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Female-Led Relationship

A reader emailed me the other day and asked, “Ryan, I keep hearing about the female led relationship, what is it? And is there a chance that I’m currently in one and don’t know it?” Great question! And yes, there is a chance that you’re in one and don’t know it.

According to a report by Harvard Business School, women now hold anywhere between 35% to 40% of managerial positions in the United States, which is considered a massive advancement when compared to 50 years ago.

The advancement of female leadership actually extended to various aspects of life, including the dynamics of relationships.

While female led relationships aren’t exactly a new thing, they have been taking a more relationship-centric form in recent years. So what exactly is a female led relationship?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through a brief guide with everything you need to know about them. Let’s dive in!

How Does a Female Led Relationship Work?

A female led relationship is a unique form of a relationship where the balance of dominance and leadership is more in the favor of women than men, hence the name.

Surprisingly, female led relationships have been around for decades or even longer. However, back in the day, it was only limited to sexual preferences, especially among couples into dominance/submission kinks.

Nowadays, female led relationships have expanded to cover a variety of aspects and privileges outside of the bedroom.

For example, in a modern female led relationship, the woman is a generally dominant figure who gets to call the shots in a household, such as responsibilities, finances, major life decisions, etc.

Of course, such a relationship dynamic is highly dependent on the consent and agreement of both sides.

A female led relationship
A female led relationship

Are All Female Led Relationships the Same?

Although all female led relationships have “female dominance” as a ground rule/ or foundation of the relationship, they can still vary significantly among each other.

The main aspect that influences these types is the level of control that the woman has, compared to a traditional male led relationship.

Here’s a quick look at the different forms of female led relationship and their characteristics:

1. Mild

A mild female led relationship is quite similar to a balanced relationship where both males and females have equal roles and responsibilities within the relationship.

However, the main difference here is that there are a few aspects that are typically a “male territory” that is being carried out by the woman, and/or vice versa.

For example, in these relationships, both parties typically work, but men are more likely to take care of house chores and children. However, both the man and the woman have a say when it comes to household decisions.

2. Typical

A typical one represents the average image of a female led relationship. In this dynamic, the imbalance between the roles of both parties becomes much clearer.

Both men and women may still discuss various aspects of life together no matter what they are. However, females will usually have the final say in these decisions.

As for financial roles, it’s usually common for women to be the higher earner in these relationships. As a result, men will take on more household chores and responsibilities.

3. Extreme or Fully Led

As the name suggests, these relationships take female leadership and dominance to the next level.

For starters, the dominance of females in these relationships is much more obvious than in other types.

Women typically call the shots in almost all aspects of the household and they don’t have to discuss most of them with their partners, although there might be a few compromises here and there.

In these relationships, women usually enjoy a much higher status than men. This is why it’s not unlikely that women become the sole breadwinner of the household in extreme female led relationships.

A full female led relationship is a dynamic where females have total control of the relationship in all of its aspects, whether they’re financial, social, sexual, and more.

For instance, the woman gets to control everything about the household and her male partner, including what they eat, what they wear, the daily schedule, etc.

With that being said, both extreme and full females are mainly influenced by the couple’s sexual preferences.

4. Defined

In this form of relationship, the female leadership is usually more fluid and varies from one couple to another.

In other words, the intensity of female dominance in these relationships depends on the aspect in question.

For example, the woman could have the final say in all financial aspects of the house, but still have to discuss other social aspects with her partner or even let them decide.

That’s why both parties have to lay obvious ground rules and establish boundaries for this kind of relationship to succeed in the long run.

Related: Alpha female: What is it?

A female led relationship is typically highly defined by the woman in the relationship
A female led relationship is typically highly defined by the woman in the relationship

Why Do Some Couples Opt for a Female Led Relationship?

Couples could find a female led relationship a suitable one for a wide variety of reasons, extending from situation suitability to personal preferences. Here’s a quick look at some of these reasons from both a male and female perspective:

For Women

Let’s start by having a quick look at the factors that drive women to seek a female led relationship over a traditional one:

They Have a Knack for Control

Contrary to what many people think, not all women actually like to take a leading role in a relationship.

Yet, for those who enjoy being in control, a female led relationship could be a worthy alternative to consider.

For example, a woman with strong leadership skills is capable of making better decisions for a household, including financial and social ones.

In fact, a report by Forbes shows that females drive up to 80% of consumer purchasing decisions.

Freedom of Choice

Being in control can be more liberating for women and allow them to take on new challenges and try new experiences that they didn’t have before.

The newfound freedom of choice means that household power struggles and other associated issues are less likely to arise. (as long as her partner is okay with taking a submissive role in the relationship)

They’re More Attracted to Submissive Men

Some women are also naturally attracted to submissive men. In fact, studies show that female led relationships could improve sex life and reproductive success among consenting couples.

For Men

Although it may sound logical for women to seek more control in their relationships, it might seem unnatural for men to willingly give up their control of a relationship.

However, there are a few reasons that could explain why some men may find a female led relationship a better choice for them:

Personal Preferences

As previously established, some men are submissive by nature and find a female dominant figure more attractive, whether sexually, romantically, or both!

In fact, some studies show that the dominance/submission dynamic can play a remarkable role in increasing attraction between couples and even enhancing reproductive success.

Related: How to become an alpha female

Natural Submission to Females

The background of how a man was raised could also impact their choice. For example, some are raised in environments where their mothers or other females were the dominant household figures.

As a result, these men might see female dominance as the natural order of things, so they’re more comfortable in relationships where women take the leading role.

Peace of Mind

Although most men prefer taking a more dominant role in a relationship, some of them don’t mind letting women take charge in exchange for peace of mind in the household.

In that case, the man doesn’t have to make any major financial or social decisions or worry about leadership responsibilities.

Female leader who might part take in a female led relationship
Female leader who might part take in a female led relationship

How Does Female Leadership Affect a Relationship?

Like all kinds of relationships, a female led relationship can have its fair share of advantages and downsides. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of them.

Keep in mind that those aspects, whether positive or negative, are only potential, so they can vary depending on the conditions of the relationship itself.

Positive Aspects

The established ground rules in the household reduce tension and conflicts between couples since both of them are comfortable with their status in the relationship.

Also, if both parties are comfortable with their roles in a female led relationship, women can enjoy a remarkable level of freedom while men can focus on other aspects, such as expanding their careers or investing in their hobbies

Additionally, with mutual consent, the couple will have better communication. This strengthens their bonds and makes them more intimate and satisfied, according to a 2017 study.

Negative Aspects

On the other hand, not all men are comfortable with women being the authoritative figure in the house, which can create a lot of fights and resentments that may lead to a breakup.

In fact, some men (and even women) might enjoy the idea at the beginning of a relationship, only to have a change of heart later on, which is another reason why continuous communication and discussing preferences are essential for the success of a female led relationship.

Related: Alpha female weaknesses

Can a Female Led Relationship Work?

Since a female led relationship has its own advantages and disadvantages, not everyone will find its ground rules suitable for their lifestyle and preferences.

However, a female led relationship could be a successful one if both parties are on the same page regarding the rules of the relationship.

In that case, couples could benefit from the peaceful ambiance in a household due to fewer tensions and power struggles.

Final Thoughts

This wraps it up for today’s guide that shows you what a female led relationship is and how it works.

As you can see, female led relationships can vary in terms of levels and each one has its unique aspects and characteristics.

All in all, a female led relationship has many advantages but also comes with its fair share of downsides.

For that reason, you must communicate with your partner about these aspects to make sure that you’re both on the same page and are comfortable with how the relationship goes.

Fact checked:
Board reviewed by Marianne Tomlinson, LCSW (Couples and Family Therapy). Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Learn more.

About the author

Ryan Sanderson (LCSW) Ryan is a game and relationship enthusiast who enjoys all things quizzes, games, fun, love, relationships, and family. He's a licensed social worker and helps families, couples, and children in need. He's spoken about love and relationships on Salon.com, Forbes, and Mirror, to name a few.

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