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“Are You Really Low Maintenance? Let’s Talk!”

“I’m just low-maintenance; I don’t ask for much!”


“Well, I’m not like other women; I’m low-maintenance.”


“I’m super easy, I promise. You don’t have to do much.”


These phrases and variations are common in counseling sessions for women of all ages. They are usually said near discussion points of advocacy and personal needs and desires. They also come up when we discuss different ways they could care for themselves individually.


There is this running theme that being ‘low-maintenance’ is a positive thing, and being considered ‘high-maintenance’ insults who we are. For instance, a ‘low-maintenance’ person might rarely ask for anything, while a ‘high-maintenance’ person might frequently demand time, attention, and resources.


While there is potential for relying on others too much to fulfill personal needs, there is nothing inherently wrong with asking what is necessary for you and your relationship to be healthy. In fact, not advocating for your needs can lead to feelings of resentment, unmet expectations, and even relationship strain.


Let’s challenge the notion that being ‘low-maintenance’ is good. It’s time to reframe this perspective and recognize that our needs are not burdens but essential aspects of our well-being, reassuring you that your needs are valid and important.


Things we value require maintenance—our houses, cars, health, and more—and this should include ourselves and our relationships! We work to maintain essential things, and acknowledging and addressing our personal needs is not only okay but crucial. This is not ‘too much’ but rather a fundamental part of self-care and self-advocacy, highlighting the importance and value we place on ourselves.


Advocating for ourselves is a challenging task, especially in a world that often ridicules those who do and glorifies those who are self-reliant. Women, in particular, may face unique challenges such as societal expectations, gender roles, or fear of being perceived as ‘difficult ‘. While self-reliance can be a positive trait in certain aspects, it should not be elevated above all else. Recognizing and asserting our needs is not a sign of weakness but a powerful act of self-advocacy that can lead to a more fulfilling life.


Vital things to ask for and to give ourselves that we don’t want to minimize the importance of:

  • Time together
  • Time alone without responsibilities
  • Self-care
  • Communication
  • Patience
  • Understanding
  • Consideration
  • Healthy food and plenty of water
  • Time for body movement
  • And more!

You are worth the maintenance required to keep you operating efficiently. Let us shift the focus away from ‘high’ or ‘low’ maintenance and instead focus on what you need to function best for others and, most importantly, yourself. I encourage you to reflect on your own needs and start advocating for them.

Remember, your well-being is not a burden, it’s a priority.