Many men are bewildered when their relationships start to go south – particularly if they bend over backwards to make their partner happy. Often, relationships suffer when the man isn’t setting the tone and taking the lead. It’s crucial that a man knows how to lead in a relationship.

Does this sound like a familiar argument?

Where do you wanna eat tonight?
I don’t know, where do you wanna eat?
I don’t really care. 
Well I don’t care. 
Well what are you hungry for?
I don’t know, food. 
Okay, what kind of food?
I told you i don’t care. 
Well, I don’t care either. 
Well just pick something!
Well how do I know you’ll like what I pick?
I’m not even hungry anymore!

If you’ve ever had a similar conversation with a woman and she got angry, it’s because you weren’t setting the tone and taking the lead. 

When you’re trying desperately to make a woman happy, you’re not setting the tone and taking the lead. When you’re bending over backwards to please a woman, you’re not setting the tone and taking the lead. When you force the woman to make all the decisions, you’re not setting the tone and taking the lead. 

When you change your life to fit into a woman’s world instead of inviting a woman into your world, you’re not setting the tone and taking the lead. 

As Dr. Robert Glover, internationally recognized marriage & family therapist and the author of No More Mr. Nice Guy, likes to say: A woman cannot follow where a man doesn’t lead.

The Importance of Setting the Tone & Taking the Lead in Your Relationship

Women are security-seeking creatures. They need to feel safe. How do you think a woman feels when she’s with a man who can’t lead?

When a man doesn’t lead, it doesn’t give the woman the opportunity to follow. So, by default, she takes the lead – which she doesn’t want to do – and then she seems controlling. 

Picture a dance floor. On a dance floor, the man leads. 

A lot of women, however, may not trust men to lead, and that’s because they’ve been let down too many times. They’re not used to being able to count on men, so they’ve learned to take control even though it’s not what they prefer. 

Women don’t want to take the lead. They often resent men for forcing them to lead. Women hate when a man constantly asks, “What do you want to do?” They feel burdened by having to make the decision.

When you don’t set tone and take the lead in a relationship, you’re forcing the woman into the masculine position.

It’s likely that 80% of the women enjoy when a man takes the lead. The other 20% don’t. If you’re dating someone in that 20% youll have constant battles. Or you’ll feel emasculated throughout your relationships. 

“Women are wired to look to a man to provide and protect and make them feel safe,” explains Dr. Glover. “Women are always more vulnerable, Most women don’t want to feel like the most powerful person in the room. They may not consciously be aware of this, but it’s true from an evolutionary and biological point of view.”

Trust = Lust

When you set the tone and lead in a relationship (and make the woman feel safe), it activates her biological sexual responses.  

As Dr. Glover likes to say: TRUST = LUST

If you want a woman to stay attracted to you, she needs to trust you. Setting the tone and take the lead will allow her to trust you. It also creates a reciprocal dynamic in the relationship. 

You have to lead.

Leading is not Controlling

The very idea of taking the lead in a relationship is difficult for some men to grasp because they thinking “leading” means “controlling.” But when you set the tone and take the lead, when you make a proposal, when you playfully tell her what to do, you’re not being controlling. You’re actually creating what Dr. Glover calls positive emotional tension.

Setting the tone and taking the lead is not controlling. It’s masculine and it’s loving.  

The woman is an adult. She will tell you NO if she doesn’t want to do something. She is also perfectly capable of making a counter proposal.

It’s also worth nothing that there are women who like to be dominated by men even if those men treat them like crap. So, imagine if you were to take the lead with love and consciousness. 

Make it easy for a woman to follow you. Have a plan. And always treat a woman with love and respect. Leading in a relationships is not about being selfish, manipulative or abusive. And it’s not about having everything go your way. 

It’s about deciding what you want and inviting a woman to join you. 

Letting a woman to make all the decisions is not loving. It feels burdensome to a woman. By leading, you aren’t forcing a woman to do anything. You’re giving her a choice. She can choose to follow or not. 

Most women like to be told what to do when told with love, integrity, and consciousness. Again, picture a dance floor. Lead in your relationship the way you would lead on a dance floor.

The #1 Problem in Most Relationships

Take some time to examine your relationships. Do you set the tone and take the lead? How can you improve the way you lead in your relationships with women?

The number one problem in most relationships seems to be that the woman takes the driver’s seat while the man sits in the passenger seat and passively stares out the window. In other words, the man isn’t setting the tone and taking the lead. 

When the woman is forced to set the tone and take the lead, this is what happens:

  • The woman becomes controlling and bitter. Being the CEO of the relationship goes against her nature. The feminine wants to be led, nurtured, and protected. And remember that women are security-seeking creatures. A woman won’t feel secure with a man who doesn’t step up, set the tone, and take the lead.
  • The man feels inadequate. When the woman is in the driver’s seat, the man feels like she’s trying to control him. He feels like an inadequate little boy.
  • The man uses Nice Guy strategies to try to relieve his wife’s dissatisfaction. He placates, he pleases, he uses covert contracts, he withdraws. But none of these things work. The man feels like he can never do anything right and puts his guard up. He then becomes defensive and wary, wondering how he can fix his partners bad moods.
  • The woman feels dismissed and lonely.  The man’s attempts to solve her problem seem uncaring. She begins to feel unloved and insecure. She then starts to exhibit the kind of behavior that makes the man feel controlled. 
  • Their sex life suffers. The woman doesn’t want to have sex with a man who seems emotionally unavailable. The man doesn’t want to have sex with a controlling woman.
  • Both partners then end up feeling frustrated, resentful, and misunderstood. 

You must set the tone and take the lead in your relationship. When you set the tone and take the lead as a man should, you give your relationship the greatest opportunity to flourish. 

How to Lead in Your Relationship

Setting the tone and taking the lead in your relationship may require you to abolish your Nice Guy Syndrome and make a paradigm shift. It also requires you to:

  • Be more conscious.
  • Promote open communication.
  • Be fully honest and transparent.
  • Resolve problems.
  • Deal with conflict head on.
  • Bring passion to the relationship.
  • Bring playfulness to the relationship.
  • Make decisions.

Remember, setting the tone and taking the lead is not controlling: It is an act of love and integrity. 

She Wants You to Lead

Your woman doesn’t want to drive the bus of your relationship. She doesn’t want to be the gatekeeper. She is tired of you asking: “What do you want to do tonight?”

She wants you to lead!

Looking for support to help you start taking the lead in your relationship? The Integrated Man Cave offers 1-on-1 coaching as well as a one-of-a-kind group coaching program. Click here to learn more.