August 18, 2020

Should Women Lead When it Comes to Dating and Relationships?

by Janet Tingwald in Dating, Relationship

I get this question, or some version of it, from women all of the time. There is so much confusion out there on roles and expectations. Who asks, who pays, do I call, should I wait…agh!! I know some coaches say, “Absolutely go after what you want!” Some say, “Lean back, let the man pursue you.” Some women say they’re old-fashioned and want the man to pursue them. And the man sits there with his head spinning not sure which way to go, trying to read your mind so he can make you happy.

So, should women lead when it comes to love? The short answer is, yes! But before you agree or click away, let me explain.

There is more than one way for you to lead when it comes to love. I’m going to share three tips on how you can effectively lead and bring out the masculine alpha man you desire to have in your life and your bed.

3. Lead by making requests.

It’s not so much what you say but how you say it. 

Women lead in love through suggestions and questions. It’s not from a place of weakness or being submissive (you’ll never agree to something you really don’t want to do) it’s from a place of presenting opportunity and letting him make you happy by doing something he knows you will like. If you’ve just started dating, you get to see what he will do, what action he will take. (This is where integrity comes in; there’s a fine line here between having everyone’s best interest at heart and manipulation.)

Let’s say you’re going to dinner and he asks where you would like to go. Give him 2-3 options that you would love and let him know you love it when he takes care of that decision. He gets to step in and provide something for you, he feels appreciated, his testosterone goes up, and everyone is happy. Never say, “I don’t care you choose,” unless you are truly willing to go anywhere. Otherwise, that’s sitting you both up to lose, and you already know that’s not being a good partner.

2. Lead by setting boundaries.

Boundaries start with knowing what’s okay and not okay for you, how you desire to be treated and/or touched.

I know smart, successful women that have a hard time doing this when it comes to love. Usually it’s one of two reasons. 1.) You are leading and doing everything! There’s no need for boundaries because he’s not in charge of anything. This typically leads to frustrated men that shut down or leave. Or, frustrated women because the men sit on the couch and don’t do anything. Sadly, the truth is we’ve taught them they don’t have to. 2.) For some, because of past experiences, we can be so smart and successful in the rest of our lives, but it can be difficult to set a boundary when it comes to love. We can’t get what we really want and need out of our mouth.

The first place to start is getting really clear on your boundaries. The second is practicing saying them even if it’s messy. I had a client who was asked out by a man she really wanted to meet, but it was on the night before a big presentation at work. She was hesitant to meet him, but it had been so hard for them to find a mutual time she really wanted to go. We discussed what time she would need to be home in order to meet him and still feel prepared for the next day, and how she would tell him in advance. She felt so much more relaxed and confident being able to say, “I’d love to meet you for a drink. I just need to be home by 7:30, so I’m ready for my presentation tomorrow.” She was thrilled when he was not only agreeable, but thanked her for letting him know.

1. Lead by being vulnerable.

This looks like asking for what you need. Telling him how you feel, how he makes you feel, how what he did (good or bad) made you feel.

Speaking up when you’re angry, sad, frustrated, happy, horny or excited We may want men to lead the direction of the relationship, but women lead the depth. Emotional depth is more of our wheelhouse.

When we open up about our feelings, it takes a man out of most of his thoughts, from being in his head, and helps him to connect to the emotions in his body. Yep, that’s right, many men don’t do that easily. It’s one of the things that men love about women and look for in a woman. Does she get him out of his “thinking” and into his “emotions.”

I can personally tell you this works. I’m writing to you today on the 12th anniversary of my first date with Bruce. I learned to quit leading by ‘doing’ everything and started leading by requests, asking what he thought, and being vulnerable by setting boundaries and sharing my feelings. The funny thing is, all of the while I felt more in control of me while dating than I ever had in my whole dating life.

Because I was in control of myself without trying to control everything else. That’s the real secret to leading in love.

I’m certainly not perfect at this, but I’m aware of showing up as a leader in our relationship on a daily basis. When I fail, I’m vulnerable and apologize. That’s me doing my part by being a leader in sustaining our partnership.

You see, ladies, you really don’t need a man that has this level of emotional awareness and depth… just one that will participate and follow your lead when invited.