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15 signs your girlfriend is too high maintenance (and how to deal with it)

You give, she takes.

Does it feel like the dynamic in your relationship is more than just a bit off?

Let’s face it, high-maintenance women are notoriously a pain in the ass.

That’s why if your girlfriend is too high maintenance you need to spot the signs pronto and do something about it now.

What is a high maintenance relationship?

All relationships require some maintenance. Taking your girlfriend for granted is a sure-fire way to lose her.

Basic acts like talking to her, listening to her, replying to her text messages, and spending time together most certainly aren’t high maintenance.

Being truly high maintenance is more about having unfair expectations which make you more challenging to deal with in the relationship.

There are some people out there who seem overly demanding.

High-maintenance girlfriends expect the relationship to focus almost exclusively on their wants, needs, and desires. Meanwhile, what you want, need or desire seems to take a back seat.

This kind of one-sided relationship can quickly become a burden and a drain. But what is considered high maintenance in a woman?

It’s not just materialistic or superficial qualities, your girl can just as easily be emotionally high maintenance too.

Here are some serious red flags to watch out for.

Is my girlfriend too high maintenance? 15 signs she is

1) Everything’s all about her

Does your girlfriend act like she is the star of her very own reality TV show?

No matter what is going on, it’s pretty much always about her. Her dramas, her work issues, her friends, her family, her troubles, her successes, etc.

Self-centered and selfish qualities from someone in a relationship keep the focus firmly their way.

Does every conversation seem to center around her, no matter what is going on in your life? Not that she would even know what was going on in your life anyway, because you can’t remember the last time she asked.

If your entire relationship seems to be about her emotions, her wants, and whatever is going on in her life — it’s a sure-fire high maintenance sign.

2) She is really moody

Dealing with someone’s mood swings is far from fun.

It can feel like you are walking on eggshells, afraid of the next thing that might set her off.

If you never know who you’re going to meet from one moment to the next, it puts a real strain on the relationship.

Maybe you think of your girlfriend as a bit of a “drama queen”.

Sure it has the potential to be entertaining at times. At her best, she might be the life and soul of the party, funny and chatty.

But the problem is that when the switch flips, and you’re in the firing line of her negative moods, it can also be utterly exhausting and stressful.

One day she’s on top of the world and great company to be around, the next moment she’s crying, slamming the door, and telling you she never wants to see you again.

3) She needs constant attention, gifts, or gestures

Some of the most classic hallmarks of a high maintenance girlfriend fall under wanting to be treated like a “Princess”.

We all need and deserve attention from our partners, but there are limits. And it should be a two-way street.

If you don’t pay her non-stop compliments, will she get annoyed?

Does she expect you to check in on her several times throughout the day?

Does the pressure always fall on you to “make the effort” with romantic gestures like flowers or little surprises?

Does she pretty much demand gifts from you to “prove” how much you care?

This type of entitlement is your regular run-of-the-mill spoiled behavior.

4) She’s obsessed with her appearance

Let’s face it, there’s making an effort or taking pride in your appearance and then there’s next level vain.

So if you’re used to sitting around for hours on end waiting for her to emerge from the bathroom, or she flat out refuses to do certain activities because of how it will make her look (doesn’t want to get her hair wet or ruin her makeup) — beware.

The issue isn’t usually a skin-deep one.

Being obsessed by looks may be masking insecurities or highlight other shallow and superficial tendencies that she has.

5) She sulks or gives you the silent treatment

Something is clearly wrong. You know it, she knows it.

But when you ask her straight out what’s the matter, or if you’ve done something to upset her, rather than tell you, she just goes cold and ignores you.

We all deal with conflict differently, and sometimes this type of passive-aggressive behavior can be a defense mechanism.

But healthy communication is what makes or breaks a relationship. So if you’re always getting the silent treatment it could spell trouble for your future.

6) She expects you to pay

If your hand is constantly in your pocket but she never pays for anything, she is taking advantage.

It’s true that everybody is raised differently, and some people do still have very traditional notions about men paying.

But these are quite frankly outdated and not reflective of the equal times we live in.

She is equal in your relationship, not a dependent. If she is working, she should expect to contribute.

You might want to be a gentleman on the first date, or enjoy spoiling her from time to time.

But if picking up the check has become a habit, you’re almost certainly dating a high-maintenance girl.

7) She’s needy

Neediness can be incredibly controlling.

When a girl is needy she may:

  • Want to be around you all the time
  • Seek your constant approval
  • Ask your opinion before doing anything
  • Have to be the center of your attention

Neediness is a sign of insecurity.

One of the biggest problems with needy behavior is that it tries to make you responsible for her happiness. And in the process, it piles pressure on you.

If she doesn’t have a life of her own and wants to share yours, things are going to start to feel real clingy real soon.

8) She easily gets jealous

Shall we be totally honest? A tiny bit of jealousy in a relationship every now and then can almost feel flattering, right?

The sign of the little green-eyed monster is usually our cue that someone cares.

But there is definitely a point where it’s far from cute to see your girlfriend getting jealous, it’s downright destructive.

And it might not just be other women that make her act possessive over you.

If friends or even family take “too much of your time” she probably won’t be very happy about it either.

9) She doesn’t respect your other commitments

Hanging out with your friends or having a boy’s night out causes an argument.

She can’t appreciate why it’s important for you to spend the weekend with your family.

She’s not understanding about you having to work late because you’ve got a big project on at the moment.

In short: she wants to be number one in your life and any time she isn’t, there’s a problem.

10) She never says sorry, even when she’s totally in the wrong

I have a friend that dated a girl who never once apologized.

It drove him crazy. Even though there were plenty of times when he flat out knew his girlfriend was in the wrong, she would never utter those words.

Eventually, he couldn’t take it anymore because ultimately it was about way more than just saying sorry.

It was about her inability to reflect on her mistakes and an expectation that he should always shoulder the blame.

11) She flies off the handle

Temper tantrums should be exclusive to toddlers. End of story.

You might be tempted to excuse a “fiery” nature as passionate, but be wary of doing so.

Because if she has a temper on her, she may lack patience, understanding, and tolerance.

If her my way or the highway attitude isn’t met with compliance will there be hell to pay?

If so, then she might just be far too high maintenance to put up with.

12) She’s always complaining

Having a little bit of a moan every now and then, especially to our nearest and dearest is kind of normal.

But incredibly negative people are a total energetic drain that turns toxic to be around.

She whines about the waiter who is serving you, she never seems to have a good word to say about her so-called friends, and she can reel off a long list of your apparent “failings” at the drop of a hat.

You didn’t load the dishwasher right, you were 5 minutes late picking her up, and the new shirt you bought was horrible, what on earth were you thinking?!

It’s hard to please someone when they have expectations that will never be met.

13) She has to be right all the time

You’ve learned by now that you can never win, so you’ve given up even trying to fight your corner.

If she never backs down or she always thinks she’s right no matter what — you’re destined to have an uphill battle on your hands.

At its very best a need to always be right shows an inflexible attitude, at its worst, it suggests a need for dominance.

14) You’re always fighting (and she’s usually the one to start it)

Conflict is a natural part of any relationship and all couples are bound to argue at times.

But when your relationship starts to feel like a battleground, it tips over into something which indicates a bigger problem around miscommunication.

If you are always fighting, and it feels like she is the one to instigate it, you might be left questioning whether it’s worth it anymore.

15) You can’t seem to win

When something goes wrong, does it always seem to be your fault?

Even things you have zero control over. For example, maybe your girlfriend fails her driving test and it ends up being you that’s to blame for not giving her more lessons because you said you were too busy.

Blaming someone else rather than taking responsibility in life is a sign of victimhood. And victimhood is about as high maintenance as it gets.

If you just can’t seem to win, no matter what you do, you may also notice that there’s just no pleasing her.

In her eyes, it’s as though you get everything wrong, no matter how hard you try.

How to deal with a high maintenance girlfriend

1) Create and enforce clear boundaries

High-maintenance women can have a habit of taking liberties with people. The phrase “you give an inch and they take a mile” was made with them in mind.

That’s why your most useful tool for dealing with a high-maintenance girlfriend is boundaries.

Boundaries are like the rules of our club that we create. Break a rule, you might get a warning. Continue to break the rules, and you’re out.

Boundaries are really important to protect ourselves from people who might otherwise take advantage. Learning to say “no” can be an important part of this process.

Decide what is ok and what is not ok for you. Then whenever your boundaries are crossed, make it clear you aren’t going to tolerate it.

If up until now you’ve been giving in to unreasonable demands by your high-maintenance girlfriend, it might involve having to be firmer.

That certainly doesn’t mean getting angry, or being mean.

Part of the very reason strong boundaries are essential is that they ideally kick in long before we reach the point where we’re in danger of losing our cool.

2) Tell her how you feel

Whatever is going on, you need to talk to your girlfriend about it, otherwise, it’s unlikely that things will change.

By explaining how you feel, you’re giving her a chance to see the error of her ways before it’s too late.

Of course, you might be worried about how she’ll take it.

How you communicate is going to make a big difference. Choose your moment carefully, and don’t bring things up when you’re already arguing.

Use expressive language like “I feel” rather than accusatory language like “you do x, y, z” or “you are x, y, z”.

Although you might be nervous about rocking the boat, ultimately, if your girlfriend isn’t prepared to listen, the relationship won’t work long-term anyway.

3) Focus on your own needs, wants, and desires

If it feels like everything is always about your gf, you’re going to want to take back some of the relationship limelight.

That starts by knowing what you want, what you need, and what you desire from your girlfriend and your relationship together.

What are the essentials? What are the things you’d like in an ideal world, but you can compromise and live without?

Figuring out how you want the relationship to go is step 1, and then making sure your relationship fairly represents this is step 2.

4) Don’t sweat the small things

It’s a good idea to work out what are the little niggles or annoyances that you can live with and what are your total non-negotiables.

The reality is that even when we love someone, we’re not going to like every single thing about them.

That’s because we’re all different and so we all think, feel and behave differently.

If we want a relationship to go the distance, we all need to learn to not sweat the small things.

Sure, it might annoy you that you’re always late to things because she takes so long to get ready, but is it really that important in the grand scheme of things?

Important enough to argue over, create tension in the relationship, or even break up over? Probably not.

We have to accept our partner, warts and all. Hopefully, there are way more positive qualities she has that far outweigh the negative.

That doesn’t mean you should tolerate shitty behavior from your girl for the sake of an easy life.

It just means you might want to let the little things slide and focus your energy on the things that really matter most.

Bottomline: Should you avoid high-maintenance women?

If your girlfriend is exhibiting a few high maintenance traits, there’s still hope for the relationship.

After all, nobody is perfect, and all relationships are going to need a bit of work at some point.

On the other hand, if your girlfriend ticks off almost every sign from the high maintenance list, you’re going to want to seriously consider if you want to stick around.

Just know that every red flag that you ignore now is only going to get worse over time.

If she can’t respect, value, and appreciate you right now, things won’t magically change anytime soon.

At the end of the day, there’s really no such thing as a “high-maintenance woman” or a “low-maintenance woman”.

What there are, in reality, are emotionally mature and well-rounded women who take responsibility for themselves, and those who don’t.

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Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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