What is a female-led relationship? Definition, dynamics, advice

What is a female-led relationship? Definition, dynamics, advice

Historically, men take the leadership role in relationships. This leadership includes making the first move and making the big family decisions. But the female-led relationship is gaining traction for different reasons. Many couples choose this kind of romance because it is different and challenges patriarchal conventions.

female led relationship
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Female-led relationships (FLRs) are not for everybody, and that is okay. Some couples would rather be more traditional, while others are drawn to the unconventional approach. But to know whether a FLR is for you, you first have to understand the meaning of FLR and how it works.

What is a female-led relationship?

What is a FLR? A female-led relationship is one where the female partner takes the lead in decision-making, control, authority, and sexual dynamics. The male partner plays a more subservient position in such a relationship.

How do female-led relationship dynamics differ from conventional ones

The main feature of a female-led relationship is that the woman is more domineering while the man is more subdued. But how do female-led relationship dynamics differ from the more conventional ones in practice?

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The woman makes the decisions

For starters, the lady is the key decision-maker in the union. She would make the big decisions, like childcare, how to spend money and where to live. The guy could make the more trivial decisions like where to eat and how to manage smaller purchases.

The man is encouraged to give his input when making big decisions. In a mutually respectful FLR, the woman would listen to and consider his input. Ultimately, though, the lady would make the final decision.

Traditional gender roles are reversed in the household

In male-led romances, the woman performs most house chores. In FLRs, the chores are distributed between them. The guy performs just as much housework as the woman, if not more.

The woman may be the main breadwinner

While this may not be a strict requirement, in many FLRs, the girlfriend is the main breadwinner. The woman may make more money at work, or the guy prefers to be a stay-at-home partner or parent.

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The woman takes initiative more often

Whether in the bedroom or out in the world, a woman in this type of relationship takes initiative more often than the man. She may initiate intimacy more and be the one to take the man out on dates.

How do I know if a female-led relationship is for me?

female-led relationship dynamics
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Specific traits are necessary to thrive in a female-led relationship. You need to be:

  • Adventurous and unconventional. If you have never been one to conform, the FLR could be a fun way to defy society and try something new.
  • Mature. There will be a lot of negative external input from people who don’t understand the FLR. You have to be mature enough to stick up for your arrangement amidst a lot of judgement.

As a man, you may be:

  • More of a follower than a leader. Not everyone can be a leader. Some men are more unassertive and would rather follow, and that’s okay. This kind of romance would be great for a man who doesn’t enjoy the pressure of being a leader.
  • More interested in focusing on other things. Making big decisions all the time can be draining. As a man, you would thrive in a FLR if you are tired of being in control all the time.
  • Trusting. You need to trust your girlfriend’s financial wisdom, decision-making, and social skills, and trust her in the bedroom.

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As a lady, you may be:

  • Dominant. Being in a male-led relationship can feel suffocating for a woman with a domineering personality. A FLR would allow a domineering woman to be in a union where she doesn’t have to tone herself down.
  • Yearning for empowerment. FLRs can be quite empowering for women. If you are a woman who feels like you have been put down in previous relationships, the FLR may be a perfect way to reclaim your power.
  • Confident. You need to trust your decision-making and leadership skills. Your partner will follow your lead, so you must know where you are leading him to.

Female-led relationship advice

female-led relationship dynamics
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Would you like to experience a female-led relationship but are unsure where or how to start? Or are you already in a female-led relationship but don’t know what is expected of you and what the rules are? This is what it takes to have a successful FLR.

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As with any other type of romance, consent is key. Some people like to be led, while others would hate the idea of submitting. Both the male and female parties have to agree to the arrangement. Without consent, you are doomed to always fight over decisions and control, and a relationship like that would be exhausting.


After consent is secured, both parties need to define clear boundaries. Being led doesn’t mean being controlled or suffocated; boundaries will keep the relationship healthy. Would the man like to maintain some level of autonomy in some areas? Define such lines so that each partner maintains their identity in the relationship.

Constant clear communication

Clear and honest communication will ensure that both partners continue to enjoy the arrangement. Both partners need to check in with each other regularly. If down the line you decide the FLR no longer works for you, communicate it to your partner and discuss how to move forward.

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Block out external opinions

Female-led relationships may not be entirely new, but they are not mainstream either. Many people would find the idea controversial. But it is your romance, not theirs. They do not have to understand or respect it. If you decide that a FLR works for you, ignore the naysayers and focus on you and your partner.

Would a female-led marriage work?

female-led marriage
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It is important to clarify that the only difference between a female-led marriage and the male-led marriage is the role reversal. Otherwise, partners in a female-led marriage would need to put in the same effort to make it work.

Ultimately, the couple determines whether their female-led marriage will work. Like any other marriage, they must put in the three C’s of happy couples. Yes, a female-led marriage will work with communication, commitment and compromise.

How does a FLR work?

The basic rule of a FLR is that the woman takes charge. This means she makes the final decision on most things in the relationship. The man is happy to follow her lead regarding finances, chores, childcare, and other crucial factors.

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Do female-led relationships work?

Yes, FLRs work. Like any other relationship, the couple has to make it work, with communication, compromise and commitment.

What are the benefits of a female-led relationship?

This type of relationship is a safe space for compliant men and women who are domineering. Being in a female-led relationship would mean that neither the man nor the woman has to change who they are to be partnered.

What are the disadvantages of a female-led relationship?

If boundaries are not clearly defined, the man may lose his identity in the relationship. It could also be tough for a dominant man to follow a woman’s lead. This is why both partners must remain open and honest with each other.

How do I know if a FLR is for me?

There are many things to consider before getting into a FLR. For example, this dynamic would be perfect for a man who prefers to be led and a woman with a dominant personality.

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Many people choose to be in a female-led relationship, where the woman takes charge while the man submits to her lead. It may not be mainstream, but a couple can work hard to build a healthy female-led relationship. If the decision to be in the relationship is mutual, it can be beautiful and healthy.

READ ALSO: 21 questions for a new relationship to know what you are getting into

Legit.ng recently published 21 questions for a new relationship. The early stages of a new relationship can be tricky to navigate. Even with strong attraction, getting to know somebody well can get scary and messy.

Relationships are a little easier once you know and understand your partner better. But it can be tough to get there early on. These questions can help you communicate better and understand your partner and how to be with them.

Source: Legit.ng

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