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Who is the dominant person in your relationship?

February 17, 2018
  • Me
  • My partner
  • Neither, we are relatively equal

Relationships have been the cornerstone of songs, movies, and long midnight conversations since, well, forever. Whether it’s the legendary love of Romeo and Juliet or the sitcom chaos of Ross and Rachel, a constant theme emerges: dynamics. Who’s taking charge? Who’s following the leader?

Now, before you start visualizing Hollywood-esque scenarios of power struggles and dramatic breakups, let’s keep it light. Most relationships are a tad less dramatic but equally compelling when it comes to who wears the pants.

“Me! I’m the Dominant One!”

If you’ve ever felt this, you’re certainly not alone. Many individuals feel they’re the more dominant partner in their relationships. And no, this doesn’t conjure up images of them standing on a mountaintop, shouting commands to their significant other. More often than not, it’s a gentle dance of dynamics.

Why might someone feel this way?

Emotional Independence: Often, the partner who feels less emotionally reliant on the relationship feels a greater sense of control. They might be the ones making decisions because they’re not afraid of rocking the boat. They’re navigating the waters with confidence.

Material Independence: Ah, the age-old “breadwinner” debate. While it’s 2023 and we’ve come a long way, having financial independence can still create a feeling of dominance. Having the resources can translate to a sense of security and, in some cases, a stronger voice in decisions.

Natural Temperament: As renowned psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron puts it, “Some people are just born leaders.” It’s in their DNA. These individuals tend to exude confidence and don’t second-guess themselves, making it natural for them to take the reins.

“My Partner Takes the Lead”

couple on the motorcycle

On the flip side, some of us happily let our partners do the heavy lifting.

Emotional Investment: Interestingly, the more someone invests emotionally in a relationship, the more they might step back from a dominant role. It’s not about being ‘whipped’ or ‘submissive.’ It’s about understanding that they’ve put so much into the relationship and, in return, are content with letting their partner guide the journey.

Comfort in Following: Not everyone wants to make all the decisions. For some, there’s comfort in letting their partner take charge. As relationship expert Dr. John Gottman states, “Trust in a relationship means trusting your partner to know what’s best for both of you, even if it means taking a backseat sometimes.”

“We’re Riding this Wave Together!”

Then there’s that blissful center, where both partners feel they’re sharing the reins.

Shared Decisions: These relationships often thrive on open communication and mutual respect. A survey from the Pew Research Center revealed that 56% of Americans in committed relationships believe decisions should always be mutual. It’s all about team spirit and collaborative efforts.

Balance in Independence: Just because one partner earns more or is more emotionally expressive doesn’t automatically assign roles. In these relationships, partners recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses and work together to maintain a balance.

Mutual Appreciation: As Oprah Winfrey once said, “A relationship is only successful when there’s a balance between giving and taking.” In these relationships, it’s not about dominance but about mutual appreciation and respect.

In Closing…

It’s a fascinating dive into the intricate dance of relationships. While we all might have our moments of leading or following, what truly matters is the shared journey. Whether you’re charting the course together, letting your partner lead, or taking charge yourself, it’s all about understanding, love, and the adventure of partnership.

And remember, while statistics and expert quotes shed light on general patterns, every relationship is unique. What works for one couple might be different for another. So, wherever you see yourself in this dynamic, embrace it, laugh about it, and continue sailing through the wondrous sea of love.

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