There’s a dynamic in relationships that I see so, so often…one that a lot of people don’t even realize they’re playing into.
I often see women who are wanting to call in a masculine man: a man who takes charge, a man who leads, a man who is dominant, etcetera.
When I say dominant, I don’t mean domineering; I mean he knows who the fuck he is, and he’s willing to lead you. When a man does this, it helps you feel really safe; it allows you to finally lean back in a relationship and receive instead of taking charge.
But instead, what usually ends up happening is that because of past wounding and/or trauma, these women keep attracting men who don’t lead. And when they end up in that dynamic, rather than leaving the connection, they start trying to pick up the slack instead, and this never works out well.
What I mean by “the slack” is that you’re in this relationship, but he’s not planning anything. He’s not setting up dates. He’s not making plans. So you go, “Fine. I’ll just do it.”
Okay, cool. Nothing wrong with that…except you’ve done that for fucking years, and you’re not fulfilled by it. You’re not happy in that dynamic. So is that really working for you?
So when I say you should lean back in a relationship, I mean you should fully take your hands off the steering wheel. You need to say, “I’m not going to lead. And if that means we’re not going to go on another date, then so be it, because I’m not available to be in a relationship where I am leading.”
Now, don’t get me wrong—there are some polarity teachers that insist the woman should never lead, and she should always be in her feminine, and I don’t buy that. We all have masculine and feminine energy; it’s not about you being a woman, so you should always be in your feminine. It’s about figuring out which energy you want to be in.
In my relationship, I want to be predominantly in my feminine. I like it when my partner leads. I like it when he plans things. I like it when he takes the initiative. That’s what creates safety for me. I like being able to lean back in a relationship and let him take over.
But there are still times where I will plan something. I will plan a date for us, or I will take the lead, or I will initiate something where I will be in the dominant role. That doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
You can be whatever you want. But you want to be in a relationship where your partner is leading, and you continue to attract relationships where you’re not feeling satisfied because he’s not stepping up. I’ll tell you what’s not going to solve that: you trying to pick up the slack.
If you step into that role, you’re now stepping into your masculine, and your partner’s going to follow suit and go into his feminine. He’ll be like, “Why plan something when she’s already planned something? Why take initiative when she’s taking initiative?” He might think you like making the plans. How’s he supposed to know otherwise when you keep doing it?
Leaning back in a relationship can call him to step forward…but that shouldn’t necessarily be the goal, because that can quickly devolve into manipulation.
So when you lean back in a relationship, you should be focusing on you and pulling your energy back from the connection. However, this is where a lot of women go wrong.
Most women understand the concept of leaning back in a relationship. They know how to stop putting so much energy into the connection and not allocating so much focus to it…but often, it’s not coming from a clean space. Instead, it’s coming from a space of manipulation.
Let me explain. If you are leaning back in a relationship and pulling back on your energy by not not answering his messages as frequently because you’re matching the level of interest that he’s showing, but it’s coming from a space of “I’m going to lean back so he leans forward,” then it’s coming from a manipulative space instead of a space of, “I’m going to lean back because I’m not feeling met in this connection. I’m not feeling that my standards of how I want to be treated in a relationship are being met, so it doesn’t make sense for me to give more of my time, my energy, and my focus here when I’m getting 10% effort back.
Too many people think that if he puts in 10% and they put in 90%, then that’s a hundred percent of a relationship. This is the dynamic that you’re probably used to, where you’re pulling them along with you; this may feel fine at first, but it also usually results in a lot of resentment.
People used to this dynamic will come to me and ask how they can change. Here’s the answer: you’ve got to let go of the reins. You’ve got to let go of the manipulation. You’ve got to let go of the control. But to someone who finds safety in certainty and control, leaning back in a relationship like that can feel like a death sentence.
So if you’re leaning back, ask yourself this: where is it coming from?
It’s one thing to say you’re leaning back in a relationship—you might even do it. But if you’re leaning back in a relationship so that you can get a specific response, you’re not actually leaning back. Your actions might be “leaning back,” but your energy is still leaning right the fuck in, and they can feel that.
If you’ve been following along for a while, you might know that my partner Drew and I first met at a sexuality/tantra retreat.
We were there for a week, so you can imagine how deep we went in that week. It was actually very quite full-on. I actually laugh a lot to myself about it, because if a client came to me and told me this same story, I’d be like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, you need to slow down.” But when we’re in it, it’s different.
I got home from the retreat Sunday night, and on Monday, flowers showed up on my doorstep.
This man had asked a mutual friend of ours for my address so that he could send me flowers, which just goes to show that if he wanted to, he would. If he wanted to, he absolutely would.
What usually tends to happen in new relationships is that there can be a hot-and-cold dynamic in the beginning, and that could have happened with Drew. He was amazing at the retreat. He sent me flowers. He introduced me to his friends later that week. We actually did move very quickly, which is why I say if this were a client, I’d be telling them to slow their roll.
But that “cold” period never came. He was consistent over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. It’s been a year and a half, and he’s still consistent about showing up.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have our moments. We’ve certainly had our moments of him being avoidant, of me being avoidant, him being anxious, me being anxious…we’ve definitely had our moments. We’re human. Even in conscious relationships, these things come up.
But I wasn’t looking for nothing ever coming up. What I was looking for, because I had had so much inconsistency in previous relationships, was how consistent he was. How he kept showing up.
I loved what he was saying. I loved what he was doing. But I was still pacing myself, committing to watching for the congruency between his words and his actions over time.
Unfortunately, what so many women do is get to know a guy for a week or so, think he’s amazing and perfect and they’re getting ready to commit…and then all of a sudden, he’s dropped off the face of the planet. They’re left thinking, “What happened?”
Here’s what happened: you probably got fucking love-bombed.
This is why we need to keep our head in the game. We want to lean back in a relationship and avoid getting completely lost in the fairytale of it. Instead, stay in this leaned-back energy. Be able to receive. And in that leaning-back state, you’ll be much more capable of observing what’s going on than when you’re constantly leaning forward and pursuing and chasing.
If this discussion around leaning back in a relationship is ringing a bell for you, then you want to get into my upcoming program, Becoming Her.
This program is going to be all about feminine energy and tapping into it for yourself, and that includes being able to lean back in a relationship and receive rather than taking charge all the time.
It’s going to be really beautiful. We’re going to cover different feminine archetypes. We’re going to cover stuff around body, magnetism, and pleasure…essentially, it’s going to be all about living a feminine life through the lens of shadow work.
The other thing you want to look into in order to learn about letting go and leaning back in a relationship is the Connected Woman Experience, which is my year-long group mentoring program. You’ll get access to as many rounds of my Connected Woman program as run throughout your year, so that’s at least two rounds…if not three, which is crazy for this price.
If this post resonated for you, those two programs are like peanut butter and jelly. They go together. They’re going to really support each other in your evolution.
The Connected Woman Experience link will be below, and if you’re interested in Becoming Her, then make sure you’re on my email list, because that’s where we offer presale pricing that’s better than any other price you’ll see. Those presale prices never make it anywhere else, not even Instagram.
That link will be below too. I’ll see you there.
Join The Connected Woman EXPERIENCE: https://michellepanning.com/the-connected-woman-experience
If you’re ready to stop PLAYING the game and start SLAYING the game, join SWIPE RIGHT, my signature dating program that is going to help you attract genuine long-term love: https://michellepanning.com/swipe-right
Join my email list to get access to exclusive pre-sale prices for programs: https://view.flodesk.com/pages/644afb566a53602a000e4ae3
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I get it, girl. I’ve been there too. For years, I was going through the same experiences with men over and over again that left me feeling confused, anxious and pissed off.
I silenced myself in dating and relationships because I was terrified of being judged, rejected and abandoned. It all changed when I went through a break-up and thought “enough is enough. I cannot continue to repeat the same relationships with different men! Something HAS to change!”