female led relationship

Are you an independent millennial woman who enjoys dominating in a relationship? Are you worried about how society perceives relationships where women are in charge? Or maybe you are concerned that you’ll never find a man who is into a female-led relationship?

You’re not alone! Relationship dynamics have been radically changing. Fortunately, people don’t have the same conventional mindset from generations past about how relationships should function.

Let’s examine what a female-led relationship is, how common they are, and explore whether men enjoy them or not.

What is a female-led relationship?

So what is FLR? As the name suggests, a female-led relationship is a relationship where the woman takes the lead and serves as the more dominant partner, while the man serves as the submissive one. The woman becomes the “head of the house,” while the man will take on a woman’s role and inclines to do more household chores and be the submissive partner.

In contrast to the traditional concept of men being the authority figure and the modern idea of equality between men and women in relationships, in an FLR, a woman is the authority. FLR works best for women who are alpha and are naturally dominant and for men who prefer to be more submissive.

The first thing to understand about FLRs is that there are different levels of it. Still, the basis of an FLR is that the woman in the relationship is the most dominant partner. This means that the woman in the relationship takes on what men in traditional relationships usually do. Depending on the type of FLR, conventional gender roles are swapped or become fluid.

The 4 levels of female-led relationships

woman leading a man

Not all FLRs look the same – although all of them fit under the umbrella of a female-led relationship, they have different structures and intensities. So let’s take a look at the four levels of female-led relationships.

1. Low control FLRs

At this level, the allocation of responsibilities and control is balanced between men and women. Decisions are made together, and the woman takes the lead only during some instances. There is more of a balance between the two.

2. Moderate control FLRs

The woman has more control in the relationship but also sets boundaries for how far she will go. She will usually make day-to-day decisions, and the man will enjoy her dominance. Men who fancy more dominant women may not be satisfied enough at this level and may prefer a higher level of FLR.

3. Defined control FLRs

The woman’s role as the authority figure is thoroughly defined and sealed. Women are usually the primary breadwinners in the defined control level. The man understands and accepts a submissive role in the relationship, giving his partner the liberty to maintain finances and make final decisions.

4. Extreme control FLRs

This level is the highest and most extreme. The woman takes complete control over her male partner’s personal, financial, and social life. She will typically control his schedule and finance. FLRs of this level can be highly abusive and toxic if it’s not agreed upon by both partners.

Every type of relationship has its own set of challenges – whether you’re in a male-led relationship, female-led relationship, or equal relationship. No two people can be happy if only one person makes all the decisions, and the other has no say. For this reason, FLR level 4 is considered too extreme and may not be the right choice for the majority of couples.

No two people can be happy if only one person makes all the decisions, and the other has no say. Click To Tweet

Female-led relationship rules

Even a loving FLR can get overburdened if no one sets boundaries and rules. Without setting boundaries in a relationship, there will always be misunderstandings. Here are female-led relationship rules that are necessary to make it work.

  1. Talk openly – be transparent with your feelings always.
  2. Set roles & boundaries – make sure both partners are happy and comfortable with them.
  3. Ignore people who judge you – acknowledge that this is a reflection of their ignorance, not yours.
  4. Have monthly meetings – review whether this relationship structure is working.
  5. Keep an eye out for negative use of power – speak up when you notice the relationship is imbalanced.
  6. Make sure there is still love – remember why you started the relationship and make sure feelings are still there.
  7. Ask for help when needed – whether it’s from your partner or from a professional.
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The whole point of participating in a female-led relationship is to open up more communication, reduce power struggle, and to experiment with something new. So if you’re considering getting into FLR, make sure that rules and boundaries are respected for a more fulfilling relationship.

How common are loving female-led relationships?

Both men and women seek out FLRs because they understand that traditional relationships don’t work for them. Women who are self-sufficient, strong, and independent, and who choose careers over being a homemaker realize that they need a companionship that fits their lifestyle. They desire more fulfilling relationships where they feel heard and have a say in day-to-day decisions.

If this sounds like you – don’t fret! There are many couples worldwide toying with this idea or already in successful, loving FLRs.

A lot of men are welcoming this new era of empowered women with open arms. This may come as a relief to some men who are tired of the stereotypical gender roles in relationships. It means they can let their guard down around their partner and not be required to uphold pressure on what is expected from a man.

Loving FLRs are a mutual agreement that the woman is the leader in the relationship, and the man is a supporter. In a committed FLR, the woman’s happiness, satisfaction, and success are the prime focus. Men understand that a loving FLR entails respecting and accepting their female partner’s guidance. Men that seek FLRs recognize that women are not superior but equal to them. Their female partners never ignore their needs and opinions but respect and incorporate it into decision making. Men who accept this and women who want more say in relationships pursue FLRs for the sole reason that it is in line with their beliefs and personalities.

Is FLR healthy?

man standing in front of a woman

Until the 20th century, most relationships between men and women were male-dominant. This came with the fact that men were seen as physically and emotionally stronger than their counterparts. This meant women played a more passive and submissive role in love and marriages. But with the women’s rights movement and the sexual revolution, women’s roles in relationships have evolved and have been critically questioned.

Even though many couples still conform to the traditional male-led relationship model, there is a shift to changing relationship dynamics. More couples are choosing FLRs, accepting the woman in the relationship as the leader.

FLRs shouldn’t be considered unhealthy because couples don’t just fall into the relationship and take on traditional roles. A female-led relationship requires communication, understanding, and compromise. In order to get into this type of relationship, both the male and female need to clearly discuss what they want and expect from the relationship.

In a traditional relationship, the female rarely gets a chance to state her opinions or stance on what gender roles will look like. The male will exert control and take on responsibility. There is a lack of communication and expression of their real feelings. While in an FLR, both partners openly discuss what they need from a relationship, thus making this union happy and healthy.

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There is more space for both partners in a female-led relationship to feel seen, heard, and have their expectations met. There is no pressure to “follow society.” Instead, there is more sense of comfort and being totally yourself. Mutual respect is essential for every successful relationship. As long as the woman encourages her man to contribute, participate, and have a say in the relationship, there is a good chance of finding a balance and make an FLR work.

As long as the woman encourages her man to contribute, participate, and have a say in the relationship, there is a good chance of finding a balance and make an FLR work. Click To Tweet

Do men enjoy FLR?

Most women who consider female-led relationships are concerned about finding a man willing to get involved with an alpha female, which means handing the reigns over to her. If you face this dilemma, it is important to note that men are becoming more accepting of powerful women.

This type of relationship is beneficial to both men and women. For women who are alpha, financially independent, and more dominant, and for men who prefer not to make decisions and are more submissive, this type of relationship makes sense.

For many years, society has become used to enforcing and regulating what a relationship looks like. Typically, the male will be the dominant partner, who makes all the decisions and be the “head of the house.” FLRs are the opposite of that, which means the woman in the relationship is more dominant, usually handles the finances, and makes the final decisions.

Men who are tired of society’s constant pressure to “stay strong” and “be a man” are leaning towards independent women. Being in this type of relationship relieves any stress for men to fulfill the traditional masculine role. All the expectations and presumptions of what a man should be melt away. Men who do like being more subordinate can fully be comfortable and enjoy the relationship they are in. It allows men to be vulnerable and not be ashamed of it – as toxic members of society would have you believe.

Many men feel enormous pressure to fit that “ideal man” image for their partner. And when they don’t live up to these expectations, there is a good chance they will burst – throwing themselves into work or extra-marital affairs to blow off steam.

Imagine a type of relationship where a woman accepted a man for his submissive nature and took the lead when he didn’t want to make big decisions? That is what an FLR does for men. It takes the societal pressure off being a “traditional man.” Men are starting to see the beauty of a female-led relationship because they can reveal their raw emotions without any fear of judgment from their female partners.

FLR and sexuality

couple kissing on the beach

We grew up being told that women must be feminine, and men must be masculine. Both those energies come together and balance out. But where does that leave straight men who identify with more feminine qualities and straight women who feel more masculine? This traditional formula is flawed because it overlooks men and women who don’t conform to society’s regulation of sexuality.

FLRs give men and women who don’t identify with traditional roles a chance to be comfortable with who they are. They would be in a relationship with someone who wants the same things they aspire. Sexuality is not defined the same way for everyone. Being in an FLR relationship and showing how positive it can be may change how society views sexuality and relationships altogether.

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In a female-led relationship, sex can be anything the couple feels comfortable with. In most cases, the woman may be the most dominant in the bedroom, but loving FLR shouldn’t be confused with BDSM. The beauty of a loving FLR relationship is that everything is discussed and agreed upon beforehand. There is an emphasis on tapping into your feelings and comfort level. Both partners have an active say in how the relationship is structured for happy sex life.

In traditional relationships, couples fall into the roles of being a “good wife” or a “good husband.” There is a lack of communication regarding who is leading and how their physical needs have to be met. It’s almost as if there is an unspoken agreement. This gives both partners room to feel as if their needs are not important and therefore never met. On the flip side, FLRs require communication to establish what both partners want from the relationship.

FLRs give men and women who don't identify with traditional roles a chance to be comfortable with who they are. Click To Tweet

How are loving FLRs seen by society?

Even though we’ve explored how healthy FLRs work, it is necessary to note that society isn’t fully ready to accept a partnership that doesn’t adhere to traditional values. Fortunately, this generation has spawned more critical thinkers who question conventional gender roles and the institution of relationships and marriage. Both men and women are seeking out something more fulfilling. Traditional roles just aren’t enough anymore.

Loving FLRs can be seen by some people as bizarre power games. For some reason, when women take charge, people feel threatened, as if anything other than traditional patriarchal practices is forbidden. Generally, people feel reluctant to educate themselves on new concepts and instead try to ridicule others who are open to participating.

A female-led relationship may be gratifying for those who support equality. FLRs are not so much about taking power away from men but acknowledging that women should have a say in decision making and the ins and outs of a relationship.

If you find yourself in this kind of relationship, just be prepared to brace yourself. You may face disrespectful comments and negative remarks from both society and those close to you. This may affect the dynamic between you and your partner. Don’t let the negativity get to you if you feel strongly about your partner and the female-led relationship you are in. Understand that society has conditioned its members to think and react this way. This defines them as people, not you and your partner.

A female-led relationship may be one of the most rewarding experiences if it fits your needs, and your partner has the same mindset. It’s crucial to understand that the objective of FLRs is to give equal power and significance to both women and men. This can be attained through allowing your partner to see your raw, emotional side and communicating needs openly. Respect and love should be mutual, and both partners should be happy with the arrangement. When these conditions are met, a couple can truly enjoy the benefits of a female-led relationship.

Mornisha is a Canadian relationship and lifestyle feminist writer. She is currently writing a book on long-distance relationships based on her own experience of five years and releasing a podcast about love, dating, and taboo topics in the South Asian community. You can check out her blog Morni Inspo to see more of her work.


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