The term ‘high maintenance’ has a lot of negative connotations associated with it. According to some men, a high-maintenance woman is undateable: she just demands ‘too much’ time, money or attention, in order to be kept happy. A quick Google search even reveals countless articles that help men to decipher whether or not a woman they are into is high maintenance so that they can make a run for it. According to one Quora user, signs that a women is high maintenance include:

The number of pairs of shoes she owns
The amount of time it takes her to get ready to go out
The number of handbags she owns
An aversion to getting dirty (gardening for example)
An aversion to being in the great outdoors (hiking or camping for example)

Wow. This guy must be in high demand.

The diva complex

Women are generally expected to live our lives for other people and be pretty much selfless. Humility and maternal instincts were (historically at least) admirable qualities to aspire to. The antithesis of this is the woman who is self-absorbed, and she has always been portrayed as obsessed with her looks, money and status. Paris Hilton and Jennifer Lopez are examples of celebrities who have been accused of being high maintenance. Although self-care is a buzzword that is leaking into daily conversations and allowing us to feel okay about taking some time out for ourselves, the stigma of the high-maintenance woman is still perpetuated.

The defining factor

So what does it mean to be high maintenance? In the eyes of men, this generally means that women want their men to provide them with loads of money, shower them with gifts and give them undivided attention. For women, the interpretation is slightly different: it’s about knowing what we need in order to lead our best lives and not settling for less. Expectations are what make us unique, and even if yours are high, you shouldn’t have to compromise. Many people also think that women who spend a lot of time, money and effort on their appearance fall into this category, and maybe they do, but since when is investing in oneself a bad thing? It’s not, and it never has been.

Your life, your standards

Hey, it’s okay to have standards that you uphold in every aspect of your life, from your partners to your wardrobe. We are only given one life, so there is no time to hold back for fear of being shamed. Letting people know what you require to be happy should be a positive thing, and it can help you filter through the crap and find the real gems in your life. Have your standards and don’t feel ashamed of them. They are what set you apart from the rest and can lead to real fulfilment if you stick by them.