So, What Do YOU Consider "High Maintenance"?

I’ve been wondering about this, lately, for personal reasons I won’t go into, right now. What, exactly, is the definition of “high maintenance”? Does it vary? Is it different when applied to a man, as opposed to a woman?

The “classic” example (sorry, ladies), is the “high maintenance woman”. But, I’ve heard a couple definitions of this. One is the woman who needs/wants/insists on having the finest clothes, the most expensive car, the biggest house, etc. The other is the woman who needs to constantly be reassured that she’s beautiful, desirable, etc. I suppose the ultimate nightmare, for some men, would be a woman with both those traits.

There may not be one “definitive” definition. So, I ask you folks. Maybe we can reach a consensus, at least. Ladies, what’s your definition of a high maintenance man? And, is it a bad thing? If so, how bad? Would you date one? Would you marry him? Kill him and bury him in the backyard, with the others? Gentleman, what’s your take on high maintenance women?

The last woman I dated was what I consider “high maintenance”. She was extremely attractive, knew it, yet needed to be reassured at every possible occasion. For example, she would get offended if I only said, “you look great” without further fawning when she was getting ready to go somewhere. I would get a mild silent treatment if I didn’t notice when she changed clothes.

In my opinion, the biggest indicator of high maintenance is when a person requires constant reassuring and doesn’t reciprocate. Some people are just naturally in need of notice and will do the same for whomever they date (or for close friends). I don’t think that’s high maintenance. Things change when it becomes one-sided and a SO is expected to dote like crazy while the person in question says little or nothing complimentary to his or her special someone.

This is real general, but I think high maintenance is someone who zaps your time, energy and/or money and gives little or nothing in return. This may be someone who needs constant reasurring, or maybe someone who is constantly whining, and every conversation is about them and their problems. Or someone who expects you to get them the perfect gift every time, and is offended at anything less, etc. etc.

I think ** Heart on my Sleeve** got in perfectly. I dated a guy like that for about 6 months.

OMG, the tiniest thing I said, even a silly little joke, could be misconstrued into some sort of mean insult or black mark on his character.

And he needed to be told constantly how funny, smart, cool, good in bed, blah blah blah.

Now what’s stupid about that is that I AM the sort of girl who is constantly telling a man what she likes and loves about him. I probably give my boyfriends at least one compliment a day.

And not just empty ones either, a compliment that is about the really good traits he has that I really like.

So this guy was really a drain on the energy, we’d get into these REALLY weird round and round arguments when he’d get all hurt at some imagined slight.

High Maintenance of that sort is something up with which I will not put!! :smiley:

High-Maintenance: The assumption that papparazzi will be cataloguing every moment for future generations, and lives are on the line unless every line/follicle/crease/color is perfect. See also: Can’t leave the house without doing a half-hour “touch-up.” For further reference: * Exercising, swimming, or otherwise pursuing casual physical and/or outdoor activities, while looking impeccably groomed and more than slightly paranoid that said perfection may become slightly flawed.*

Well, I can be like that, at times, but not as a general rule. But, if I’m down enough to be in “grumpy ol’ bear” mode, it can happen. So, I can kind of understand it, but I can’t understand being like that ALL the time.

Aaargh! You’re making my head hurt! :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the definitions we’ve gotten, so far, are very good. But, I’m still curious how other people define it.

I consider males with low confidence to be ‘high maintenance’.

I had a friend, let’s call him Roger. Every time we went out he’d mutter about how it was unlikely he’d get considered for promotion, how no woman would ever look at him, etc etc. I’d spend the time reassuring him, listening to him but to no avail.

At the end of an evening I’d go home feeling utterly depleted.

It got to the stage where I dreaded receiving his emails or calls because he’d sound so pathetic if I didn’t agree to meet him, and, I’m ashamed to say, for the one and only time in my life I did the ‘I’ll call you’ thing.

That to me is worse than designer clothes buying.

I have to agree People who are so self absorbed are the ultimate example of high maintenance. It’s not just the fact that they constantly talk about how bad their life is it’s the fact that they only seem to see their own problems.

There’s a whole big world out there and you can’t spend your whole time looking at yourself. It’s exhausting, demanding and ultimately boreing having friends like that

My definition of high maintenance:

Anyone who, on a lovely summer morning, when the birds are singing, and you’ve had a great night’s sleep and are maybe the tiniest bit hung over from the revelries the night before, insists upon an hour plus grooming regime before you all can go out for breakfast.

Put a hat on, for God’s sake, and realize that Life As We Know It will not end if you leave the house without your shirt ironed.

It sounds like self-absorption is a common thread, here. Rapunzel, is it low self-confidence that’s the problem, or is it only if they can’t stop droning on about their “problems”?

bibbouk, I’m honored that someone in the running for the title of Ultimate Lurker would post in my thread. 0.02 posts per day? Wow! But, you make a good point, when you do post.

Athena, I’m totally with you, on that one. Although, it depends on the level of the hangover. Sometimes those damn birds are just really annoying. :wink:

My ex-husband’s mother was an exhausting, high-maintenance woman. I had no natural tendencies that way, wasn’t a high-maintenance wife, and the result was that he took me for granted; no thank-you’s, no acknowledgement of anything I did (beautiful garden, good meals, etc.), birthday presents grabbed at the drugstore at the last minute, expecting me to be ready to go anywhere, anytime in 5 minutes, then complaining that I wasn’t wearing pantyhose or perfume. And so on.

Maybe some people are high-maintenance because they’re ignored otherwise.

PS: because of our children, my ex and I have an amicable relationship, and now he tells me what a wonderful person I am.

Ya know… I apologize frequently for being the “high maintenance” chick that I am.

I’m not obsessed with how I look. I don’t really care much about most of the mentioned stuff… but:

I will not kill my own insects/ release them into the wild.

I do not touch raw meat under pretty much any circumstances. Me making meatballs when hubby is not home is quite comical. Mostly I get a big bowl and put all the stuff in it and then call him for the mushing part.

I can’t handle escalators without assistance unless I whine a lot first.

I’m also really spoiled by my wonderful hubby and I do tend to get used to it/take advantage of his good nature. Then I have to reel myself in and apologize profusely even as he is looking at me with the “huh?” expression.

I do other stuff too but this is enough to give you a clue.

I don’t handle high maintenance well. I’m sure some people are fine with it. I like spoiling a guy but I want to know he appreciates it and doesn’t expect it. If I feel like I am giving more than I am getting in return…I am not likely to want to keep hanging around.

I guess I could be considered high maintenance, but it’s ME doing the maintaining, so no one gets to gripe. I won’t go out without hair done and make-up on. Ever. So don’t even ask. I actually get up early if my husband’s friends are coming over at 7:30 am so they won’t see the Scary Kalhoun when they walk in. I call that “kind”…not “high maintenance” ;).

I have very fine hair, so if it’s raining and my umbrella is in the car, I’ll ask Mr. Kalhoun to go out and get it for me.

I’m not very strong, so Mr. Kalhoun does the heavy lifting like cat food and cases of pop. I always try, and he stops me before I throw my back out. I don’t whine about it or anything.

I do the yardwork, laundry, cooking, cleaning, ironing, etc., so it’s a fair trade-off.

Oh. And I work full time, too.

Holy cow, Heart On My Sleeve has described my ex perfectly. Things were done on his time, and we always did what he wanted. If he was having a bad day, the world stopped turning until he was happy again. Whenever we went out anywhere, and he didn’t like something, he made sure he got his way, and if he didn’t, we had to leave.

I don’t think I noticed it until just now when I read all of these examples, but now it makes perfect sense.

Oops! Hit submit.

I used to joke with him, and call him high maintenance, and he admitted it. We never got into fights over it, and I never felt it to be controlling, but it was exausting at times!

Now, that’s an interesting point! I hadn’t even considered that. And, it makes perfect sense; we expect what we’re always been used to. So, I guess it pays to know the potential SO’s parents, after all.

Ummm…maybe Parallax would disagree, but you don’t strike me as high maintenance. You even handled the escalator with the most minimal of whines, at the Dopefest.

I actually don’t mind a bit of high maintenance. But, I agree with the part about not getting anything in return.

If it’s you doing all the maintenance, that doesn’t count, IMO. That just falls under the heading of being a “girly girl”. The bit about sending hubby out to get your umbrella is borderline, but if that’s the worst of it, he’s a lucky guy. He’s getting way more than “a fair trade”, if you ask me.

You sure it wasn’t the insomnia that was exhausting? And, could ya’ stop waking me up at 4, every morning? :wink:

I have no problem listening to friends when they have problems, are down, whatever. I’ve a lot of patience and will help in practical terms whenever I can. I’ve got time for anyone I care about.

But this man doesn’t, on the face of it, have any really serious problems. He was earning close on 100K a year, 6-foot plus, nice-looking, got a good brain. There’s no reason on earth he couldn’t have been attractive to a woman. It was just that his self confidence was so low he had to constantly put himself down, and I don’t mean he was being Hugh-Grant-amusingly-faux-modest. He could have made the choice to have a fulfilling life - he had all the opportunities (Cambridge educated, own house, good school) - he just chose to whine about everything.

I’m reading this back and I probably sound like a right hard bitch. Perhaps I am. But you had to be there really. And I did put up with it for 8 years before I finally bailed on the friendship.

Come to think of it, maybe his high maintenence was the source of the insomnia. :cool: