I was just watching some YouTube tutorial videos on how to pack. I’m always looking for ways to live my life more efficiently and I’d love to never have to check a bag when I travel. Waiting by that luggage carousel is such a time waster! As I was scrolling through videos and picking up some great tips and packing products to buy, I stumbled across a few videos of people who were, well, high maintenance. There’s no other way to say it. I saw a video where the host said it was crucial to do an in flight facial for yourself. Another YouTuber wore one outfit to the airport, one in flight and one when deplaning. And one guy insisted on having every item in your luggage collection match and monogrammed. My gut reaction is “Thank goodness I’m not traveling with any of you!” It’s a bit much! It got me thinking about how there’s normally one person in a relationship who’s more high maintenance than the other. Sometimes it’s a subtle difference and not really a problem. Other times, a high maintenance person can be a time, emotion and resource suck and it’s important to address. Here’s what to do if you think you’re in the second situation.
Choose your battles
You’re not going to turn someone who’s a 10 on the high maintenance scale into a 1 overnight. And honestly, probably not ever. So, pick your battles on where you’d like them to change. For example, maybe their fussy preferences bother you the most because they’re expensive. Have a conversation about costs and express how you’d like them to change. But, then you’re going to have to be accepting when their high maintenance tendencies are time sucks and make you guys late, as long as they’re not pricey. If you want to be with this person, you can’t change everything about their mindset. But, you can ask for specific and meaningful changes, as long as you’re comfortable letting a big part of their behavior go.
Set limits and goals as a team
Ok, now that you’ve chosen your battle, you need to get clear about what would make you feel happy. Let’s go back to the money example from above. You want your boo to stop spending so much because it’s taking resources away from important things you’re saving for. Maybe you two decide together that you can’t afford first class tickets, but you’ll get take out from your favorite restaurant to bring on board, get fancy eye masks and pack a plush blanket to luxe up your coach seats. Try to frame the changes you’re asking for in a way that makes it seem like you’re both working toward what’s best for the relationship. They give up some of their luxurious delights, you put in a little elbow grease to make things special even with a tight budget and both of you have happier bank accounts. Doesn’t that sound like a better option than telling the person you love to stop doing the thing they love doing?
This isn’t to say that you’re at fault for your partner’s high maintenance behavior, but sometimes this type of thing happens when expensive gifts or lots of effort is the main way your partner feels your love. So, maybe their high maintenance thing is more about giving you a chance to show them your love than them actually needing to live that lifestyle. Experiment with showing your love in other ways, like saying “I love you,” spending special time together or being really affectionate. If you fill their love tank in other ways, they may not be as into feeling the love through gifts, things or making you jump through hoops.
I hope that helps with anyone dating someone high maintenance. Now I have to get back to my packing! 12 days in a carry on. Can I do it?