BY LOUISA LOPEZ
In college, I asked my friend Jerry what "high maintenance" meant, and he said it's about always smiling and not expecting things to go your way; to be low maintenance, find the positives even when things go wrong, like enjoying street performers or sunsets while waiting for the next train.
Arguments are generally disliked, but finding constructive ways to express needs and resolve conflicts, such as using 'I' statements and exploring Nonviolent Communication (NVC), can be helpful.
Being perceived as low maintenance involves taking care of your own needs, such as finances, emotions, and health, as constantly relying on your partner for reassurance, favors, or financial support can indicate otherwise; while maintaining a necessary balance of give and take in a relationship, demonstrating self-sufficiency while appreciating your partner's help can strike a harmonious balance.
If you aim to be low maintenance, being generally happy will contribute to that perception, and while it's normal not to feel happy all the time, there are science-based methods to increase your happiness, such as fostering social bonds, exposure to bright light, understanding neurotransmitters, engaging in acts of kindness, being present in social interactions, and ensuring sufficient physical contact.
Trust is a choice that can contribute to a low maintenance dynamic in relationships, as most people initially trust until it is broken, while others may withhold trust until it is earned, but regardless of the approach, once trust is established, it is important to avoid unfounded suspicions, paranoia, constant seeking of approval, and controlling behaviors.
Recognizing that issues like a lack of trust, stemming from past events, can be overcome through self-work and self-awareness, those who avoid projecting their issues onto their partner are more likely to be perceived as easygoing and low maintenance.
To be perceived as a happy and easygoing partner, expressing gratitude not only improves the overall tone and quality of your relationship but also makes your partner feel appreciated, contributing to a low maintenance image and their willingness to overlook minor issues.