What it means to be a low-maintenance woman versus being a high-maintenance woman is a debate that women just can’t seem to win.
The difference between a low and a high-maintenance woman is that one needs little to be happy while the other needs a lot.
All women are different and unique, but these two terms seem to generalize them all as a way to explain specific behavior traits, whether it’s true or not.
Depending on who you are speaking with, each of these terms could be classified as good or bad.
While we live in an age that is so incredibly different from previous decades, and so much more diverse, one thing remains unchanged – the outdated way of categorizing women as low and high maintenance.
These two categories can be found all over pop culture and were famously brought up in the movie When Harry Met Sally, where the main character says, “There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.”
No matter which side you personally support, women just don’t agree about this topic.
What is a high-maintenance woman?
“High maintenance” means “needing a lot of work to keep in good condition,” so when this term is being used to describe a woman, it means that she is demanding, needy and challenging.
A high-maintenance woman is typically described as one who is dramatic, bossy, used to having the best, upset when things don’t go her way…the list goes on.
Somehow, it’s also come to mean a woman who spends a lot on clothes, makeup, and other luxuries, and usually takes hours to get ready.
So, a beautiful, well-put-together woman is assumed to be more high-maintenance than a plain-looking woman.
But the description doesn’t stop there – some articles also describe these women as money-grabbing, selfish, and egocentric.
An example of a high-maintenance woman is Kim Kardashian. She’s always in the spotlight, with a seemingly perfect life, perfect children, and perfect face.
She has built an empire around her looks and is completely unapologetic about it.
What is a low-maintenance woman?
A low-maintenance woman is often known as a cool woman, a chill one, one who’s easy-going, friendly, and laid-back.
She doesn’t complain or ask for too much. She is one of the boys, she drinks beer, watches sports, and loves good banter. Basically, every average man’s dream.
An example of a low-maintenance woman is Jennifer Lawrence. She is relatable, funny, and cool.
Women want to be like her, men want to be with her. She stumbles at award ceremonies, gets drunk, and eats burgers.
The issue with these labels
When you are described as a low-maintenance woman, especially by a romantic partner, an interesting thing starts to develop.
You begin to believe your label and maybe complain less, raise your voice less, and even avoid speaking your mind in certain situations.
You want your partner (and the world) to believe that you are this cool woman who never gets angry or needy.
You don’t want to disappoint your partner, which is fine, but it isn’t realistic. You are who you are, and you are entitled to be a little entitled at times and to demand things.
On the other hand, if everyone describes you as high maintenance, you might start to think that there’s something wrong with you.
You’ll be extremely aware of how people describe you and might try to dull your shine so you are plainer and more relatable.
At the end of the day, there are people who love both types of women, and you don’t have to be one or the other in order to be more loved or successful.
Remember that those are just categories without much depth, and you don’t need to identify with your category.
The many sides of a woman
Depending on what kind of day you are having, who you are spending time with, or what you are trying to achieve, you could easily move from low to high-maintenance and vice versa.
That’s the power of a woman – she’s got many sides to her personality and can masterfully use each to her advantage.
When you are at work, and wanting to be heard, you have to channel your high-maintenance boss lady, or you might be overlooked.
When you are out camping with friends, and everyone is sharing tents, you may need to play it more on the low-maintenance side in order to not be singled out.
When it comes to relationships, it gets a little trickier.
No matter how you are described – low maintenance, high maintenance, laid-back, needy, you are a human being dating another human being.
If you want to have a healthy and happy relationship, it’s less about the labels and more about making it work together.
What is the difference between a low and a high-maintenance woman?
Want to spot a high-maintenance woman or decide whether you are one? The following signs are what society would usually label as high maintenance:
- Sense of entitlement: A high-maintenance girl believes that she deserves the best. Not only that, but she is convinced she deserves better than others and she demands it. She is vocal about her needs and whines whenever things don’t go her way. Wherever she goes, she acts like she’s better than others.
- Sense of urgency: This type of woman wants things done yesterday and isn’t famous for her patience. She puts her needs first and believes everyone around her should have the same sense of urgency.
- Can’t let go: A high-maintenance woman can’t and won’t let go of the past, especially perceived wrongs. She likes to remind people what they said and did and rub it in. She replays accounts of mistakes like a broken record, which is exhausting for those around her.
- Attention-seeker: This woman wants to be the center of attention wherever she goes, no matter the situation or circumstance. She needs to be part of every decision, every conversation, and can’t just sit back and trust the process.
- Drama galore: Naturally, a high-maintenance woman is attracted to drama. The slightest inconvenience is blown out of proportion and turned into an actual crisis. In a relationship, she expects her partner to empathize with her dramas and stick by her without questioning her judgment.
- Self-obsessed: A high-maintenance woman believes she needs to look good no matter what. She spends hours on her hair, makeup, and clothes. Her looks are incredibly important to her. She tends to look down on women who don’t take care of themselves, and she may also criticize her partner’s style.
- Narrow-minded: This woman isn’t open-minded to the world. She prefers to be stuck in her ways and resents feedback. She hates being told what to do and cannot accept that her behavior could be offensive to others.
- Needs an errand boy: This woman isn’t self-sufficient and constantly needs taking care of. It’s like she needs an errand boy to clean after her, carry her bags, pass her the remote, etc.
- Control-freak: A high-maintenance woman is obsessed with having total control over every part of her life. That includes her relationship. She tells her boyfriend what to wear, say and do, and what to buy her.
When it comes to a low-maintenance woman, you can spot her by the following signs:
- Drama-free: A low-maintenance woman doesn’t have drama as part of her life. Nothing is a big deal or a tragedy, even the most negative of situations. She can handle just about anything and that’s refreshing to see.
- Happy either way: A low-maintenance woman is not obsessed with anything. She knows how to manage her emotions and wouldn’t freak out over the right type of cheese to buy in a supermarket. She’s happy to let others make decisions that concern her because she trusts people.
- Looks aren’t a priority: A low-maintenance woman isn’t an ugly one, it’s just that trendy clothes and makeup are not high on her priority list. She prefers to look natural and doesn’t mind being seen without makeup on, in her sweats, or with third-day hair.
- She’s easy to please: The low-maintenance woman has taste, she just isn’t obsessed with having the best all the time, so she’s easily pleased. She’s grateful for what she’s got, too.
- She likes simplicity: A low-maintenance woman much prefers the simple things in life and that’s what helps her thrive.
Is being called low maintenance a compliment?
Most men would use “low maintenance” to describe a cool woman who doesn’t come with a lot of baggage or drama.
So, usually, it’s used as a compliment. However, be careful not to be so low maintenance that your partner starts to:
- Take you for granted
- Get annoyed with your indecisiveness
- Doesn’t ask for your opinion
- Treat you like a doormat
- Make hints that you should make more of an effort with your looks
The truth is, both of these labels are incredibly limiting and can be offensive.
A woman is always a mix, so next time you wonder which one you are more like, ask yourself – what kind of woman would you rather be?
Controlling, egocentric and dramatic, or chill, complacent and lacking a strong opinion?
Do you see what happens when you use two labels to categorize all women?
Instead, be a woman that combines the best of both of those labels, even if you think one of them is largely negative. How can you do that? Here’s a handy list.
- Have an opinion based on knowledge
It’s okay to have an opinion and be vocal about it, but hold it lightly and be flexible enough to accept other people’s opinions too.
You can’t win every argument and you don’t always have to be right. It’s okay to let go!
- Take care of your looks
A woman can look well without spending hours or a fortune on her looks. Focus on being well dressed, well-groomed, clean, and most of all – smile!
A woman who looks well also feels well and is usually taken more seriously in professional environments.
- Avoid drama
Sometimes drama is unavoidable, but try to remain calm and be the voice of wisdom in such situations, especially when you see other women around you lose their cool.
Remember that you are better than that and it’s up to you how you choose to react.
- Know your worth
If you manage to strike the right balance between knowing your worth and not acting entitled, then you will be a force to be reckoned with.
When it comes to dating and a man’s expectations of you, remember that you are perfect the way you are, and you don’t have to change for a man.
- Don’t let anyone label you
So what if you are a bit high maintenance (or low maintenance) and people use this description to define or tease you.
Embrace it, make fun of yourself, show them that you are a proud and confident woman and happy to be you.