The Real Reason You Shouldn't Want A 'Low Maintenance' Relationship

Being "low-maintenance" isn't all it's cracked up to be.

low maintenance relationship getty

Do you consider yourself to be a "low-maintenance" kind of person? Does your relationship seem to require very little effort to maintain?


Perhaps it’s time to consider the TRUE nature of what low maintenance really means. Is the concept of "low maintenance" factual, or a myth that we’ve accepted because we’re maybe just a bit lazy?

I used to think of myself as a very "low maintenance" woman — and on the surface I truly appeared to be just that. I was happy with simple things, I loved being in nature and didn't mind getting my hands a little dirty. I was easy-going, up for anything and (BONUS!) I could get ready to go in a FLASH.

My late husband would also have been classified as "low-maintenance." Steady, calm, very slow to anger, patient and got along with everyone. 


Everyone who knew us would probably have described us as very compatible, and admittedly, our relationship was — for the most part — what would be viewed as low maintenance. 

We were best buds, we enjoyed doing the same things, we had great sex and we RARELY fought. The reality, however, was that we actually were NOT ideologically low maintenance.

There was a lot of compromising — maybe too much —because we both abhorred confrontation and could be lazy about "talking it out." It was easier to sweep issues under the rug than to argue, and I typically would apologize just to ease any tension (whether I felt I was wrong or not).


He wasn't good at expressing his feelings and it was like pulling teeth trying get him to explain why he was unhappy — he usually needed several days to actually figure out what was actually bothering him. In the meantime, I would assume I had done something wrong and obsess. Sometimes, I’d PICK a fight just to get him to react!

I finally realized neither of us was the 'low maintenance' person we originally thought we were. I needed a lot of attention and soothing, he needed a lot of coaxing to communicate. The point is — yes — for the majority of the time we had an "easy" relationship, but we DID have to work at it.

We had to put in the time and the often painful effort (and still, sometimes we got it wrong). What kept us together was NOT just love. We were committed and willing — albeit sometimes grudgingly — to talk about what was irritating us so we could come to a compromise ... or let it go.


In the YourTango Experts video discussion above, YourTango Experts Senior VP Melanie Gorman talks about the reality of "low-maintenance" people and relationships with our panel of experts.

Psychologist Stan Tatkin, Dating Coach Sue Mandel, and Counselor/Dating Coach Samantha Burns' opinions are diverse (and maybe even a bit shocking!) Watch it twice to really get a feel for what they’re saying it takes to have a successful relationship (whether or not it's 'low maintenance').

Think it's still possible to be "low maintenance" — even after years of being together and changing as a couple? Check out what our experts have to say.

If you are intrigued and want to learn more about what relationships REALLY take to make them great, feel free to contact StanSue or Samantha directly!