Here’s a question worth considering. Are you the leader or a follower in your relationships,
It’s true that we all follow in different times and places in our life. We go to school and we follow the teacher and we do our homework. We are a follower
Then, we go to work and get a job. We’re a follower there, too. Usually, at least.
We do what the boss wants – or we try to. At least, most of the time
And so, you’re a follower.
Now you might also be the boss or the teacher
So, then you’re a leader.
What’s your tendency in relationships?
Now when it comes to marriage or an intimate relationship, a boyfriend or girlfriend are you the sort of person who is naturally a leader or a naturally a follower,
If we were to put other words on it, we might talk about being in charge or being more assertive or even more dominant.
Most people have a tendency or preference that they lean into. We might call it their default setting. This may be due to learning, what’s comfortable for them or their personality.
Another part of you might go the other way a little bit, or in some areas. Yet, we tend to have a default way in which we approach relating with other people.
I’m not saying either way is better or right. Just the knowledge and clarity about yourself can be helpful.
Have you thought about which is your natural or most common inclination and that of your partner, How do these match up, complement or conflict,
The simple knowledge of this can bring a lot of clarity and help you navigate your relationships better.
I want to be clear that this is not about gender or sexual orientation, because your personality and style does not have a direct connection to those things
It’s true that we are socialized or conditioned to some degree to think that certain people should be more the leader or follower in certain areas of life based on their gender or sexual orientation.
We also have different life areas. There may be certain areas where we prefer to be more the leader and other areas we want to be more of a follower.
Everyone is a leader and a follower
I was once in a relationship where I was the leader in most areas. However, there were a couple areas, where the other person was the leader.
The person I was in a relationship with really loves to cook. I’m not very good at cooking. Mainly this is because for me cooking is a lot of work and it’s a chore.
So, I was a follower and helped. I often asked, “What do you need,” and often said, “Tell me what to do.”
The irony was that except for this and one other area, the person I was with wanted me to be the leader in most areas. They had an unusually strong preference for my being the planner and decision maker.
However, we were still both doing leading and following.
This is true for a lot of people, even for kink enthusiasts who have consciously chosen power-exchange or power-imbalanced relationships.What’s natural for you?
Are there certain areas you’re more naturally a leader, and others more naturally a follower,
If you’re mainly a leader in a relationship with someone who’s also primarily a leader – or you’re both followers – there may be some unique challenges and possible conflicts to work through. There’s likely also some opportunities to learn, grow and adapt.
You still need to communicate your needs
Something important that a lot of people miss is that regardless of whether you’re a leader or a follower, each person is still responsible to communicate their needs, boundaries and preferences.
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No one can read your mind.
Even if you’ve been married for ten or thirty years, your partner doesn’t know what you’re thinking.
They might be able to make a pretty good guess about what you might think and feel about something or in a certain situation. But it would be an assumption or a guess.
We are all evolving and changing over time. Each person has different moods. We have different experiences, and so no one can read your mind.
Even if you are the follower, it’s important to communicate your needs, your desires and your boundaries.
Improve your relationships by being aware of leading and following
By considering your natural tendencies toward leading and following, and those of your partner, you can improve your relationships.
Keep in mind that we all naturally do some of both. Remember that no one can read your mind. You’re the person who’s responsible to communicate your needs, boundaries and desires.