Have you heard men talk about women as being high or low maintenance? A man might say you have high maintenance woman characteristics if you cause a lot of problems in your relationship or are very demanding. He might feel like you require a lot of his attention, money, or effort. Of course, some women do make unrealistic demands or have unrealistic expectations of men. But more often, women worry that they will seem to be high maintenance when they simply have high standards. So, it can often be confusing whether “high maintenance” is a good or bad thing.
Sometimes you just have to do what’s best for you, whether a particular man thinks you are a high maintenance girlfriend or not. There is nothing wrong with having high standards, even if a man isn’t quite pleased with that and complains that you are high maintenance. In fact, if you are too agreeable, you might not get your needs met in a relationship. You have to determine what works for YOU in a relationship, regardless of what a particular man thinks.
However, you certainly don’t want to come off as demanding when you express your high standards. Being easygoing is different than suppressing your needs. You can be easy to get along with, but still keep high standards in dating and for your relationships.
Here are some ways to be high maintenance in terms of keeping your high standards, but to express it in a low maintenance, easy-going kind of way. It’s good for you to practice these ways to communicate because they prepare you for a healthy communication style once you are in a committed relationship. In fact, being able to communicate your needs is a life skill that can help you with every relationship in your life.
These are also the most effective ways to keep your high standards:
#1: Don’t Be Demanding.
There is no need to create a lot of drama. Don’t insist that a man meet your needs. He has a choice – either he wants to make you happy or he’s not that into you. For example, if you have been dating for a while and he doesn’t want a committed relationship but you do, then you are not a match.
Often the mismatch between partners is the reason he thinks she is high maintenance. Maybe they just want different things in a relationship. If you are unhappy with a casual relationship, he may interpret you continuing to complain as high maintenance behavior. Are you just having trouble letting go?
If he wants you to drive 30 minutes to meet him, don’t insist he come pick you up. All you have to say is, “I don’t think that will work for me.” That puts the ball in his court. He can come up with another plan or not. Does he want to make you happy or is it all about what is best for him? His response gives you a lot of useful information about whether or not you are a match.
You have a choice whether to continue to see him or not. Why stay with him when he doesn’t want what you want?
#2: Turn Down What You Don’t Want with Grace and Dignity.
Saying “no” to what you don’t want is critical to keeping your high standards. If he won’t commit, yet you keep agreeing to go out with him, then you are ignoring your needs and not being true to yourself.
How you say “no” makes a big difference. When Paul asked Helen on Friday morning to go out that night, she said, “You know I like you, but I’d really prefer more advance notice. I’m not just sitting around waiting for you.” Paul had known it was a long shot, but now he feels criticized and embarrassed. He feels like he should defend himself but he doesn’t want to apologize or explain when he made her a perfectly nice offer and she turned him down like that. He never calls Helen again.
Nobody likes being scolded, especially a man who is already going out on a limb by asking you out. Be careful not to go into too much detail about why you’re turning down his last-minute date offer. Even if you aren’t criticizing him, he is likely to feel as if you are.
When Phillipe asked Hannah out for a Friday night date on Friday morning, she said, “I would have loved to go out, but I already have plans.” She doesn’t apologize or explain what her plans are, and Phillipe wonders, “Does she have another date or is she going out with friends?” He’s intrigued and decides he better call sooner next time.
Your ability to say “no” is important in dating and every relationship you have. If you aren’t very good at it, it may be time for you to get some practice. You’re more likely to get what you want if saying “no” to what you don’t want is part of your plan.
#3: Actions Speak Louder Than Words
You don’t need to have a long talk where you tell him every gory detail of why you want him to commit. If you’re hurt or angry, save it for your girlfriends. All you have to say when it comes to that certain point is, “I don’t think this is working for me.” Or, you can just stop taking his calls. You make your point by not seeing him anymore, not necessarily by what you say to him.
Women are used to talking to their girlfriends about their feelings, but that isn’t always the most effective strategy with men. It often works better to let people experience your absence when they don’t fully appreciate your presence. Either absence will make his heart grow fonder, or you will be out of sight and out of mind. All you can do is to let him discover where he stands.
Being high maintenance can work very well for you if you do it in the right way.
Ultimately, relationship maintenance is what matters. It isn’t really important if you are low or high maintenance. Dating is not a popularity contest. You are just looking for a good match.
Is there anything in this article you need to work on?
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