Considering an FLR? (Female-led Relationship) Here’s What You Need to Know
In today’s society, more women are calling the shots from the boardroom to the bedroom. Some relationships even identify themselves as being steered by the woman. Female-led relationships put the woman in the dominant role of the partnership. The female, or femme, controls the decision-making in areas like money, socializing, household duties, and the couple’s sex life.
This power structure occurs in heterosexual relationships where men have historically held all the cards. Since female-led relationships are a newer concept in the dating world, it is vital to understand the dynamics. Here are five things you need to know about female-led relationships if you’re considering starting one or are interested in learning more.
Take Sexual Safety Into Your Own Hands
Safe sex is always essential, no matter who holds the reins of the relationship. The consent and well-being of both partners are critical in couples led by females. These priorities often include at least one form of birth control. Partners could focus extra on the woman’s wants and what is most beneficial for her health.
The ability to make decisions about fertility is vital to women in any relationship, but even more so in an FLR. Historically birth control has enhanced women’s opportunities to control childbearing and their careers. And this independence is crucial in a relationship with a woman in control. Pregnancy prevention plans give the woman control over when and if she becomes a mother.
Learn the History and Basics of FLR
The term female-led relationship likely originated within the BDSM space. The dynamic initially referred to a kink where females assume dominance in the bedroom while the male is submissive. However, definitions can vary, and it is generally an umbrella term in sexual education. Women naturally lead many relationships, and most couples might not feel the need to label their situation.
In practice, female-led relationships can vary, primarily based on how power distributes. Over time, FLR has expanded from a sexual term to more of a mainstream type of relationship. These couples challenge the long-held patriarchal structures and refine partnerships in society. The foundation of the relationship is more matriarchal. Breaking these traditional gender roles can bring new energy to the romance.
Discuss What You Hope to Get Out of the Dynamic
Every couple is different, even in an FLR. Partners should discuss what they’d like to see in their unique relationship. The female-driven components may only apply to some aspects of the partnership, like finances, socializing, or sex. Other couples may use the approach in most or all aspects of the relationship.
Both partners must consent to the setup and understand the dynamics of the arrangement. If this is a new dating method for either partner, allow room to work through the uncomfortable moments. The unfamiliarity of the situation might feel weird initially, so move through those feelings with intention and care.
Define the Level of Control and Be Specific
FLR generally has four levels of control: low, moderate, defined, and extreme. Each step up gives the female more or less power. Decisions are more mutual in low-control relationships, while females usually handle day-to-day tasks moderately. The woman almost always leads in defined control relationships and holds all power in extreme control dynamics. Correctly identifying levels is another space where both parties must be on board and aware of the arrangement.
There can be some gray space when dealing with the different FLR approaches. Some levels may apply to just one part of the relationship. For example, the woman may steer all financial decisions, but the couple jointly handles other household choices. Be as detailed as possible with your partner when defining the levels of control in the relationship, and don’t be afraid to adjust if needed.
Nurture a Healthy Space for Communication and Connection
Everyone should feel comfortable expressing their wants and needs regardless of who encompasses the dominant role in the relationship. The first step is nurturing a healthy environment for open and honest communication. A safe space will be free from unconstructive criticism, volatile emotions, and unclear boundaries. It will instead foster helpful feedback, well-defined boundaries, and emotional maturity.
You and your significant other could schedule regular check-ins to ensure the relationship’s parameters are working for both of you. Use these routine discussions as opportunities to re-think any aspects of the partnerships that aren’t working out. For example, you could shift the control levels in different areas of the relationship or implement new communication strategies.
Finding the Right Dynamic for Your Relationship
Like many alternative approaches to dating, female-led relationships aren’t for everyone. Some couples might naturally fall within this category but decide not to identify as an FLR. However, romantic partners interested in learning more about the space should start with an open mind and heart. Be clear about your motivations for a female-led relationship and what that dynamic looks like for you as a couple.
Seek guidance from a relationship counselor if you need help navigating this new dating world. Approaching the FLR space from a place of nonjudgement is also essential for success. As long as all partners within the relationship are happy with the dynamic, outside opinions shouldn’t be a factor. Stay true to yourself and the lifestyle that best fits your dating goals.