Pop culture loves to talk about much work it is for a man to date. Quoting Billy Crystal in the classic rom-com When Harry Met Sally, guys like to say there are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Like a colicky baby, the first woman is never satisfied. Constantly crying and checking her makeup, she makes wild demands of her partner and spends all his money without remorse.
The low-maintenance woman is just the opposite. She's not a fussy eater. She doesn’t need a lot of attention and is cool with her partner spending all weekend on the couch watching the game. This type of woman doesn’t put in a lot of effort, but somehow always looks good.
But here’s the problem.
You’re not a car that requires maintenance.
You’re a human being who brings a lot to the table.
You take care of yourself and take pride in your appearance. Your standards are high and you aren’t interested in wasting your time dating duds.
Is that a bad thing?
Of course not. You’re a strong woman and you should be proud of that.
But here’s where it gets tricky.
There’s a fine line between being high-quality and the dreaded high maintenance. Here are the signs we'll go over today:
- You Require A Lot of Attention
- You Only Like The Finer Things In Life
- You Always Look Your Best
- You Only Date Successful Men
- You Have High Expectations For Romance
- You Expect Constant Availability
- You Need Lots of Compliments
- You Are Hard To Please
- You Have A Difficult Time Keeping A Long Term Relationship
Relaxing your extreme standards can open you up to embracing a simple life that is rich in love.
Signs You're High Maintenance
How can you tell which one you are?
Here are 9 clear signs that you’re playing into the negative stereotype:
1. You Require A Lot of Attention
Some women are fine with their men checking in a couple of times a day. They don’t need to spend time together every night and like to do their own thing.
If you’re a high-maintenance girlfriend, you expect to be the number one priority in your partner’s life. It doesn’t matter if they had a long day at work or a late night. In your opinion, they should be doing everything in their power to see you at every opportunity.
When you are together, you want their undivided attention. That means no friends and phones are off. Group dates don’t appeal to you—you want your man all to yourself.
This kind of demand definitely falls into high maintenance behavior territory.
2. You Only Like The Finer Things In Life
If you can’t remember the last time you ate at a drive-thru and cringe at the thought of shopping at a supercenter, you might be considered a high-maintenance girl.
Fine dining, first-class seats, and designer clothing are more your speed. It’s not that you think you’re better than everyone else; you just want the best life has to offer.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the finer things in life. But if you would turn your nose up at a handmade gift in favor of a luxury handbag, you are looking at high maintenance status.
3. You Always Look Your Best
It’s good to take pride in your appearance. The way you choose to present yourself to the world says a lot about you.
Messy hair and a mismatched outfit indicate low self-esteem. A stylish wardrobe radiates confidence.
But if you never leave the house without makeup, that’s the opposite of low maintenance. Spending a lot of money on your looks is a sure sign that you take your image more seriously than the typical woman. A high-maintenance hairdo can cost hundreds.
If your morning routine is hurting your wallet, you might want to give the natural look a try.
4. You Only Date Successful Men
A major difference between a low maintenance and high maintenance person is their taste in men. Dating preferences speak volumes about what you value.
Everyone should have standards for their partner, but a high-maintenance girl is particularly picky.
For these kinds of women, the man needs to have a good job and make a lot of money.
Sure, not many girls want to date a bum or a weed dealer. But the high-maintenance woman refuses to go out with any guy who doesn’t bring home a paycheck big enough to support their lavish lifestyle. Character, humor, and beliefs don’t matter if they aren’t successful enough to satisfy their glitzy girlfriend.
If your friends are always begging you to give a good guy a chance, you might be exhibiting high-maintenance behavior.
5. You Have High Expectations For Romance
If you grew up watching Nora Ephron movies and reading Nicholas Sparks novels, you’ve probably fantasized about a guy sweeping you off your feet at some point in your life.
These stories are cheesy enough to soften even the most stone-cold heart. But if you’re a higher-maintenance woman, you don’t think the grand romantic gestures should be left to the silver screen. Instead, you fully expect your relationship to look like a real-life rom-com.
You want big bouquets of roses and poetic declarations of love. A guy standing outside your window with a boombox wouldn’t be out of the question. And you assume he would run through an airport to stop a plane if you were leaving on it.
As much as you should be shown appreciation, those are ridiculously high expectations. This means a high-maintenance girlfriend is rarely satisfied with her man’s efforts.
If that’s how you feel, there’s a good chance you’re overlooking the little things in favor of a dramatic display of affection.
6. You Expect Constant Availability
Unrealistic expectations are the hallmark of a high-maintenance partner.
You want your boyfriend to drop everything for you. If you send him a text, he better reply instantly. You insist that he always picks up the phone when you call. Being busy is no excuse: you come first.
Sound familiar? You’re acting like a high-maintenance personality.
No one can be available all the time, no matter how much they love you. If you want to be more low maintenance, cut your guy some slack the next time he’s slow to respond.
7. You Need Lots of Compliments
Who doesn’t like a little flattery every now and then? We all like to feel appreciated. Compliments are a key part of happy relationships.
But for high maintenance types, they aren’t just nice to hear. They’re necessary.
They live off affirmation. Regular compliments are as vital to them as water. When their man doesn’t shower them with sweet nothings, they question the strength of his love. If they don't get enough likes on social media, their day is ruined.
This isn’t having high standards. It’s having low self-esteem. Be careful if you fall into this high maintenance trap: it’s a good way to push a guy away.
8. You Are Hard To Please
Do you feel that you are never quite happy, no matter what your partner does? That could be a sign of high maintenance behavior.
If you are this kind of girlfriend, your boyfriend never knows which version of you he is going to get. Is it the sweet, happy personality? Or the critical, high-maintenance personality?
Everyone is entitled to have a difficult day or be in a bad mood. But if your emotional state regularly swings from one extreme to another, that’s not normal. With just one wrong look, your energy can shift from carefree to angry. That’s exhausting for anyone to keep up with.
You’re never satisfied: your partner takes you on a picnic and you complain about the weather. You go to New York City for a weekend away and you don’t like the restaurant he chooses. He gets you a new necklace for your birthday and it’s not your color.
No one likes to date a negative person. This is one aspect of the high-maintenance personality that would be a good habit to kick.
9. You Have A Difficult Time Keeping A Long Term Relationship
There’s no sense in wasting your time on a dead-end relationship. It’s important to know when to cut the cord and move on. You have to protect your time and energy.
But if you notice that you are always looking for the next new thing, you could be creeping into high maintenance status.
After you dump your latest boyfriend, you tell your friends that you think you deserve better. But if you’re higher maintenance, what you really want is the thrill of a man chasing you.
You find a thrill in the novelty of a new guy. You get bored after things settle into a routine with your partner, even if it’s a healthy relationship. Rarely in your dating history has a boyfriend lasted longer than six months.
If you want to keep playing the dating scene, that’s a fine strategy. But if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, it might be time to get this high-maintenance behavior in check.
Do you recognize yourself in these signs and don’t like what you see?
There’s still hope. Anyone who is truly high maintenance would have a hard time looking in the mirror.
Self-awareness is key to noticing your unhealthy relationship patterns.
With time, you can learn to accept that human beings aren’t as perfect in reality as they are in romantic comedies. Relaxing your extreme standards can open you up to embracing a simple life that is rich in love.