Dating Tropes Explained – Part VIII – “High Maintenance” Women, featuring Carl Brutananadilewski

Remember how I mentioned that Carl Brutananadilewski should totally give dating advice? Yeah, well, now I can’t get his voice out of my head. It’s pretty awesome.

For anyone who doesn’t know, watch this first, and then imagine the same hairy, belligerent Polish-American telling you how to handle yourself around women:

Yeah, so, for the introduction of this article, I’m going to pretend Carl’s narrating it. You don’t have to, but it might be extra funny that way.

Everybody knows that broads what don’t speak English can’t say no, you know what I’m sayin’? Haha, yeah!

So you’re dating this hot lady, easily a 6 outta 10, maybe a 7 when she wears that see-through dress you like and forgets the panties, know what I mean? Haha, yeaaaaah!

Anyways, you go down to the Red Lobster and you order somethin’ real nice for her like the linguini with the little seafood things on top that cost, what, fifteen big ones, and now she’s sayin’ “Carl, you know I’m allergic to seafood!”

Come on, now. We know what’s goin’ on here. You just put in your time and fifteen whole dollars to get this woman a feast of succulent things and pasta and maybe some of that fancy olive oil, and now she’s sayin’ she can’t eat it what ’cause she’s gonna die.

I mean, talk about high maintenance women, am I right? Yeah!

I mean, who needs ’em? Not the Garden State Stud – no way. The only high maintenance woman in my life is 2 Wycked, and she let’s me ride her all day long and don’t talk my ear off about her periods and feelings neither.

This here is the greatest and best thing any woman has ever seen, until she sees my pastrami and meatballs. And by that I mean my penis and testicles. Am I right? Yeaaah!

Avoid the high maintenance ladies, know what I mean?

Alright, so that was an experiment. But, Carl brings up an oft-invoked trope in the dating scene: the high maintenance woman.

But what does it mean, to be high maintenance, exactly?

Some will say it’s a girl who has expensive tastes – not necessarily a gold digger, but a girl who, if you’re going to get her a gift, will only really appreciate something in the expensive range.

Some will say it’s a girl who gets you involved in her fights. An example being making you take sides on arguments she’s having with your friends. This is just plain unacceptable in my view, but hey, some people have different opinions on it. I’ll bite.

Some will say it’s a girl who takes a long time to get ready to do anything, and needs lots of things to get by every day. I mean, we all need things to get by every day, but this kind of girl turns it into a ritual with no margin for error. If anything’s missing from that make-up/coffee/right shoes/right hair, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera routine, then you will damn sure hear about it, and she will be pissed.

I mean, there’s a million definitions out there. Go ahead, Google “High Maintenance Women.” If you’re lazy, I have links here, here, here, and here.

And, to a point, I’d agree that all of these things tend to indicate that a woman is high maintenance.

In its most general definition, I would say that a woman who is high maintenance defines herself by doing the following:

  1. Thinks that McDonald’s and a quickie in the bathroom is not a romantic date. I mean, what the hell? That’s romantic as shit. I seen it in a movie. Or a porno. Hey, pornos are movies. Don’t judge me.
  2. Regularly turns at least 30 percent of her problems into her man’s problems.

So, looking back, having written that list, I would say that really, only the second one is critical. Although bumping tires in a McDonald’s bathroom may or may not still be on my bucket list. Ahem. Ladies, step right up.

Let’s go back to those examples up there.

A woman with expensive tastes – I would assume that if she has the money, she would just get a lot of these things herself. But, why do that when she has a boatload of entitlement and can get a guy to do it? That’s high maintenance of the gold-digging variety.

Or how about the one who picks fights and makes you take sides? I mean, it’s already bad enough to pick fights, but all the sudden she can just enact the draft and you have to get to the front lines? Shucks.

Then we have the innocuous “takes a long time to get ready and needs lots of things” girl. This is the most forgivable of the three examples I gave, but can still be a liability. I understand women need some time to get ready. But it can start to get ridiculous if suddenly that means you have to be late everywhere. Even worse if she just has a bad attitude if one of those things is missing. Ever hear a girl say “I can’t go out looking like this” when she’s already dolled up and really just can’t decide on earrings? Yeah.

“But Vichet,” you say. “Don’t you think that’s a little harsh? I mean, you said we should only forgive 30 percent of a woman’s problems when she shoves them onto us. Isn’t this all about giving?”

Yes. Yes it is. Relationships are about giving. And not only that, but some women who don’t mean to be high maintenance can come off that way if you never discuss this with them – especially later on in the relationship. If you’ve been in a relationship with a girl who was low maintenance, and slowly started becoming high maintenance, talk to her. That’s called maintaining your Table legs (mutual independence and her ability to solve problems that don’t require combined effort, in this case).

But, I’m not talking about those women. I’m talking about the ones who, straight off the first date, start giving you shitty things.

That relationship is about failing, not giving.

And, just to reiterate so that the low maintenance ladies of the world don’t lose their minds, there is nothing wrong with receiving and accepting gifts. There is nothing wrong with having lots of shoes. There is nothing wrong with any of that stuff.

Where things get dicey is when you have problems (“I don’t have enough ______.”) and you expect, nay, demand that whatever man or friends in your life solve those problems (“He should get me all the ______ I need.”) and then get pissed if he refuses to give into your bullshit.

If you’re that kind of woman, I will say this as diplomatically as possible: choke yourself**.

**I do not condone violence on women, or suicide.

As for the “30 percent of her problems” thing, we really don’t need to get into the degrees of “high maintenance” that exist, aside from the fact that every guy has his limit. A smart guy should know what he’s willing to bend for, and what he cannot break for. 30 percent of a person’s problems is a reasonable and magical number where it’s significantly less than half a person’s problems, but still significant enough to recognize as an issue that needs to be addressed. In an ideal relationship, neither party should be bringing that many personal problems to the table.

I mean, do you go dumping your problems onto your woman?


Well, stop it, dickweed!

If you don’t do that, though, and you happen to be a patient, forgiving guy (both incredibly useful traits around the RIGHT woman), you will have a tendency to get walked all over by a high maintenance woman dumping more and more problems onto you.

That’s the other thing: high maintenance women instinctively test the limits of your providing. If you put up with 3 problems one day, they will try 4 the next.

I don’t know if it’s because they intend to do this or not, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a sucker’s game, and you shouldn’t play it when you recognize it for what it is.

“But Vichet,” you say. “I’m a patient, forgiving guy. Can’t I just deal with it?”

Do you hear yourself? Did you read what I just said? Don’t you think you can do better?

Sure, the first time she starts loading problems onto you, it might not stress you out. It might not even stress you out after a hundred times. But one day, you’ll get tired of it. Or she’ll decide that you’re not attending to her in a satisfactory manner. And it’ll happen so gradually that you won’t even be sure it’s because of her, or you, or whatever. Not until there’s enough drama and ammo on both sides of the camp – for you, all the things she makes you thanklessly do, and for her, all of those things she thinks you could be handling better – for the war to go nuclear.

And that’s when the Table would break.

In terms of Table Theory, a high maintenance woman is the double-whammy girl who both lacks mutual independence (the ability to solve her own problems) AND continually places more and more weight on the Table than she can clear off. That means that the surplus of drama packages on the Table becomes the man’s responsibility, if he wants to keep the Table from buckling under the weight.

Does that make sense? If problems are appearing on the Table faster than they can be cleared off, the Table will break.

At the crux of the issue, this is why so many guys are able to stay in relationships with high maintenance women for a while – because they can focus their energy on removing those problems from the top of the table. But, even the Ultimate Man a man can only do so much, and all men, nay, all people are terrible multi-taskers. If all of your effort all of the time is spent dealing with her problems, who is looking after the Table legs of proximity, mutual independence, chemistry, and non-conflicting life goals?

Doesn’t matter how patient you are, bro. A high maintenance woman is the bunker buster of patience fallout shelters. She was DESIGNED to break you. The Table is nothing compared to her problem generating might.

I mean, really, you shouldn’t need to be a saint for your relationship to work. And, if you are a saint – and I use the word “deserve” so rarely that it almost doesn’t exist to me – you “deserve” better.

To temper the above statement before you start thinking you’re entitled to things, and thus preventing you from becoming a high maintenance man, I’ll quote Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven:

Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.

Regardless of what you “deserve”, if you let a high maintenance woman into your life, you’ll get just one thing –  a whole mess of problems.

But really, to quote Carl Brutananadilewski: “Linda, I care about you. And I respect you. So where, uh, where am I gonna do ya?”

I don’t need no instructions to know how to ROCK!