How To Become Dominant In A Relationship In A Healthy Way

By Samantha Dewitt

Updated March 03, 2020

Reviewer Laura Angers

Dominance in relationships has long had a difficult reputation and has been seen as either abuse or BDSM. But these are not the only ways that dominance appears. In fact, when used in the right context and in the right form, dominance and being a dominant personality within a relationship can be a positive thing. It can be a way to improve relationships and to make sure that both parties are getting what they want as much as possible.


What is Dominance?

Dominance means to be in control of something, and for those in a relationship this has long been mischaracterized as being exclusively in control of their partner. Instead, dominance can be used in a healthy way and can be applied to both partners equally. This allows each partner to feel that they have some level of control and this also ensures that both partners are able to get what they want and need in the relationship. As a result, when both partners exert dominance, they are taking control of the situation together, and they are not sacrificing the individual needs that they have.

Dominance the Healthy Way

The first thing that needs to be addressed when ensuring healthy dominance is that both partners are able to exert dominance. If only one partner is exerting dominance and the other partner is being submissive it means that one partner is going to get what they want at all times, and the other partner is going to be constantly submitting to them. This leads to an unhealthy relationship where one partner is constantly losing out on the things that are important to them or that they need to feel loved and cared for.

Healthy dominance requires both partners to be able to stand up for themselves and to be able to express their wants and needs effectively. If one partner is struggling with this, it is important to get them additional help and support to provide encouragement. After all, if one partner isn't able to comfortably move into a dominant lifestyle, they're not going to be able to get what they need out of the other partner. This can lead to problems within the relationship and can make it difficult for the relationship to continue.

Everyone Must Meet Their Needs

One way to start out on a path of dominance in a healthy way is to make sure that both partners are comfortable voicing what it is that they need. These needs could be minor things, like needing food or shelter. They could be more extensive, such as needing companionship at a certain time. The important thing isn't what type of needs the partners each have, but that they feel comfortable telling the other person about those needs at the time that they need them. This allows the other partner to do what they can to help and support the relationship in a healthy way.

Second, both partners need to be comfortable expressing their wants to one another. Where needs are sometimes easier because they focus on basic aspects of the human condition, wants can seem a little more frivolous. Partners who struggle to express themselves often struggle with this because they feel like these are unimportant things or that their wants are difficult to explain to their partner. A want could be anything at all and that's why some partners will struggle because they feel like their wants are silly or that their partner won't understand them.

If either partner doesn't feel comfortable expressing their wants, no matter how 'silly' they might be, it could mean something negative for the relationship. Not only that, it means that one or both partners are struggling with the dominance that they are exhibiting. This could cause one partner to be more dominant than the other and could mean that both partners need a little bit of help in order to provide the right level of support and encouragement to one another. The key is in recognizing where the problems are as quickly as possible and looking for ways that each partner can make changes in the relationship.


Learning Dominance the Right Way

For those who are struggling with this process the first thing is to start small. Expressing basic needs could be something as simple as 'I need something for dinner.' It's an expression of a basic need and it's something that should be easy to express because the individual understands that this is a need that everyone around them has. A need to eat is a common, understandable and easy to express. This, however, needs to be done repeatedly in order for the individual to become more comfortable with it and to feel as though their partner is interested in helping them.

From there, it is important for each partner to start to become comfortable with expressing wants. In this practice it may be possible for each partner to make a pledge to express at least one want every day, for something that is not a basic necessity. This could be a want for a specific item or for a partner to give them a response or for anything at all. The requirement is that each partner is required to make the request and the other partner is required to listen and follow through with the request.

As each partner gets more comfortable with these things it will become second nature for each partner to express themselves more fully and for the other partner to likewise respond to their needs or wants appropriately. The best way to do this is also to learn more about the opposite side of the personality. It's not just about understanding how to be dominant and how to be in control at all times. It's also about learning how to let the partner have the things that they want and need, and this requires a level of submission as well.


Understanding Healthy Submission

As with dominance, submission has always had a negative undertone to it, as many believe this is simply giving in and letting others walk all over them. While this is one iteration of submission, it is not the healthy way that it is performed and, as such, it is not the method to be discussed here. Instead, healthy submission is being able to balance the dominance and control with submission and supporting the partner. This is a complex balance and one that even the most experienced partners can struggle with at times. However, it is extremely important.

Being able to take charge and tell a partner what is needed or wanted is healthy and will lead to improvements within the relationship, as long as the other partner is also given a chance to express their needs and wants. If they are then each partner will be demonstrating dominance and submission by default. But there are other aspects of this process as well. To be submissive in a healthy way the partner must not simply acquiesce to everything that their partner says. There must be a level of give and take at all times.

The partner must be able to understand when it is time to let their partner have their way and when it is important to take what they need instead. This means weighing out situations at all times and determining whose needs should be addressed at the moment. If one partner is hungry and the other is not, then getting food should be a priority. The partner who is not hungry can be submissive in this instance and the partner who is hungry can be dominant. While this is a simplistic example, it shows that both partners are taking care of their needs and their partners needs at the same time.

If you find yourself struggling with the balance between dominance and submission it might be a good time to look into mental health help. You can get a lot of support and encouragement by seeing a mental health therapist either on your own or with your partner. And the best thing is that you no longer need to worry about actually going to an office facility. You can get the help that you're looking for immediately, and right from the comfort of your own home. All you need to do is sign up for Regain to find out more.


Regain is a completely online system that allows anyone to log in and locate a therapist that they can feel comfortable with. What's even better is that the therapist you choose doesn't need to be located anywhere near you geographically. Because the sessions all take place online there's no limit to who you could talk to or where either of you could be. All it takes is an internet connection and an internet connected device to start a session and start improving your relationship or your own mental health. And all of that is done without ever setting foot in an office or sitting on the proverbial couch.

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