What Does Female Led Relationship (FLR) Mean And How Does It Work?

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A female-led relationship or FLR, as the name suggests, is a relationship where a woman is in the dominant position, enjoying authority over her partner, and the man is considered a submissive partner. The woman makes all or most decisions regarding the relationship, exerts more authority over her male partner, and steers the relationship forward. A woman calls all the shots in an FLR, unlike the conventional romance where a man being is the dominant figure or both of them are treated equally. While this relationship has many benefits, it gets nowhere without discipline. In this post, we bring you everything you need to know about these relationships. Read on.

Types Of Female-led Relationships

FLRs can be categorized based on four different levels of intensity.

1. Low-level female control

Low-level control

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In this type of FLR, the woman has low authority, and all the decisions are taken mutually by the man and the woman. The man allows his partner to take the lead in specific scenarios and, sometimes, she needs the permission of the man to make a decision.

2. Moderate-level female control

At this FLR level, the female can enjoy being a leader for a while and has a sense of ruling the man. It helps boost her confidence and morale and makes the relationship more positive. The man also often enjoys the dominant attitude of the woman. At this level, the woman usually takes the day-to-day decisions, but she also sets boundaries regarding how far she is willing to go.

3. Defined control

In this type of female-led relationship, the woman makes most decisions and takes on the male roles too. The areas where she can be dominant are defined to ensure there is a demarcation.

4. Extreme control

Extremely controlling partner

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Here there is extreme control by the woman and servitude by the man. This relationship is for women who like to have the ultimate power in the relationship. 

Rules Of A Female-led Relationship

Woman managing household chores

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Several rules help define a female-led relationship. Some of them are mentioned here.

  • The female makes most of the household decisions. The man shares his opinion before a decision is made, and the woman may value it.
  • The woman can help motivate the man to work on getting rid of any bad habits like excessive smoking or dependence on alcohol by being authoritative.
  • Although the man and woman distribute household tasks, the man agrees to do chores like cooking, cleaning, etc.
  • The woman takes most financial decisions, and the man trusts his wife to take care of things.
  • The woman also takes decisions regarding social events and social gatherings.

Why do women want to take the lead and additional responsibilities? Why would men agree to be subservient to their women? It is because there are some benefits in an FLR.

Why Women Seek A Female-led Relationship?

Wife managing finances

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  • Some women like a female-led relationship because they get to control things, from finances to kitchen management.
  • Women also get the opportunity to mold a man to whoever she wants him to be. Imagine creating your ideal man and ensuring that he meets your expectations.
  • There is a lack of power struggle in such relationships, so there is more peace and minimal stress or tension.
  • A man who willingly agrees to a female-led relationship won’t mind being dominated. He might even love his woman better, as she is the one taking care of everything he would otherwise worry about.

Why Men Seek A Female-led Relationship?

Couple relaxing at home

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You might be wondering why any man, who is used to controlling a relationship or who is expected to do so for years, would give up control to a woman. Here are a few reasons why men would do it willingly and happily.

  • When a woman is in control of a relationship, he doesn’t have to make any tough decisions or worry about the consequences or the responsibility.
  • A man can enjoy a more peaceful ambiance at home as there is no power struggle between him and his woman.
  • Some men, whose every life decision has been taken by another female authority figure, such as his mom, prefer to let a woman take charge so that they can focus on other things, such as their career.

Drawbacks Of A Female-led Relationship

There is a flipside, too, of this kind of relationship. Some of the concerns are:

  • Social stigma and traditional views of society can negatively impact an FLR relationship/marriage.
  • A man who is being dominated might be too scared to oppose even if the relationship no longer satisfies him.
  • The female might make suboptimal decisions in the absence of discussion with her partner, just like in a man-led relationship.

No matter whether you are in a female-led relationship, a male-led one, or an equal one, every relationship type has its own set of challenges. So, maintaining balance is always crucial. No two people can be happy in a relationship if only one person makes all the decisions, and the other has no say in it.

So, FLR type 4 is not an option for many people as it is considered too extreme. On the other hand, type 1 is considered too mild . So, most couples aim for type 2 or type 3 to ensure that their relationship stays stable. The woman is the boss.

How To Create The Balance?

Women who are in a female-led relationship can do a lot to maintain the much-needed balance. The easiest thing that can be done is to encourage your man to take more initiative and contribute to the relationship as much as he can. Another golden rule the woman must remember is to always respect the partner. Mutual respect is necessary to sustain any relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the benefits of a female-led relationship?

In this millennial world, female-led relationships are quite common. Many couples are adapting to the changing times and breaking the traditional stereotypes. Several benefits of a female-led relationship include freedom of communication and expression, fewer conflicts, more time for love, better support, a content sex life, and more.

2. What is the difference between a femdom and a female-led relationship?

The fundamental difference between a femdom and a female-led relationship is the dominance in the sexual relationship. Femdom revolves around a dominatrix partnership where a woman is the more dominant one. Female-led relationships, on the other hand, emphasize equality and shared responsibilities in the relationship.

A female-led relationship may be conducive for a man as he is spared from making crucial family decisions. If a man complies with the demands of a healthy female-led relationship, it may have fewer power struggles and tension. However, the relationship may not be socially acceptable and may create an imbalance. Mutual respect and effective participation from both partners are essential for any relationship to be long-lasting. Differences in a relationship may be adequately managed by maintaining proper communication and avoiding extreme levels of controlling behavior.

Infographic: How Not To Behave In A Female-Led Relationship?

A female-led relationship is not your typical relationship and has different rules that need to be followed, as stated above. So if you are in one or are interested in being in one, this infographic will help you understand the common mistakes you must avoid so as not to ruin your expectations and experience.

how not to behave in a female-led relationship [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • In a female-led relationship (FLR), the woman exerts more control over her male partner.
  • She makes all decisions, including household tasks, finance, and social events.
  • A woman likes FLR because it allows her to control things according to her wishes, while men prefer it because it frees them of major responsibilities.

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Shikha Thakur

Shikha is a writer-turned-associate editor at MomJunction. Having done a certification in Relationship Coaching, her core interest lies in writing articles that guide couples through their courtship to marriage and parenthood. She also specializes in baby names. Being a postgraduate in Human Resources from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, she likes understanding people and their relationships. This reflects in her relationship...
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Mary C. Ray

Mary C. Ray has decades of clinical experience in dealing with people and healing their traumas. She supports couples and individuals in opening up to their problems and supports their transformation from conflicts to growth. She got trained/ holds certificates in Imago, EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, and, Relapse prevention. As a Certified Sex and Couples Therapist, Mary helps couples lead better...
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