We’ve all heard the question of “who wears the trousers in the relationship?” Well, a female-led relationship (FLR) is where the woman (figuratively) does. For heterosexual couples, this dynamic shift can take many forms. This can include the man doing household chores to a more extreme agreement that sees the woman take complete control over her partner.
The most striking thing about FLR’s is that they defy the traditional relationship dynamic where the man has authority over the woman. They also defy traditional gender roles that our patriarchal society has imposed on us. But, whilst it sounds like an FLR turns the tables on men and empowers women; a power imbalance between a couple carries a risk of turning sour if not dealt with properly.
FLR’s are somewhat of an enigma when it comes to the traditional expectations of what relationships are nowadays. Whilst these kinds of relationships can be successful, it’s undeniable that it’s a risky arrangement that could turn ugly, and even abusive.
What is a female led relationship?
First things first, let’s look at what an FLR even is. There are a lot of definitions out there, so it’s difficult to pin down a single FLR meaning. In general, it’s where the woman has control or dominance in her relationship, as opposed to the traditional (and quite frankly, outdated) gender roles where the man typically has more authority.
This is definitely an unconventional dynamic to have in your relationship. But there’s more than meets the eye with female led relationships. You may be thinking that an FLR equates to some sort of dominatrix-submissive relationship. While in some more extreme cases it could be the case, the truth is that there’s no one way to have an FLR. There are various levels of a female led relationship that are dependent on how much control the woman has. These can even include rules for a female led relationship. We’ll give you a quick run-down:
- The lowest level of an FLR sees the woman have a limited amount of control and take the lead on some decisions, but not all. Her dominance could also spill over into the bedroom, which can make for a more exciting sex life.
- In the next level of a female led relationship, the woman’s role as the dominant partner begins to get a little more serious. She will start to call the shots on more areas of the relationship, and dominate her man in the bedroom more too. The man may take on more traditionally ‘female’ roles in the relationship such as taking care of the household.
- At the third level of an FLR, the relationship will revolve around the woman’s needs and desires. The man’s actions will be centred around pleasing their woman. She can dictate most of what her man does and have the final say on most decisions.
- The most extreme level of a female-led relationship sees the man act as a servant for their partner. The woman has complete control over her partner and the relationship will most likely have a dominatrix-submissive dynamic.
The truth is, many naturally dominant women may have some form of the lowest level FLR in their own relationship. This is due to their desire to lead and do what they want. Couples that have no defined gender roles may shift and change who has control naturally, so you may have an FLR (at times) without even knowing it!
A fine line between dominance and abuse?
There’s no doubt that a female led relationship constitutes an imbalance of power. As the levels of an FLR progress, so does this imbalance. One person calling all the shots and having dominance over the other means that the needs of one person in the partnership aren’t considered. Because of this, there is a fine line between being dominant and being abusive.
A lot of aspects involved in the higher levels of a female led relationship, without context, could be seen as an abusive relationship. These things include:
- One partner controls what the other does or spends their money or time on.
- One partner decides how the relationship works
- Decision-making is done by only one partner
Most would argue that a healthy, loving relationship must consider both parties’ feelings and opinions. However, in an FLR this doesn’t seem to always be the case. So how do you make sure that a female-led relationship doesn’t turn toxic?
You need to be compatible for an FLR
There’s no reason why FLR’s can’t work. There is a way for both parties to be happy and fulfilled, as long as the right boundaries are in place. And compatibility is the first requirement. For a female led relationship to work, there needs to be a naturally submissive man and naturally dominant woman.
The key to any successful relationship is a natural connection between you both. Both parties will naturally ‘click’ and be what the other needs. Of course, it isn’t as simple as that as all relationships require work and sacrifice. But you need to be compatible with one another for that work and sacrifice to be worth it. In a female led relationship, this means that the man must be naturally submissive and the woman naturally dominant.
Both parties need to feel comfortable with their role in the relationship if it is to be successful. Especially with a dynamic as particular as an FLR.
Consent is everything
Another of the rules of a female led relationship is possibly the most important one: consent. It’s vital that both parties give their complete consent to have an FLR. This is especially important with a higher levels female led relationship, where the women can control virtually everything that her partner does. This is a lot of power to wield over someone, and in the wrong hands could turn toxic. But this is where consent comes in.
Many men seek out dominant partners, and for a variety of reasons. These can range from sexual preferences to the way they were treated as a child or even boredom. Regardless of the reasoning for their choice in partner, consent must play a central role.
If being dominated is your jam and makes you happy, a female-led relationship can fulfill you and make you happy. As long as the man fully consents to the terms of a female-led relationship and wants to be controlled, an FLR can function just like any other relationship.
Communication is a must
Lastly, like with any relationship, there needs to be communication for things to work. When you’re both on the same page about how you feel about each other and how you want to be treated, it doesn’t really matter what the relationship looks like. Think about other ‘unconventional’ relationship types such as open relationships or polyamorous relationships. With the right communication, these relationships can be loving and supportive because they cater to people’s needs.