Guys Call Me Low Maintenance But It’s All An Act

Confession: I’m really high maintenance. While I’m not ashamed of that fact, I still pretend to be low maintenance when dating someone new—here’s why.

  1. How high maintenance, you ask? I want to text daily. I want the guy I’m with to make his feelings clear, otherwise, I’m not going to stick around. I want the guy to chase me and show me what he’s about. I want him to make as much effort as I do when keeping the relationship going. When it comes to my appearance, I’m high maintenance in that I love to be stylish and I wear makeup every day. A guy I’m dating won’t see me unless I’ve had the chance to put my face on.
  2. I don’t want to put people off. I know how high-maintenance women are viewed in the dating game. I don’t want to be seen as materialistic or emotionally difficult so I try to be low-key about things when making a first impression on guys. I don’t really see this as lying, especially because…
  3. I can be chilled sometimes. The truth is, I can sometimes be low-maintenance and chilled! I like the outdoors, I don’t always have a full face of makeup on when I leave the house, and I’m always down for lounging around in my pajamas. The thing is, I have to be really comfortable around a guy before I let him see me like that. That’s the disclaimer. I’m not going to walk around barefoot or without mascara when I just meet a guy. Those are relationship goals.
  4. I do have standards. The thing about being high maintenance is that I have relationship standards. When I get with someone, I keep those high standards quiet until I see that the guy is going to stick around for a long time to come. Then I make them clear.
  5. I expect a lot. I’m the type of person who expects a lot from the person I date. I want him to be 100% committed to and supportive of me. I want him to go the extra mile to win me over and I want him to man up. The thing is, I don’t say any of this when I meet a guy. I don’t want him to think that I’m coming on too strong or that I’m a stage five clinger because I’m really not.
  6. High-maintenance women are misunderstood. I keep everything under wraps when dating because I know how negatively men can see high-maintenance women. We get called things like “crazy” and “too intense.” Hey, I’ve been there and it hurts. Once, a guy took a look at my high heels and said I looked like someone who was unapproachable. Seriously? This is the world we’re living in? Ugh.
  7. It’s not permanent. Although I like to hide my high-maintenance ways from guys when I first start dating them, I don’t do this forever. I eventually let my real self show but in small doses. After a while of dating me, when we’re both comfortable with each other, the guy and I will see what we’re really about. He’ll see that I have standards and relationship expectations, that I want to DTR and not beat around the bush. Sometimes guys end up leaving because they see I’m no longer as mellow as they thought I was, and I guess that’s the risk I face.
  8. This is totally normal. It might seem crazy to say that I hide my high-maintenance ways from guys I date until I know them but it’s normal. Who hasn’t hidden something from the person they’ve just met, whether that may be an obsession with Star Wars, a room full of teddy bears, or the desire to get married and have kids? Although it’s good to be upfront about who you are 100%, no censors, that’s also unrealistic. Easing into things and letting someone learn who I am slowly seems to make much more sense.
  9. Besides, we’re just “talking.” Right, so “talking” isn’t a dating stage, no matter how much we try to dress it up. But when I’m still feeling someone out and we’re “talking,” or perhaps we’ve gone on a few dates but we’re not an official item, I don’t want to reveal everything about who I am as a girlfriend just yet. I want him to figure that out for himself if he gets to reach that point with me. He has to earn who I am, not just my trust.
  10. I also want to feel comfortable. It takes me a long time to feel comfortable around someone to the point where I want to show them everything there is to know about me. I don’t feel that someone deserves to see the real me, uncensored and with all my standards on show until they prove that they’re going to stick around. Then things can become serious and we can speak seriously about where we’re at and what we’re like in relationships. If that’s “too” high maintenance, he can see himself out.


Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.