General Question

Divalicious's avatar

How do you define the term "High Maintenance" in regards to a person?

Asked by Divalicious (2170points) August 15th, 2008

Can men be “high maintenance”, too?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

35 Answers

kristianbrodie's avatar

High maintenance people are quite demanding in their relationships with friends and partners. They will need reassuring and might demand a lot of affection etc. Often it’s women who are labelled high maintenance, but men definitely can be as well.

Judi's avatar

His name is Jeff

wildflower's avatar

My idea of high maintenance would be someone who requires more attention, encouragement, assurance, helping hands, favors than most and it is not gender-specific!

gailcalled's avatar

Likes to be waited on, looks at a dish washer as tho it were an alien specimen, thinks that toilet paper appears magically on the roll (ditto paper towels, clean laundry, full refrigerator, soap) and that dust and dirt disappear overnight when the house elf shows up.

Larssenabdo's avatar

For me, kristianbrodie nailed it.

richardhenry's avatar

Hates camping. Will moan.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

I’m high maintenance when it comes to expectations. Don’t double standard me.

wundayatta's avatar

Insecurity can often drive high maintenance. They call all the time, and freak out if you miss a date by five minutes. Everything is a crisis, and they read more into the most insignificant events than you read into a job interview. They require extreme amounts of attention.

gailcalled's avatar

My son used to take his serious girlfriends on hard-core, high-altitude 10-day camping trips in The Wind River Wilderness (Wy.) Gfs all failed…the one he married insisted on hiking out to a motel with showers by day five.

Sloane2024's avatar

High maitenance people are typically stereotyped as females because we have more opportunities to be high maitenance, but this particular characteristic is generally prescribed to those who pack 9 colossal suitcases for an overnight trip, expect and demand outrageous manifests of affection on a regular basis from their partner (especially on holidays), take 10 minutes explaining to the waiter/waitress exactly what they want and don’t want on their side salad, refuse to shop in department stores, and are often seen on the Dr. Phil show because their irrational and meticulous habits have pushed everyone in their lives away… But this is simply my observation.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Let me introduce you to my mother-in-law, Diva…

Bri_L's avatar

I always felt they put their needs, which always seemed greater in number than average and greater in importance than everyone else’s, ahead of others and either didn’t have a clue why, or did but didn’t see that as a bad thing because they deserve it. Like above said.

It has to be the way they want it.

RomantismNightmare's avatar

My sister is very high maintenance! She takes 45 minutes longer to get ready than I do… She has to be totally perfect before she leaves the house. I mean, I do too… I like to wear makeup and do my hair, but she takes it over the top!
Men can be high maintenance…

Bri_L's avatar

Welcome RomantismNightmare!

mee_ouch's avatar

When you have to buy your title….ala Conrad Black…

kevbo's avatar

From How to Succeed with Women by Louis and Copeland—The high maintenance woman: takes everything personally, takes her feelings out on you, feels she has the right to be unreasonable, to “flip out,” is always right, is insulted by everything you do, believes her feelings at the moment are the most important thing in the universe, is impossible to give feedback to, is incredibly sensitive, is either “on” or “off” sexually, becomes furious if you don’t instantly and automatically know what she needs at all times, is emotionally inconsistent, believes there is only one right way to do things (her way), worries continously about how she and you look to other people, is picky about your behavior, dates men but doesn’t really like them.

So for me (and the authors) it’s more about emotional restraint or lack thereof. And, yes, men can be high maintenance, but I’m sure it manifests differently.

Kar's avatar

kevbo, you just described my daughter in law! They are in marriage counseling right now, because of her constant demands for attention and her “flip outs!”

cak's avatar

Attention demanding, being needy, nothing is ever ok – everything needs tweaking. It always seems to end up, their way!

My best friend is high maintenance. At a dinner party for another friend, her birthday, the menu was set, she read over it and changed almost everything to suit her tastes. No cheese on this…please no ceviche (I think I spelled correctly) it grosses her out. She has this way of doing this before people realize what is going on, it is scary!

My husband is high maintenance, he’ll ask where you want for dinner, but next thing you know, he’s listed all the reasons why we should go somewhere he prefers, instead! Again, he does it in a very scary way, you almost think it’s your idea. Seats in the theater, yep…you think you have some say in the matter; however, you do not!

syz's avatar

“Pain in the ass”

marinelife's avatar

Ahem, aren’t all men high maintenance by definition? :)

Bri_L's avatar

@ Marina – I think if you follow this link:


You will see your right. :-)

Poser's avatar

I like this definition, compliments of a previous Fluther question (which I can’t find right now, and I hope I get correct). A woman is high maintenance to the degree that she feels entitled to express her emotions in any way she wishes, regardless of context.

Kar's avatar

Very good Poser. They feel they are entitled to fits and rages of all extremes, no matter who is affected by it!

cwilbur's avatar

It’s not the mere expression of emotion that makes someone high maintenance; it’s the expectation that everyone present must do something about it.

noraasnave's avatar

High Maintenance people don’t get enough attention over the phone or by email, so they go out with young single Marines at the local Marine Base for attention, while the husband is in Iraq!

They put their ‘needs’ above the personal risk and risk to their family, or to the poor young marines that they go out with. They don’t care about how the information will affect the husband in Iraq as long as they get the ‘attention’ they need.

Since they are so ‘self oriented’ they tend to forget that every person they call is recorded on the Cell Phone Website for later use in the divorce hearing! YAY!

Yes, this has happened to me this week, so you are correct in sensing there is a bit of passion in my answer.

augustlan's avatar

@noraasnave: Sorry to hear that, I hope next week is a better one for you!

Divalicious's avatar

Sorry to hear that, too. Hopefully she will move from ‘high maintenance’ to no maintenance (spousal support)

You deserve much better.

Bri_L's avatar

@noraasnave-very sorry to hear that. no words. no words.

Poser's avatar

@noraasnave—Condolences. But thanks for your service. It does matter to some of us.

deaddolly's avatar

the ppl who always have a story that tops yours or who always change the subject to themselves.
My boss is super high maintenance…nails done every week, hair perfect, only designer clothes, never ate at OCB, looks down at those less fortunate etc. Her expectations are super high…she always has a worse weekend than I have etc.

I’m sure there are guys that are HM, but I’ve only met women so far.

noraasnave's avatar

Thanks for the condolences. Nothing feels so good as standing up for oneself. She is someone else’s high maintenance hobby. Even in Iraq, I have been able to find many more useful ways to invest myself. Currently I am talking to a person that ‘maintains’ themself and everything I invest is gravy to them. Wow, what a paradigm shift!

augustlan's avatar

Good for you, I’m glad you’re moving in the right direction.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

My husband is high maintenance. I should have left the week after we came back from our honeymoon. We got up Saturday morning, and I said “Let’s get started on our chores so we can go out.”

He said, “But I was planning on playing tennis today. I thought you would do the chores. My mother likes to keep house.”

I explained that I hated keeping house, and that if we did it together, it would be more fun, and we could get it over sooner. I even said that he could do the easy part—running a few errands.

He left the apartment, and 30 minutes later, the doorbell rang. It was my mother-in-law. She said, “D. said he wanted to play tennis, and you needed help cleaning the apartment.”

I should also mention that D. wears extended wear contacts and cannot change them himself; I have to change his contacts for him. At least I get to poke him in the eye on a regular basis…

augustlan's avatar

@AP: Good lord! I’m glad you get to poke him in the eye ; )

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