Here’s Why Every Woman Should Aim To Be High-Maintenance

Being high-maintenance shouldn’t be a dumpable offense or something to be ashamed of. It should be the natural state of anyone in a relationship for a number of important reasons.

It’s a tool of oppression that women need to challenge. Let’s face facts. The label ‘high-maintenance’ is basically just a misogynistic concept invented to give men an excuse to treat women like crap. If we ask for something that a man can’t be bothered to give—like extra affection or better communication—we can be accused of being too demanding and simply ignored. Women need to start challenging this sexist concept, and the best way to do this is to claim it for ourselves. Turning around and saying that yes, we are high-maintenance, and yes, we’re proud of it might just shock men into treating us a bit better.

It proves you know your worth. Too many women resign themselves to a bad relationship simply because they don’t think they’re worth any better. It’s sad because it’s such BS. Every woman deserves to have her needs and wants met and should feel worth the “trouble” of doing that. Women who are high-maintenance know that they deserve the best and aren’t afraid to ask for it. They know that their expectations of the relationship matter and have the self-confidence to communicate that to their partner. Don’t allow a lack of self-worth to push you into a bad relationship.

How you treat yourself will affect how your partner treats you. If you decide to be a low-maintenance girlfriend just to avoid acquiring the “demanding” label, your partner will take that cue and treat you worse because of it. If you don’t believe that your partner needs to make an effort, why would they try? Men often leave it to a woman to set the tone of their relationship. If the message you send out is “you can treat me badly and I won’t complain because I’m scared you’ll dump me if I do,” guess what? You’re probably going to end up being treated badly. Make it clear from the start that you have certain expectations of your relationship before you get too used to being low-maintenance.

It prevents resentment from building. Not fully expressing what you want or need from your partner is a sure-fire road to resentment. You’ll spend your time constantly wishing that they put more into your relationship, but how are they going to know what you want if you avoid telling them? Don’t delay speaking up for fear of being labeled high-maintenance. Clearly communicate what you’re looking for from the relationship right from the outset. Don’t leave it until the resentment grows. If, at the start, they criticise you for expressing yourself in such a way, kick them to the curb. You deserve better.

It tests whether your partner is willing to make an effort. Pro-tip: if someone calls you high-maintenance, it probably just means that they can’t be bothered to meet your expectations. They don’t really want to make the effort to be in a relationship, but they’re trying to blame it on you. By trying to make you feel like you’re being demanding, they exonerate themselves and instead portray as you as unreasonable for asking to be treated well in the first place. My advice? Tell them that yes, you ARE high-maintenance, and you’re going to go and find someone who’s up to the task of making you happy.

You won’t settle. You’re far more likely to settle for someone you’re not really compatible with if you deny yourself the opportunity to be high-maintenance. If you keep your standards low, saying, “Well, I guess it can’t get better than this” is far easier. If you don’t challenge poor behavior, you’re more likely to become accustomed to it. This can lead to you spending your life with someone who totally doesn’t deserve you. Truth is, things can get much better than a lackluster or inattentive partner. Don’t settle for mediocrity.

Your confidence will improve—and not just in your dating life. When you accept and own the fact that you deserve the best, you’ll begin to see pretty much all of your life in a different light. You’ll realize that you deserve good treatment not just as a partner, but as an employee, a friend, and a person generally. You’ll feel more comfortable in your own skin once you value your own worth above anything else. Who cares if people think you’re demanding or pushy—you deserve to chase happiness at any cost. Get that facial! Ask for that high-end makeup for Christmas! Do whatever it takes for you to feel like an utter boss woman.

People won’t try to use you. It’s a fact of life that some people out there will try to use you. It’s crappy but it’s true. Obviously, the best way to solve this issue would be people not being awful. However, since that’s unlikely to ever happen, why not use being high-maintenance to your advantage? If you’re dating someone who’s trying to use you—for sex, money, or anything else—they probably aren’t going to stick around if you start asking them to put more effort into the relationship. They’ll go off to find an easier target. Thus, being true to what you want from a relationship and being unafraid to ask for it can help you weed out potential partners who are only looking to gain, not give.

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