Female Led Relationship Meaning and Levels Explained [2023]

by Ryan Hart | Updated on September 19, 2023 | Post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

A Female Led Relationship (FLR) is one in which the woman is in charge in dating or marriage.

FLR is not about women being better than men at everything, or men being inferior to women.

It’s about who’s in charge.

FLR relationships are not new, but they are newly fashionable, and often misunderstood. This trend seems to be growing along with the popularity of sugar mama apps.

What makes them unique is that the dynamic between the couple is different from what it would be if the man were in charge.

What is a Female Led Relationship (FLR)?

A female led relationship is a relationship that is controled by the woman. Usually the woman is in a position of authority and she tells the man what to do.

The man may not have a say in decision making, he may rarely initiate sex, and have little or no control over his role in the relationship.

He may be required to perform additional duties such as household chores, yard work, washing and waxing her car, etc. In some extreme cases the woman may exert complete control over her partner.

Simply put, this is a relationship in which the woman has control. A common way to set up a female led relationship is for the man to be the “bottom” of the power dynamic, meaning that he’s the one who takes orders, while the woman is dominant.

The modern “alpha male” dynamic is all about dominance, but I think it’s pretty clear by now that men like to be dominated, too. That’s where this kind of non-traditional dynamic comes from. It’s not really about order; it’s about desire.

So what does it mean, exactly, for one person to be “in charge?”

It means that the woman gets to make decisions about what happens sexually and romantically. She gets to give orders, and he has to obey them.

He has to ask her for permission for things he wants - like staying out late or spending money - and she decides whether or not he gets it.

This includes her deciding how they set up their finances; whether they live together, how much time they spend together, etc.

In this situation the woman leads and the man follows. The man may do chores and take care of the children, but the woman is the one who makes decisions and tells him what to do.

The traditional dominant/submissive relationship is one in which the man is dominant and the woman submissive. This can be either a lifestyle or a part-time activity, but in either case the power structure is the same.

In a female led marriage, the woman is dominant and the man submissive.

This position of power can either be full time or part time. Some couples have an agreement that one of them will always be in charge, others prefer to take turns being in charge.

Female led relationships are similar to conventional relationships except that the female partner has more control over the day-to-day running of the household. She makes decisions about what they do together, where they go, who they spend time with, etc.

This type of relationship is not about sex – it is about control.

A relationship like this can be set up in many different ways, but generally speaking a female led relationship will have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • The woman makes all or most decisions for a couple.
  • The woman has authority over her man outside the bedroom as well as inside it.
  • The focus of the relationship is the pleasure and happiness of a woman as opposed to both people being equal partners.
  • The man must always ask permission before doing anything with anyone else, even friends and family members. He must also ask permission if he wants to spend money on anything.

What do I mean when I say that a female is in charge? She sets goals for herself and her partner, she defines success or failure, she holds power of punishment or reward over her partner, she has authority to make decisions about their relationship.

The woman is the one who determines what the goals are and how they will get there. She decides how often they have sex, what they do during sex, what she wants to wear, how much money she wants to spend. And so on.

What is Different in a Woman in Charge Relationship?

In a male led relationship, both parties have specific roles to fulfill and they must work together to achieve a common goal.

A male led relationship differs from a female led one in that the male has most if not all of the power to make decisions. He gets to decide what is best for him and what is best for his partner.

He gets to set goals for his partner and guide her toward them. He gets most if not all of the punishments and rewards in their relationship.

If you’re not sure where you stand, ask yourself if it’s the female who makes most of the important decisions in your relationship. If so, you’re female led. If not, your situation may be male led.

A Male Led Relationship is where the dominant partner leads the submissive partner in all aspects of their life. The dominant partner makes all the decisions affecting both partners.

The submissive partner follows the rules set forth by the dominant partner without question. Mutual respect is a vital element in any relationship.

There are many reasons for entering into a Male Led Relationship. Some people are looking for a d/s relationship, but do not feel either party has the time to devote to being a full-time Master or Mistress.

A Male Led Relationship is a relationship between a man and a woman who have agreed that the man will take the lead. It is similar to what people call a dominant/submissive relationship.

Just as there are many kinds of relationships that involve one female and one male, so there are many kinds of relationships that involve one dominant and one submissive partner.

A male-led relationship is an ongoing voluntary association between a male and female.

A traditional Male Led Relationship (MLR) is a relationship between two people where the male partner has authority, and the female partner submits. This authority may be because of gender, experience, or assigned responsibility.

The idea of an MLR can be seen as a variation on traditional gender roles, with the male being the traditional “breadwinner” or “provider” who works outside the home to support his family, while the female partner takes care of domestic chores and child raising.

Other couples may decide that both partners share these roles equally, but this is not required for an MLR. The main requirement is that the male partner have authority over the female partner.

Female Led Relationship Levels

There are many different types of Female Led Relationships, but the most common one is when the woman wants to be in control of her own life and make her own decisions without interference from a man or anyone else.

Level 1:

It is possible to have a female led relationship without having a female led marriage. I think of it as level one - the easiest and most common level of female led relationship.

Level one is where both partners are aware that the woman has more power in the relationship than the man, but no specific rules are agreed upon to use that power.

The woman has her way by default. If there are disagreements, she can apply whatever pressure she needs to get her way.

Level 2:

The second level in a Female Led Relationship is a man’s acceptance of his partner as the dominant decision-maker in the relationship, both in and out of the bedroom.

At this level, a woman may have a say in any aspect of her partner’s life, from what car he drives to what he wears. The rules for this level are less strict than at Level 3 and do not extend to every area of the couple’s life.

At Level 2, the woman takes on a more dominant role in the relationship. She is making the decisions and her husband is following her lead. He may want to be involved in decision-making, but she encourages him to let her decide.

How does this level differ from Level 1? At Level 1, the woman often makes all of the decisions, but she still talks with her husband about what she is doing and listens to his advice. At Level 2, he isn’t consulted as much and will often find himself only hearing about decisions after they have been made.

Level 3:

A level 3 FLR is the most extreme form of female led relationship. At this stage, the woman can make any decision without consulting her partner.

The man in the relationship is expected to be obedient and loyal to his partner. He will take on more traditionally feminine roles, such as childrearing and chores around the house. He will not question his partner’s decisions and will accept her authority unconditionally.

This is the level at which the man feels secure to relinquish his worldly power—the top job, the paycheck—to his female partner, who now becomes the primary breadwinner, while he takes on a more traditionally feminine role.

The roles are not reversed so much as they are completely expressed. This is why it’s called a level 3 relationship—there is no pretending here. The roles are clear and defined, and there is no need for power struggles over whose “turn” it is to be dominant or submissive.

Also, both partners are now free to express themselves in ways that were not possible for them prior to reaching this level of relationship maturity.

Benefits of a Woman Dominated Relationship

The great thing about a female-led relationship is that both partners can be free to be themselves. It allows for a greater sense of equality and harmony, with less pressure to conform to gender stereotypes.

The woman in the equation can feel more masculine, because she is responsible for the bulk of the leadership and decision making. The man in the equation can feel more feminine, because he’s not expected to “wear the pants” in the relationship.

The right female-led relationship feels like a natural fit because it allows both partners to be themselves - it’s not trying to force them into traditional gender roles.

Benefits of this type of relationship include:

  • Both partners are free to be themselves. There are no predetermined gender roles or expectations.
  • There's no pressure for one partner to be dominant or submissive because the woman has control over the relationship.
  • Since each partner is equally responsible for their own happiness, there is less likelihood of resentment building up between them.

The male-led model of relationships is one of equals, sometimes called the peer model of relationships. The peer model is where the man and woman are peers who have their own lives apart from each other, but they come together to share their lives, companionship, sexual gratification and family creation.

The female-led model of relationships is one of unequals, or in some cases where the man has less authority than the woman.

There are many different kinds of female-led relationships. Some are based on an authoritarian structure where the man has little authority, while there are others where both partners have equal authority.

One benefit of this type of relationship is that there is no ego conflict between partners. When you are the one making all of the decisions, there is no reason to feel insecure because your partner is outperforming you in any way.

For example, if he makes more money than you do or has a better job or makes better decisions than you do, there’s nothing for you to feel threatened about because you’re still in charge.

Second, there is no power struggle between partners for control over the relationship. When the female makes all of the decisions, there’s no need for her to try to wrestle control away from him or feel that he’s wresting control away from her.

A relationship like this has a lot to offer. Women know how to be loving and tender, but they also know how to be tough and make decisions – something that is lacking in many men.

These marriages often have a clearer sexual dynamic as well, with the woman making the rules and setting the boundaries which makes it easier for men to drop their inhibitions.

In summary, female led relationships are not for everyone. It is important to understand what you are getting into before engaging in this type of relationship.

If you are thinking about beginning or participating in a female lead relationship, please seek professional help to ensure that your relationship is safe and healthy for both partners.

Now It's Your Turn

And now I’d like to hear from you.

Are you interested in a female led relationship?

Is your partner open to the idea of switching traditional roles?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

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About the Author:
Ryan Hart

Ryan Hart is a certified relationship coach and writer. His mission is to help make connections between people better, stronger, more meaningful, and longer lasting using technology.

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