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Female Led Relationship – How It Works and How To Get One

A female-led relationship (or FLR for short) means that you get to be in charge. It’s when the traditional gender roles in a relationship are switched. The woman makes the decisions to move the relationship forward and the man plays a submissive role.

A female led relationship won’t work for everyone, but when it does work, it can be a fulfilling and loving partnership.

Female led relationship

What does a female led relationship mean?

When you’re in an FLR relationship, the gender roles will be swapped. You can either be in a moderately female-led relationship or an extreme one. The different levels are completely up to each couple. Here is a list of things that would take place in order for the FLR to be extreme:

  • The woman asks the man on the first date
  • She initiates dates from then on
  • The woman determines when they are officially a couple
  • She may also be the dominant one in the bedroom
  • The woman will propose
  • The woman plays a dominant role sexually
  • The man stays home with the kids and does the housework and cleaning while the woman goes to work and financially supports the household.

The above example shows an extreme breakdown of a female led relationship, but all relationships are different so you don’t have to take it this far if you don’t want to.

It is also common for a relationship to start out a little more traditional and then move into a female-led relationship as the couple figures out that they want to go in that direction.

It should also be noted that an FLR relationship doesn’t need to transition into the bedroom. There are no “official rules” so if you prefer to be the dominant one in the relationship, but not in the bedroom, this is also fine.

What is it like to be in a Female Led Relationship?

Just like with any kind of relationship, an FLR has it’s pros and cons. We will take a look now at what it’s like to be in one. First, we’ll take a look at the benefits.

Things will go at your own pace

The best part about being in a female led relationship during the dating phase is that you are the one that calls the shots. You can choose when and where the next date will be. Or decide when you’ll be “official”. You decide when to move in together.

It will be such a breath of fresh air not to always be wondering or worse, waiting!

This is excellent for successful, confident and Type-A women because these kinds of women are used to calling the shots.

If you have worked your way up to financial success, you know what it takes to be the one to make the decisions. This doesn’t (or shouldn’t) change when you’re in a relationship.

Your needs will be met

A man who is happily in a female led relationship wants to take the back seat so that the woman can reach her goals.

Did you get a big job promotion in another city? That means he’s moving with you to a new location.

Do you want to hold off having kids so you can travel around the world? He’ll have to wait to start the family.

Your strengths can flourish

One of the most difficult things for strong successful women to handle in relationships is that (traditionally) they aren’t allowed to take the lead. You are good at making plans and decisions. You don’t want to wait around for a man to get his act together.

In an FLR relationship, you don’t have to wait for anyone.

If you have a man who wants you to plan things for him and wants you to call the shots, your strengths are allowed to flourish in the relationship instead of being pushed down.

He can be vulnerable

Men in an FLR can be open about their feelings and emotions. If he is not afraid of looking “weak” and sharing his fears and insecurities, he will have better mental health. This will surely make him a more emotionally stable partner.

Now, let’s look at some downsides that can happen in an FLR:

Difficult to find

This kind of relationship is not the norm and many men will not be willing to partake in something like this. As a dating coach, I am very familiar with the fact that dating is a numbers game. Whenever you make a decision that reduces the number of available options for you, the dating process can take much longer.

Slippery slope to abuse

Just because you have an easy-going man in your life, doesn’t mean that he never gets to have a say. Healthy relationships work best when there is equality and both people have an opinion. If you have a man who likes to compromise and enjoys supporting you, that’s awesome but you don’t want to abuse that. He gets to have a say no matter what kind of “label’ you put on your relationship.

PS, Learn more here, 65 Signs of Emotional Abuse.

Difficult to change your mind

If you start out with a relationship like this and then in your mid 30’s realize that you rather be at home taking care of the kids, that idea might not fly. A man who is interested in a relationship like this is signing up for something very specific so you have to be sure that you are going to stick to the agreement.

Just like you wouldn’t want him to change the deal, you can’t do that to him.

Do Female Led Relationships Work?

Yes, of course! Women have come a long way since the days when we couldn’t sign up for our own credit cards.

Most women today are successful, confident, and well educated. You’re likely in this boat and you can easily transition from taking control of your own life to taking control of your relationship.

As long as you find a man that is happy to take part in whatever arrangement you have decided on, it will work out. That doesn’t mean you won’t need to pay attention to a few different factors, however. Let’s go into detail.

Good Communication

All relationships require good communication to flourish, but in an FLR this can be even more important. If you want your FLR to be extreme, you’re going to have to talk things out so that both of you know where the boundaries are.

Like I said before, just because you are taking the more traditional “leader” role in the relationship, doesn’t mean that compromise is out the window.

It can’t always be your way or the highway.

Communication about roles and boundaries is essential. Here are a few examples of topics that should be discussed:

  • Who is financially responsible for the household?
  • If only one person takes on the finances, what does the other person do to provide?
  • How does each partner want to perform sexually? Are there exceptions? When?
  • How open are you about discussing your relationship guidelines in public or with others?
  • How does the gender role swap come into effect when there are children in the picture?

If this seems like a lot of things to discuss, it isn’t. Couples who are in a traditional relationship also have to discuss these topics. It’s just that in a traditional relationship, things can more easily be assumed but this can lead to fights or arguments, even in a traditional relationship.

Use the fact that your relationship is not traditional to ensure that you are communicating with each other. This ensures that you start on a stronger foundation than a traditional relationship would.

Learn more here: Healthy Communication In Marriage

Beta Males More Likely To Agree To This

With my extensive experience in the dating industry, I have spoken to a lot of alpha men (who were wealthy and successful) and they are not usually attracted to this kind of relationship. If you want to be the dominant one, this means you bring the masculine energy and your partner will likely have to bring the “feminine” energy.

This would make him more easy-going, willing to give and willing to put your needs first, also known as a beta male.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a beta male, and in fact they often make extremely loving and supportive partners.

Alpha males who are the traditional “confident and successful” type, usually come with the baggage of high-stress, narcissistic, workaholics, anger management issues or opinionated.

Finding a beta male doesn’t have to be a requirement, however. Here is an interesting point from Medium about alpha males in FLRs.

In many ways, the relationship paradigm termed “Female Led Relationship” (FLR) has been around for centuries. Matriarchal societies have historical basis and the Fertility/Goddess energy has been worshiped throughout time.

One reason it works is that male energy thrives on striving.

Earning reward is natural to the male psyche and when targeted to erotic sexual reward — the FLR dynamic may liberate vital aspects of the male energy which range from a submissive state, to the primal sexual Beast nature and finally to the tempered, superior Apha Warrior Man, a Divine Masculine perfected.

As you can see, the alpha male can be motivated by striving to achieve a goal.

If his goal is to please his woman, he can devote his life to doing this without sacrificing traditionally alpha male qualities. Qualities such as assertiveness, confidence, and potentially even the drive to achieve financial success.

How Do You Start a Female Led Relationship?

Be Ok With A Beta Man

Many of the confident and successful women that I coach have worked their way up to success and want a confident and successful man as a partner.

If you want to be the leader in the relationship, you will likely not get that confident and successful man. The typical alpha man will struggle with this relationship. I mentioned above that an alpha male might be ok with this, but I would say this is a severe exception to the rule.

You’ll have to be ok with him being beta which comes with downsides such as:

  • More sensitive and easily hurt
  • Lazy or “too laid back” attitude
  • Needs your support and guidance for most things
  • Shy to talk about their true feelings

If those things don’t bother you, then you’ll do very well in an FLR and can begin attracting the right type of man for this which I will discuss below.

PS. If you feel like you are a confident and successful woman who does want a confident and successful man, this will require a completely different approach. Learn more with my free checklist: How To Attract Higher-Quality Men.

Show Your Dominance in Your Dating Profile

The best way to save you time in dating is to make sure that your profile is perfectly crafted to attract the person that is going to suit your lifestyle. The way that you do this if you want to be in a female led relationship is to highlight your dominant qualities. This means specifically mentioning things like:

  • “I am a planner and like to make decisions to reach my goals”
  • Specific details about the financial success you have achieved
  • “If you are an easy-going man that isn’t afraid to support a woman in achieving her dreams, send me a message. Bonus points if you’re shy.”

Remember that you don’t ever want to come across as negative or complaining. But simply outlining the type of relationship that you’re looking for will help you attract men that are interested in this. This will save you a lot of time.

PS. If you need help with any of this, be sure to check out my coaching packages.

Learn more here: How To Write a Good Online Dating Profile

Take Charge In The Bedroom

Showing dominance in the bedroom is not a requirement for an FLR but it can really seal the deal if both of you are interested in this. If you play a very dominant role while the two of you are in the bedroom, the dynamic will definitely carry over to all aspects of the relationship.

How Do FLR Relationships Work In Dating?

As a dating coach, most of my clients are looking for a strong alpha male so I help my clients channel their feminine qualities so that they can be more attractive to this kind of man.

If you are looking for an FLR, then you’ll want to do the opposite. You’ll want to channel your masculine energy. Here is a list of traditionally masculine qualities that you’ll want to bring to the forefront:

  • Makes decisions quickly
  • Takes action
  • Confident and assertive
  • Strives to get their way
  • Outgoing and vocal
  • The need to be the provider

If you can channel these aspects of your personality then you will attract the kind of man that is happy to be in this kind of relationship.

Lana Otoya

52 thoughts on “Female Led Relationship – How It Works and How To Get One”

  1. Rene Claude Delacroix

    Ms. Otoya,

    I find your article on Female Lead Relationships enlightening and refreshing. I have been researching the FLRs for a book I am writing and for my own personal interest. I disagree with one respondent that all European relationships are ones of equality. Having known Europeans from the UK, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, and Italy, I have not found this to be the case. Whether it is hormonal or custom, men tend to want dominance. However, I have found this trend changing worldwide, and very much so in the United States, who, if anything, lags behind Europe in such changes.

    Backtracking some I would like to give some background on myself for those who read this comment. I have been a typical male for most of my life. College, to the level of Doctor, Military service as an officer, Associate Professor at several different Universities, and a physician. I am married, to the same wife for thirty-five years at the time of writing this, and have five children.

    As a consequence of my traditional male dominance role I have been divorced twice prior to finding my present wife, I have a horrible relationship with my three older children, have denied my previous and present spouse the right to educational advancement for the sake of my own career, made myself responsible for everything to the point of ulcers, anxiety, depression, and the pushing of others away. This has resulted in my being lonely, with few friends, older children who don’t talk to me, and a depressed, anxious, unhappy existence, until I realized what I had become and sought to change myself. I can truthfully say I am no longer the man I started out life as. My attitudes has changed considerably.

    I have found through my research and living life in general, that many things in our society that are defended so dramatically today are the product of past changes. Women were once totally controlled and dominated, but are now leaders. Many of the past traditionally male dominated career roles are now dominated by women (the medical profession comes to mind as more than half of new admits to medical schools are women). Women were once condemned for wearing male style clothing and are now readily accepted, even in churches. Yet, they can still choose to embrace the typical female clothing and lifestyle of housewife and mother, with just as much ease and acceptance; they now have choice. They can dress in a vast array of clothing styles without anyone thinking them odd, from dresses to slacks. They can project sexual femininity or NOT if they so choose, without criticism. They routinely outperform the majority of men in academics and are in total dominance in the field of education, from pre-K to doctoral levels. They have dominated the Pre-K through twelfth grades for several generations.

    Now let us compare the male gender. Unlike females, males are restricted to a narrow socially acceptable path. Males are expected to wear a narrow variety of clothing. Colors are subdued and earthy (though this is improving some). Mens swimming trunks extend to the knees vs women that are very revealing. One needs only go into the typical department store to see three-quarters of the store is female related, and less than a quarter is for men. But the wide variance in clothing is only the beginning.

    Men are expected to not show emotions that would make them appear ‘weak’. Though many men do cry in private, we are all taught not to show such emotions to others, crying is for sissy’s, ‘push through the pain’, no wonder more men die of heart attacks, and so forth. Since men shouldn’t cry, this emotion is replaced with anger, for which we are condemned as toxic. When a women is depressed she cries, when a man is depressed he lashes out in anger, throwing things and striking out. While there are few job a woman cannot do, including combat soldier, there are many that men consider too non-masculine to be part of. These restrictions have lead to men’s stress levels being too high, dying early, and being lonely.

    The inequity of how men and women are treated is totally unfair. Yet, we all buy into it. If a woman wears her husbands shirt it is sexy, but if her husband puts on her blouse it’s perverted. Both men and women think this. The average woman would think this of her man even while she is wearing his shirt. Why? These are traditions of acceptable vs non-acceptable actions forced on us from the earliest time we can remember. Male dominance makes sense in a world of violence, where our very existence required a job dealing with manual labor and the ability to physically protect. Today’s world is not that world, in most places.

    Back to my own life, I have lived for years frustrated, depression, and overly anxious over having to be in charge, having to make decisions, having to perform to standard, and so forth. If I had a drink with my co-workers after work I felt pressured into ordering a whiskey or a beer, instead of the Pina Colada I would have preferred. A day does not go by I do not regret having become estranged from my older children. Thankfully, my younger children and I have a better relationship as I leaned to let go of my need to be controlling and dominant.

    I look back on my life and realize that I would have rather stayed home, cleaned the house, raised the children and had a better relationship with my sons, to have them love me. I regret having placed by career over my wife’s ambitions. Though I have been very successful in my working life, the standard of a man’s worth in most societies, I have never been happy. In this area the postmodern attitude towards work/life balance has things right.

    I read in many comments that the FLR is a sexual thing and is just one more kinky lifestyle. Here I must both agree and disagree. All relationships between individuals, whether marriage, co-habitation, etc., are sexual in nature. It is the nature of the beast that humans are sexual, especially men. With men its the testosterone. Give a woman testosterone and she will have an increased libido (also more hair and muscles, which is why we don’t do this). Many ‘normal’ marriages have their kinky side when it comes to sex, so being a heterosexual married couple does not mean you will only have intercourse to procreate in the missionary position (though for a very few this maybe true). Indeed, if we all lost interest in sex the human race would die out very quickly.

    I have read many articles concerning FLRs and what we (and you) have been discussing here is a Level II FLR, Role reversal but not the more hardcore aspects. Often FLRs go further to a Level III which places the Alpha Woman in a position of absolute authority and puts more emphasis on the sexual aspects. Still, the purpose of any relationship is to be happy, and Americans do have the Constitutional Right to the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ (at least for the moment). This has never totally been true, of course, for the majority opinion is what determines the type of ‘happiness’ that is acceptable. If those in charge don’t like your idea of happiness then it’s not allowed, a rather unfair arrangement, but who ever said life was fair. I must say I’ve never quite understood why people get so bent out of shape over things that do not affect their lives in the least. Justifying the persecution of others for the sake of some ‘higher principle’ that not everyone even agrees with and is often totally unjustified and unsupportable. Still, it is what it is.

    Remember, many things that are acceptable today, even by hardline conservatives, that were once considered heresy. I do not agree with many of the new trends that I see taking hold, yet, it does not affect my life. The best solution to these problems is a better family life, which is something we’ve lost along the way. I raise my family according to what I believe is a firm foundation, that being tolerance, compromise, and inclusion. I allow others to determine such things for themselves. I only ask that I receive the same respect from others that I am willing to afford to them. The important thing is for everyone to know what they are getting into, that they walk into a relationship with their eyes open, accepting the lifestyle, responsibilities, and the consequences that go with their choices.

    We forget how easy it is for the tide to turn. When I was young I never thought that the white christian male would be despised by the American news media, yet here we are. Then again, I accepted during most of my life, the canons of American society without question and much to my detriment later on. The men and women of today will never be truly equal until they are both allowed to work, live, love, and enjoy life equally in the same ways, in the role of their choosing, without the chains of tradition or social mores putting them on trial, judging them, and depriving them of their constitutional freedoms and rights.

    I applaud the brave couples who seek to find happiness and a relationship on their own terms.


    This is all fine, but where does one find a cooperating female to begin the relationship. This first big obstacle creates resistance for achieving the positive relationship. I am very in agreement with feminism and sex equality and want the FLR. Can someone suggest an Internet site that specializes and is trusted by women? I will appreciate this help!

  3. That is such a stupid idea that only Americans could come up with something like this. Namely, this kind of thing can only arise in a culture of confrontation.

    The European and especially the Scandinavian way of thinking is equality. Has been 1000-years. Husband and wife decide as much together about their life together.

    A man is not automatically a judge. And it shouldn’t be like that for a woman either. People who live in a different kind of society make me sad.

    The culture of confrontation in the United States does not seem to differ from Arab countries. Equality is not realized in either of them.

    It is not equality to reverse the roles. Since in real equality, reversing the roles does not affect anything, equality is that both do and decide things together.

    A man does not bring home money and a woman cleans. These can be done together. Everyone cleans up after themselves and money is made together. And everyone uses their own money for their own purchases. A joint account is the most ridiculous thing. Joint payments are paid together. But that’s it. Self-earned spending money is in your own accounts.

    In reality, FLR is just a sexual fetish. For those who don’t dare to admit that they are Dominatrixes and submissives. FLR has nothing to do with real equality. This fetish is disguised as a relationship and a model. Sad.

    And ultimately, this is proven by the concept of the alpha male. At the end of the day, women lust after the right man, have sex with the right man, and put their fetish-sex-slaves aside.

    Where is the relationship anymore?

  4. Wow, the comments in the gamut, from extreme Female control, to the lighter side of an FLR. I will keep reading, learning, perhaps searching for a partner.

    1. Males have a need to lead. We are spontaneous in all we do. We aren’t interested in females who think just because they look great, they can dominate a relationship. You could
      never count me as beta male. You may be confident beautiful, and respected. But, I doubt any woman can change me. In fact. I would like to place a bet of $1000.00 to any woman here in the USA. Cannot dominate me, or think you can make a submissive.

  5. Wow, so happy to see more articles on how perfect and natural an FLR dynamic can be. I proudly subjugated by my woman. I remember when we were quite young still, teenagers in fact… without realizing it she was already organizing my world and disciplining me for bad behaviour. Eventually that discipline did end up including chastity, something i didnt actually want – but it can really help a man. Woman are much smarter on avg than men, and i think we need plenty more of us under the thumb.

  6. If you are like me and want to pursue your career without having to worry about cooking or housework, just say so in your profile. You will find lots of beta men eager to play a supporting role for you and your career. If you are willing to take on the responsibility of being the head of the household, then you can also enjoy the privileges. I found a younger man who looks up to me as a leader and wants to be my househusband. I told him that occasionally I needed an alpha man to satisfy me. He said that he understood and just wanted me to be happy. The power imbalance is a turn on for him. I enjoy it because I get what I want. So, we are both happy.

  7. Am in a FLR/WLM. I find it very rewarding as does my dominant wife. There are times I think she is being too harsh like yesterday when I misunderstood what she wanted done with paying a bill.
    She yelled at me. I apologized and ask d if I could correct my mistake next week. She said yes. However, when she got home from work she apologized for being overly harsh and critical.
    My wife is an amazing woman and leader.
    She knows exactly how to steer our marriage.
    Our FLR is building both of us up as a couple and as individuals.
    Will be interesting to see what the future holds.

    1. Just want to say that while I thought my wife was harsh on me I did not say that to her. I kept that to myself.

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