For many generations, we lived in a male-dominated world. This was true in the workforce, as well as the home.
However, recent years have seen a movement toward equality. We’ve made much progress in the way of a women’s right to vote, working towards equal pay, etc.
The home is another place that’s evolved quite a bit.
We’ve moved from equality in life and relationships to seeing some women becoming the dominant one in their marriage or romantic relationship. This makes for a very new and different dynamic.
Understanding Female-Led Relationships
Because it’s such a new and foreign concept in the grand scheme of things, there is still plenty to learn about a female-led relationship’s dynamics and specifics.
There are certainly pros and cons, and it’s important to note that there’s a fine line to walk between dominance/authority and abuse.
To start, we’ll go over the different types of female-led relationships and what each one looks like.
Generally, female-led relationships can be put into four overall categories based on their intensity and exactly how much the woman wants to lead:
At this lowest level, things aren’t so much about the woman being in charge but lean more towards equality and sharing the decisions and responsibilities.
The woman won’t have full power and authority, but she does weigh in on every joint decision.
She won’t necessarily bow to her male partner if he wants to decide a specific direction that she disagrees with.
But, this doesn’t mean the man will bow to her either. In most situations, they must come to some sort of compromise or agreement.
This is when the woman enjoys having a little power at times. It gives her a confidence boost and feeds her ego a little, which improves morale and puts her in a good mood. Often, this makes the relationship a happier one.
These relationships often see the woman making final decisions on smaller, day-to-day things. The man is okay with this and lets her take the lead as she sees fit. But, she won’t take it all the way.
Often, she’ll still let her partner make larger decisions, or at least they’ll still decide together.
In a healthy moderate-level control female-led relationship, the woman will communicate with her partner about what level of responsibility she’s willing or wants to take on.
For both parties to be comfortable in this dynamic, proper and consistent communication is key.
It’s at this level that the woman starts taking a much more powerful and dominant stance. Here, she’ll make most decisions and often take on roles in the traditionally left relationship to a man.
While she prefers to have control in most situations, the areas in which she has the ultimate power or says are clearly defined.
As long as she’s with a compatible man who is okay with this dynamic and communicates well, this can still work.
Everything is out in the open, and the man knows what to expect with a woman like this. Usually, he is happy to take the back seat and let her lead.
This is an especially attractive situation for passive men who don’t believe in their ability to make massive or life-altering decisions. They prefer to have a woman who’s in charge.
Lastly, we have an extreme level of control. This is where the woman starts walking a fine line and may eventually start down the path of abuse.
Here, the woman not only wants full and total control and power in the relationship, but she thrives on it – needs it.
Women who lean towards this level of power often look down on the man to some degree and will force him into a servitude role rather than just taking a back seat.
She will insist that he not only allow her to make the decisions, but he must do as she says.
Rules of a Female-Led Relationship
Regardless of the “level” of control within a female-led relationship, several “rules” are generally universal across all relationships.
Some of these are simply enforced or implied, while others are communicated so that everyone can get on the same page.
The Relationship Develops on Her Terms
Firstly, the relationship will develop over time as she sees fit. Most often, she will have been the one to ask the man out on their first date. From there, she’ll initiate most dates and time spent together.
Subsequently, she’ll be the one to decide when the relationship is “official” and exclusive. Ultimately, she controls the pace.
No Sex on Demand
Whether dating or married, sex will not be available on demand. Many more dominant men prefer to have unlimited access to sex, but this is not the case in a female-led relationship.
Not only will she not give it up at any moment, but the man will often have to “earn” it a little bit. For women, sex is more emotional and less of a physical need. So, there will be plenty of times where they’re perfectly happy to go without it.
However, they’ll be much more inclined to offer it up after their partner has done something friendly and thoughtful for them. In this way, they can also use it as a reward for behavior or actions they like.
The Man Does More Chores
Either the man does most or even all of the chores, or they are, at the very least, equally shared. Gone are the days of women keeping the home and doing all the housework.
In a female-led relationship, the woman will decide how much she wants to do, and her man will have to do the rest of it.
If she chooses not to do any housework, it will be up to him. The man in this relationship will have to be okay and happy with this, or it won’t work. He can’t speak up and demand she does more. It will only lead to fighting.
This is where communication is important. It’s better than the man knew from the beginning that this is how she likes things.
The Woman’s Family is Very Important
Regardless of whether or not she places importance on his parents, her parents will always be a top priority. She’ll talk to them on the phone lots, and she’ll invite them over whenever she pleases without consulting her partner. She expects her partner to treat them with the same love and respect that she does.
In many more extreme cases, the woman will carry contempt for her partner’s parents and sometimes be rude to them for no reason than to assert dominance. This is where it begins to verge on unhealthy.
Her Wishes Come First
This one is often non-negotiable. Her needs and desires are her top priority, and she expects them to be her partner’s as well.
She expects that he works hard to ensure she’s happy and will fulfill her needs at all times and as soon as possible.
Rewards and Consequences
This won’t always be true of every single female-led relationship but is more common in more extreme dynamics.
In some cases, though, a woman may dole out rewards for good behavior as well as consequences for behavior she doesn’t like.
A common example is forcing him to sleep on the couch if he talks back too much or doesn’t do as she’s said. If he doesn’t agree to these stipulations, it will not go over well. These extreme dynamics teeter on unhealthy and will only work if the man is fully on board with this way of living.
The woman’s dominance often also stretches into her man’s social life. She must always know where he’s at and who he’s with.
“Boys nights” won’t happen unless she permits. Often, they’ll only ever go out together as a couple or a family if they have kids.
She might sometimes give him the go-ahead to hang out alone with his friends, but only when she’s come to know and trust the people, he wishes to go out with. Never will he be allowed to spend time around other women without her there.
They Raise Children Equally
Throughout history, women have been charged with raising and caring for the kids. That’s not to say men never paid attention to them, but he didn’t have near as many responsibilities as the woman.
It was commonplace for women to have a stronger bond with their children than the man as well.
Times have changed drastically, however, even within relationships that are not directly led by women. Men do have higher expectations placed on them, though not to the point of total equality all the time.
In a female-led relationship, however, things will be equal. Once children come along, the man is expected to contribute just as much time and attention as the woman, if not more.
In some stronger dynamics, the woman will dictate precisely what the man is to do and take on in regards to the children.
The Woman Controls The Finances
Lastly, she is privy to any and all finances. At the very least, she knows about everything, and no income of any kind can be hidden.
In the most extreme examples of female-led relationships, she will have complete control over both of their finances. This includes decisions about bills and other/unnecessary spending.
Regardless of the intensity of the woman’s power in the relationship, finances are shared, and she will undoubtedly make final decisions regarding her own money.
It’s also reasonably common in female-led relationships for the woman to make more money than the man. No longer are men the only “breadwinners” around!
Difference Between a Female-Led and a Male Led Relationship
The idea of a female-led relationship is quite new to society, but it’s developed its own nature and distinct characteristics fast. There are many differences between male and female-led relationships.
When looking at a couple in public, it can be hard to tell exactly where they stand in terms of authority, as many will act cordial and neutral in public. Other times, it’s very obvious even in public who “wears the pants” in the relationship.
Either way, there are many differences you should be aware of when considering what type of relationship is right for you:
- The man is the main provider and sole breadwinner. Often, the family lives off his income only.
- The man cares for his children and loves them but is not as bonded with them as their mother is.
- The man is at work every day, leaving the woman to take care of the home and do most of the chores.
- The man is the ultimate authority and makes all major decisions.
- Both men and women are equally able to work. In some cases, the woman makes even more money than the man.
- Both can swap roles at any time, often at the discretion of the woman. This means child-rearing is always shared, and if necessary, becomes the sole responsibility of the man.
- Chores such as cooking and cleaning are either shared or delegated entirely to the man. He usually enjoys the work and doesn’t feel like less of a man for it.
- Both the man and woman are free to share their thoughts and feelings, and both are often considered when it comes to major decisions.
Advantages of a Female-Led Relationship
A female-led relationship comes with many advantages not only for the woman but for the man as well:
- The pressure of decision making is taken off their shoulders.
- They don’t have to support the entire family on just their income, meaning they can work less.
- Women being dominant can often lead to exciting times in the bedroom.
- All her needs, both physically and emotionally, are always met.
- She’s able to work and maintain a career.
- She can share the responsibility of housework and raising children.
- She doesn’t have to conform to society’s idea of what her relationship should look like.
Disadvantages of a Female-Led Relationship
Like anything in life, advantages come with disadvantages. You just have to decide if it’s something you can live with.
- His needs can fall to the wayside and not be met adequately.
- Not all men are cut-out for a female-led relationship, and engaging in one can lead to disappointment, anger, and, ultimately, a broken relationship.
- Men like to feel needed, and this might not happen as much with the woman taking the lead.
- The pressure is on to make big decisions and run things properly.
- The busy lifestyle can sometimes get overwhelming.
- The family will be relying on her income as well.
Finding a Happy Balance
The fact is, this type of relationship is not for everybody. This goes for men and women. Some men can’t handle a woman in charge, and many women prefer not to take on responsibility.
The key to finding the proper balance and making it work is communication and consent, as well as being with the right kind of man.
First of all, both parties must be interested and willing to be a part of this type of relationship. This should be communicated from the beginning and not thrown at someone after a relationship has already developed, and time has been invested.
Once you’ve communicated, you need consent, largely from the man who will be taking the back seat in the relationship.
If he’s not okay with what the woman has laid out as her needs and desires for the relationship, fights will no doubt ensue regularly.
If things escalate too much and you are too incompatible, breakups and/or divorce is inevitable.
Consider Carefully if it Works For You
As previously stated, female-led relationships aren’t for everyone. Take a look at the ins and outs of a female-led relationship and consider the different levels of intensity.
Assess where you’re at and determine if this dynamic will work for you. It may require some deep self-reflection.
Either way – if you decide it’s for you, you have much to gain from a female-led relationship, whether you’re a man or a woman seeking one.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a woman’s duty in a relationship?
Traditionally, one might say that a woman must keep the house in order, cook meals, and raise the children. In some relationships, this may still be the case.
However, this is no longer the default. Many women are standing up for themselves and fighting for equality or even more power for themselves. In many cases, their roles are quite the opposite of housework and child-rearing.
A woman’s duty in her relationship will depend upon her wishes for the relationship as well as her partner and where he stands.
How do you establish a female-led relationship?
If you think a female-led relationship is for you, you must first be transparent with potential partners. If this is the dynamic you want, let them know right away.
If they wish to engage, continue communicating. Once a relationship is developing, establish boundaries. Ensure both parties are aware of how things are going to work.
Then, be yourself! Once you’re both on the same page and consenting to the dynamic, you’re free to be yourself and keep developing your relationship.
Things will evolve and solidify over time as long as you keep the lines of communication wide open.
Who is the leader in the relationship?
This depends on the relationship itself. In a female-led relationship, the woman leads. There are also cases where the man will lead the relationship. It’s up to the two people within the relationship to decide.
What is FLR?
FLR stands for “female-led relationship” and is often used as an abbreviation when talking about these dynamics and/or explaining how this type of relationship works.