As opposed to how relationships are generally perceived – a female-led relationship (FLR) is not only a breath of fresh air for women and men hoping to redefine themselves but also a growing theme among young couples. Though still frowned upon by society in some ways, this role reversal in relationships is growing in popularity rapidly among both men and women.
But what is all the buzz really about? Where did equality go? Is this a product of feminism? Are all relationships going to be this way now? How to get a FLR? Well, well, well. Hold your horses before jumping to massive conclusions. Nobody is casting any life-altering magic spell one fine day.
Your questions about being in a female-led relationship are understandable, which is where we come in. We know how confusing this can be to navigate, and that’s why we are here to address all your concerns.
What Is A Female-Led Relationship?
Basically, a female-led relationship or even a wife-led marriage is the type of relationship where the female wears the big boy pants amongst the couple. Since it’s 2021, she is free to literally wear those kinds of pants too if she’s into that, but more importantly, this new wave of relationships has something really different to offer. But before you get us all wrong, trust us, that this is the kind of feminism that benefits men too.
The FLR meaning extends beyond just establishing equality in a relationship and actually tips the scale in favor of the women to choose who they want to be. But that applies to men being able to decide their role for themselves too. For God knows how long women have often been told that their primary responsibility is to the kitchen and to their kids. Which allowed males to occupy a more dominating role in matters of preservation, provision and protection of the family.
A female-led relationship is the exact antithesis of that. A gynarchy of sorts, it’s a world where women complain about their eggs being undercooked before stomping off and driving to work and the men stay back and make sure the kids get ready to reach school on time. More or less, yeah.
How Does A Female-Led Relationship Work?
Even in the most progressive parts of the world, men holding a dominant position in relationships is commonly observed and accepted. No matter how hard we try to establish equality amongst the sexes, our generational conditioning and societal upbringing creep in, one way or the other.
Even if a man and woman in a live-in relationship earn the same, cook together and even have a laundry chart to determine who does the load on which day, we still adhere to many minute relationship roles that we don’t even bother deconstructing.
For example, when it comes to driving, it is still preferred that the guy takes over the wheel in most cases. It’s a common assumption and you don’t necessarily overthink it. God forbid you two are speeding in a quaint neighborhood in the wee hours of the night and the cops start tailing you. In that case, even if a woman is behind the steering wheel, it’s automatically still the guy’s job to work it out with the cops so you two can safely head home.
But in a female-led relationship? No sir, here the woman drives and she corresponds with the cops too. Oops, I meant to say ‘No ma’am’. Now that we have the basics covered, let’s delve deeper into how a female-led relationship really works.
1. A female-led relationship is not inequality per se, but a sense of order
We need not just a new generation of leadership but a new gender of leadership” ~ William J Clinton
While promoting equality of the sexes in a relationship is something most men and women are starting to prefer, those who indulge in a female-led relationship have their reasons for it. Putting a female at the apex of the relationship pyramid is a conscious choice because the couple believes in the power of womanhood to bring order and structure to their relationships.
Sustaining relationships is not just about fancy dates or doe-eyed love anymore. It takes work, consistency, effort and understanding in serious relationships. And sometimes to put all of that into a balance, one person shoulders a big chunk of the responsibilities.
Some men want to be taken care of instead of doing all the work. And to some women, nurturing and being responsible for somebody else comes naturally. How to get a FLR? Find a woman or man that fits the bill we just described.
2. There is mutual respect
Just because the crown has shifted from the man’s head to the woman’s doesn’t mean that a woman unscrupulously uses her powers to assert dominance over her boyfriend. While she possesses a great deal of authority, this relationship is still characterized by love and affection.
Even though she’s the breadwinner and the decision maker, this doesn’t mean that she’s selfish or conceited. A female led-relationship is not a euphemism for abuse. In such an arrangement, a woman’s prime responsibility is still toward her boyfriend or partner. So she enjoys giving in to her man’s requests, pleasing him in the bedroom and truly listening to his needs and even bettering him.
Even with family, like Marisa Rudder’s book “Mommy’s In Charge” tells us, women being in charge is not some kind of military coup but a generational change that is bound to better society. So the question of disrespect goes down the drain completely.
Moreover, since it is a man who got off his high horse willingly to trust a woman to be responsible for him, that itself comes from a place of abundant love and faith in another person. So one can’t say that such things wane in an FLR because the roles are switched.
3. There are levels to being in a female-led relationship
If you’re worried about surrendering too much control to your partner and are not sure how much you want to let her call the shots in your relationship, then hear us out. Since this is a joint decision, you do not have to necessarily go from one extreme to the other. If you think that a happy medium is more you, then go with that!
A lower-level FLR doesn’t change all that much except putting the man and woman on an equal footing. In the moderate level, the woman possesses a great deal of authority but is much more conscious of how and when she exercises it. So, she may not necessarily want to jump and act on things even though she is still expected to.
A formal-level FLR goes a notch above where the gender roles are totally swapped. The female pays the bills, answers all the big questions while the man cooks, cleans and raises the children. The extreme-level of FLR almost borders on being a dysfunctional relationship because here the woman seems to take every single decision for her male counterpart, leaving him no room to exercise his own judgment. So place your bets wisely.
Related Reading: When relationships are no more about ‘We’
4. It lacks a power struggle
Unlike the traditional family or relationship set up where we have conditioned both genders to subsume themselves into roles we have decided are suitable for them, one of the benefits of a female-led relationship is that it runs purely by choice. Since a man is happy to pass over the reins to his partner, the question of a power struggle ceases to exist.
A male-led relationship is a standard, a norm and not a choice. This creates tensions, puts undue pressures that one is forced to believe are meant for them. But one only enters a female-led relationship because they want to and that drastically reduces the burdens and conflicts of a regular relationship.
In the book, A Female-Led Relationship Guide by Connor Hayden, the author claims that this is something that all men secretly desire but refuse to admit. We don’t mean to point fingers but you are here reading this for a reason.
That being said, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be days a man might not feel unheard or powerless. A normal amount of friction will always exist in relationships. But in this case, the power struggle is not embedded deep within the very foundation of the relationship itself, which makes it all the more healthy.
5. There are many benefits of a female led-relationship
“Any society that fails to harness the energy and creativity of its women is at a huge disadvantage” – Tian Wei.
For starters, if you are or have found a man who isn’t worried about his masculinity being threatened, that already cuts most of your relationship problems by half. With clear roles and boundaries, the benefits of a female led-relationship are plenty.
When you pick out an outfit you feel good in and love, you naturally feel more confident and easily ace the day because you are feeling your best. Similarly, since both partners choose the roles in a relationship that complements them well, they enable each other to be the best versions of themselves.
Not only is it a fair chance to really be yourself but since women are also more emotional and receptive, they are better at striking a balance in relationships. Men in an authoritative position tend to overlook or neglect feelings or concerns that might be important. But since women are attuned to being better at communicating, they can take up the role of a provider and also ensure that there are no grudges in the household.
Simply put, both men and women possess unique qualities that can propel a family and a relationship in their own ways. A female led-relationship does not have to be standard practice but it can be an experience worth exploring.
To step out of a role that you think might not be meant for you, is perhaps the greatest gift you can try to give yourself. Just because we are conditioned a certain way, doesn’t mean it has to stay that way forever. Just steer clear of the rumors about female-led relationships and design your own destiny with your partner. You’ll be much happier that way!