Female Led Relationship – What it is and how it works

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It’s easy to assume that romantic relationships have remained more or less the same for generations. After all, for many people such relationships appear similar to the ones their grandparents and those before them were in. However, female-led relationships have been making waves in the relationship world for their increasing popularity.

Let’s examine what exactly a female-led relationship (FLR) is, how it works, and whether it is mutually beneficial for both partners.

What is a Female Led Relationship?

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The term “female led relationship” sounds self-explanatory and straightforward enough. However, to fully understand what this term means, we need to first identify what a stereotypical male-led relationship is.

Many “traditional” or male-led relationships are based on the notion that the male partner leads the relationship and assumes a dominant role. This could entail being the primary breadwinner, taking charge of planning for the future, and looking out for their partner’s needs.

With this in mind, a female led relationship is one where the female partner assumes these roles. They become the primary decision-maker and take the lead with a more dominant persona.

Characteristics of a Female Led Relationship

There is no set definition for what a female led relationship includes. However, the following characteristics could be applicable for most if not all female led relationships.

#1. The Female Makes Important Decisions

(New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gestures as she gives her victory speech to Labour Party members at an event in Auckland, New Zealand. Image Credit: Deseret/AP)

As mentioned earlier, the partner leading the relationship tends to be the one who makes important decisions. This could be decisions related to finances, where to live, or simply planning for the upcoming weekend. 

The female takes the lead in each of these areas and assumes the responsibility of ensuring that everything goes well. 

#2. The Male Takes Care of the Household

The male partner often takes care of the household in female led relationships where the female is the primary breadwinner. This includes tasks such as  cooking, cleaning, paying bills, and taking care of pets and/or children.

In cases where both partners are working and earning income, the male partner may still take on more chores than the female [1]. This may be due to having more free time, or simply due to how the female partner has chosen to assign different chores. 

#3. The Female is More Dominant in the Bedroom

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It should come as no surprise that the female also dominates in the bedroom in female led relationships. She is happy to take the lead when it comes to matters of intimacy. 

Such females are confident about what they want, and aren’t shy about letting their partner know. The male partner plays a more passive role than in traditional male led relationships. However, they are usually content with following along with this arrangement.

#4. The Female Influences the Male’s Behavior

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The female also tends to exert greater control or influence over the male’s behavior. She can alter the relationship’s dynamic to her will or to create a better arrangement that is mutually beneficial for both of them.

For example, the female may ask their partner to adopt a new diet that she is following. Similarly, she may choose the type of clothes she would like him to wear each day. 

It should be noted that such behavior tends to lean towards being “nurturing” rather than “controlling”. This is because the female is still looking out for their male partner’s happiness and wellbeing at the end of the day.

#5. The Female is More Expressive

Girls in a female led relationship also tend to be more expressive than guys. This is natural, given that the female needs to be more vocal if she is to exert control over the relationship. However, this doesn’t mean the male isn’t allowed to express himself in the relationship.

In fact, both partners are able to communicate more freely in a female led relationship. This is because the male isn’t subjected to the traditional constraints that females typically are when in male-led relationships. 

Why Female Led Relationships Are Becoming More Popular

After learning about the characteristics of a female led relationship, you may be surprised to notice that many of the couples around you are in such relationships. 

The truth is that female led relationships have been growing in popularity for a while. There are multiple explanations for why this may be the case. Let’s examine some of these in greater detail.

Rise in Female Labor Participation and Income

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One of the simplest explanations for the rise in female led relationships could be financial. You don’t need to look very far to learn that the percentage of women participating in the labor force has been increasing over the decades [1]. 

Much of this trend has to do with the fact that more and more married women are choosing to work, even after having kids. This is in stark contrast to traditional cultural norms where females were expected to remain at home and take care of their children.  

When females in a household begin working, the male is no longer the primary breadwinner. This allows them to call the shots and make financial decisions more freely.

Redefined Gender Roles

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Another likely explanation for the increase in female led relationships is changing gender roles. You don’t need to be an expert in gender studies to realize that gender roles are no longer as rigid as they were previously assumed to be. 

Males are under less pressure to be the dominant ones in a relationship, while females have more support when assuming dominant roles. This has allowed females to lead relationships more freely, and with less fear of being judged poorly by their peers. 

More accepting for guys to be “less man”

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Finally, traditional views of “man” have become less rigid. 

We have pop culture to thank for this trend. We see K-pop projecting male images as skinny, make-up wearing, feminine images. In today’s New York, guys may be perceived as more cultivated and intelligent if they carry themselves as somewhat middle-sexy. 

Fun fact: did you know that men were the first to wear high heels when they were invented in the 17 century in France? Louis XIV was known to love high heels. Why? Because one was considered more powerful, the higher and redder the heel. It became a law in 1670 that only the nobility can wear high heels.

Women could look younger in spite of age thanks to access to better means and knowledge

Lure Hsu is 41 years old as of 2021 but still looks like in her 20s. Credit: Lure Hsu Instagram 

Women know how to take care of themselves today. True: older women tend to outcompete in areas that go beyond appearance such as the worldly experience and wisdom that come with age. 

Why Men May Prefer Female Led Relationships

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Many of the characteristics of female led relationships may seem beneficial for females. However, male partners may also benefit from such relationships in many ways. This includes:

#1. Less Stress and Fewer Responsibilities

Let’s face it, nobody likes taking on responsibilities and the stresses associated with them. This includes men in the 21st century. 

Males in female led relationships are content with their partner taking care of the heavy lifting when it comes to earning income and/or planning their future. This can lead to less stress in the relationship, and allows for more free time to pursue hobbies. 

#2. Appreciating Your Partner in More Ways

Men may also prefer female led relationships because it allows them to appreciate their partner in new ways. They are likely to develop a special kind of respect for a partner that takes charge in times of difficulty and is able to share the burden of responsibility. 

Such men also feel comfortable being vulnerable around their partner. They are under less pressure to appear strong and rigid all the time. This leads to better communication and more happiness in their relationship.

#3. Receiving Care and Guidance

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Men that have grown up under the guidance of a strong mother figure may also seek out female led relationships because it offers a familiar arrangement. Such males may still exercise plenty of control in their adult lives, but are content with having a female figure around that helps them keep their life in order.

Why Women May Prefer Female Led Relationships

Female led relationships hold many benefits for women. This includes:

#1. Being Able to Exert More Control Over the Relationship

Women that strive to maintain control of their lives are more likely to be happy in a female led relationship. Having the freedom to influence their partner and the relationship dynamic helps them work towards shared goals, thereby achieving their desired outcomes.

#2. Freedom of Expression

As mentioned earlier, women tend to have greater freedom of expression in female led relationships. Being able to express yourself more freely leads to better communication and happiness in the relationship. This leads many women to seek out female led relationships.

#3. Taking Care of Their Partner

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Many women assume a dominant role in their relationship as a way to take care of their partner. This usually occurs if the partner is unable to work or provide for the female in the relationship.

This point may seem more beneficial for the male partner. However, many women take on such roles as part of their nurturing nature. Such women feel more valued and content when they have kept their partner both safe and happy.

Signs Your Man Wants a Female Led Relationship

Many women can tell right off the bat that their man wants them to lead the relationship. However, there are plenty of subtle signs that someone you have recently begun a relationship with is interested in such an arrangement. Some signs your man wants a female led relationship include:

#1. They Ask For Your Input

A man that wants their female partner to take the lead will usually ask for their input before making a decision. This could be asking for input on what clothes to wear or what activities to do on the weekend.

#2. Giving In During Arguments

If your man is always the first one to give-in during arguments, they are likely content with you taking the dominant role.

#3. They Enjoy Following Instructions

Males that are seeking female led relationships are often happiest when following their female partner’s instructions. They are eager to please and will complete tasks to your liking.

#4. They Rarely Say No

If your partner rarely says no to you, they likely trust your judgement and would like you to lead them. This is a great sign that they are seeking a female led relationship.

#5. They Support Your Goals as if were Their Own

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Male partners that support your goals as shared relationship goals are likely seeking a female led relationship. This quality is important for the long-term success of any relationship, so consider yourself lucky if you’ve found a partner who does this.

#6. They want to be Dominated on bed

(Image source: Billions; Show Time)

Think the direct opposite of the guy in the Fifty Shades of Grey.

I’m talking about Chuck Rhoades in the Billions. A man can be as powerful as the General Attorney but still wants to be dominated by women. That, although less observable, is the most telling sign of a man who wants a female led relationship. 

How to Develop a Female Led Relationship

There is no simple strategy for getting into or developing a female led relationship. 

The truth is things can change. In the Way of the Superior Man, David Deida talks about how a man can have a sudden change of taste [3]. This change is mostly driven by the change in the work environment and the stress associated. 

The best strategy is likely to be flexible, understanding, and observing regardless if you are a guy or a woman. 

This may sound abstract, so let us boil it down for you.

Observe the context and changes- did her/his work environment or responsibility change? 

Be interested in how she or he is feeling about their job and career aspirations. There are no set rules. It’s common to see females becoming more aggressive as they assume higher office because of the increased need for masculine energy needed to set goals and get shit done. 

Be flexible and supportive – try things out without assuming anything

Females are more likely to feel comfortable taking on a dominant role when they feel supported. For example, you may want to defer to your female partner for some decisions. Or, let them call the shots or give “commands” like holding a garage sale.

Test the water – Share Your Feelings

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The best way to develop a relationship led by a female is to be open and honest with your partner. However, this approach should be handled with caution, as simply saying that you want them to be the dominant one in the relationship can scare them off. 

Instead, you can start by mentioning that you appreciate the role that they play in the relationship and that you trust their judgment on important matters. Over time, you can ask them for help or assistance with different things, until they feel more comfortable asserting control in the relationship.

Are Female Led Relationships the Way to Go?

Female led relationships offer benefits for both partners when done right. Such arrangements are growing increasingly popular with the younger generations, so don’t shy away from testing it out with your partner in the near future.


[1]. https://academic.oup.com/sf/article-abstract/84/1/285/2234895 – Increased male participation in household chores

[2]. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/month120&div=87&id=&page=Women’s labor force participation trend

[3]. The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida – changes in muscular and feminine energy.

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Rosaura is the mom blogger who helps first time pregnant and postpartum moms find the solutions to their everyday problems. From first finding out you're pregnant to giving birth and baby care, she has you covered.