples: Aragon from Lord of the Rings, Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead, Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders

aragorn the king

Closing Thoughts

If you know what to look for while dating, your ability to make decisions can become so much easier! The greatest thing you can take from this is to find the balanced King archetype. They will only improve your life, instead of making it more difficult, in the long run. It’s our job to nurture our man’s inner king; healthy masculinity requires healthy femininity.

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  Dating  Masculinity
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