2006-05-18

What's wrong with high-maintenance women?

In an ESI meeting last evening, the issue of 'the high-maintenance woman' came up. Some implied that being involved with a high-maintenance woman was a negative thing. Some suggested that it could be ok. I challenge the ESIs - and Bob - to define 'high maintenance' and to discuss both positives and negatives of being involved with a high-maintenance woman. We'll deal with high-maintenance men another day. Here are some prompts to help you get started: "High-maintenance women are....."; "High-maintenance women are challenging because...."; "High-maintenance women are wonderful because...".

7 comments:

coyote said...

Aggie, Aggie, Aggie. Unlike you, the HMWs to which we referred in passing are never not high-HM, making being with 'em a completely wearing experience, not unlike living beside a ticking WMD... most guys of the male persuasion need a minute or two, every so often, to relax and mindlessly experience really dumb television. This is, I believe, genetically encoded. However, a high-HMW insistently makes the relationship all about her. Such self-absorbed and focussed narcissism is a sure recipe for disaster in either gender, I think you'd agree.

The Chair said...

I subscribe to definition that there are two types of HMW. One is like a sports car. She looks beautiful but it takes a lot of money to keep her beautiful. The second type of HMW is the emotionally HMW, as I believe Coyote refers to. She requires a constant emotional engagement and focus on her to be happy --- something men have to usually consciously have to work at. HMW's are almost invariably physically attractive women, even the ones that are only of the second type. They are given the HMW title because, as with the beautiful sports car, she appeals to the shallow senses and the price we pay is her high maintenance.

coyote said...

If we're going to default to the well-worn guy/car analogies, Chair, I gotta say that a nasty old Lada, cumulatively, can be a bigger maintenance headache than a Lamborghini. Huge, in fact. Yet with nothing like even that shallow/surface gratification to which you allude.

bob said...

I think the HM term is used mainly when personality incompatibilities exist. If peoples personalities are compatible and theres sparkage, nothing should be viewed as maintenance, its just part of their relationship. Or perhaps this is just part of the utopian relationship view i've picked up on various offline blogs :) For the record, i consider high maintenance women to be those that simply have needs that are not naturally met by their parter - no single woman is high maintenance, its a product of being in a relationship where the man has to act "unnaturally" to fullfil the womans needs (which is basically what the chair said). I would think they are typically doomed to failure, but perhaps can be offset by pure affection/desire/love/lust... i wouldn't wanna try it though.

Is there such a thing as someone who is low maintenance, to a point where it bothers the other person? Perhaps someone who doesn't "share their feelings" enough? "What are you thinking right now?", "I dunno, nothin" as an example. Perhaps women should start calling these men "low maintenance" and attaching similar negative conotations to them as men do to the HMW.

This babble is what happens when i'm challenged to define things, sorry i didn't warn you.

Agatha said...

Bob - you just made me love you more.
Anyway, back to the issue. "Low maintenance"... interesting concept. Some people are pseudo low-maintenance. You know the "I really don't mind," "No problem", "Whatever you decide" people. Some of these so-called low-maintenance people are full of rage that comes out in sarcasm, cynicism, depression, passive aggression, road rage, etc...
I think some men consider themselves to be LM because they are happy as long as they have their beer, their hockey game to watch from a comfy couch, their woman to shag after the game. Their argument with the HMW might be: "My needs are so simple; why are yours so complex?"

coyote said...

Bob, I admire your romanticism and idealism. You make a good point -- that if both parties in a relationship understand the contract going in, and they're both okay with its terms, it's a match made in heaven -- no matter how wierd it might appear to onlookers. It's really about compatibility, isn't it?

However, I think the Chair and I may be thinking of women that are pathologically high maintenance -- engaged in a kind of emotional ante-upping exercise that is (subconsciously)designed such that only they can 'win'. There's degrees of narcissism and/or sociopathy involved with this, I think. So I'd take issue with your statement that "no single woman is high maintenance," because we're not talking about normal, expectable and utterly necessary relationship maintenance, we're talking about the kind of thing that's listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders There's more of those running around in the wild, as apparently-functioning members of society, than one might suspect....

Agatha, you outrageous flirt, stop leading Bob on. And I think you're merely rebranding passive-aggressiveness as pseudo-LM.

The Independent Observer said...

Another common characteristic of a genuine HMW is the woman's inability to tend to the needs of the guy she's involved with. That is, she's a taker, not a giver. And that's a bad thing, because relationships are all about give and take.