To The Girls Who Are “Emotionally High-Maintenance”

Jo Christian Oterhals
Jo Christian Oterhals

This was alarming, but only somewhat. I say somewhat because, deep down, I know without a doubt this is true. I am needy and crave attention (which I blame on being an only child – thanks mom and dad!). But at the same time, I have so much to give. It’s an interesting dilemma.

I have given it some thought and broken down some of the elements of what makes me emotionally high maintenance (at least in my opinion). I highly suspect there are many others out there like myself (or maybe I’m just telling myself that to feel better?).

I am emotionally high maintenance because I want to text you and talk to you through out the day – every day. I do not text you to keep tabs on you – I want the meat, the depth, the every detail of your day. I care about what’s happening at work, which client is being a dumb bitch, which TV show you watched on your lunch break. It is these small things that mean the most to me. A simple text saying “I like you.” can turn a whole day around. I am emotionally high maintenance because I am hurt when you ignore me, even if you are genuinely busy. I wish I was not this way, but it is simply how I am.

I am emotionally high maintenance because I constantly (to the point where I’m probably annoying as fuck) ask things of you. I ask for reassurance, I ask for love, I ask for attention. I ask a million questions about that girl you went on one date with a million years ago because I secretly feel threatened even though you’ve given me no reason to worry (“But why did she text you a picture of a salad? Is she still into you?!?!?”). Our past relationships shape us, no matter how badly we want to leave them behind. In the past when I asked for these things from others, I received nothing, but that is different now. You give me an inch, and now I’m going to take the whole damn mile.

I am emotionally high maintenance because I compartmentalize my emotions. Rather than settling with one general feeling I allow the context of whatever situation I’m in to twist my emotions and bring out the best, and the worst. I spend time with my boyfriend – happy. I then go straight to my job and feel unchallenged – unhappy. I can be talking about how excited I am for something, and the next minute be ranting about a crazy coworker and be near tears. I can see how this would be exhausting for others to have to listen to, but this is just how I’m wired.

The term “high maintenance” usually has negative connotations. When we think of someone who is high maintenance in terms of his or her appearance, we think of someone who is dressed to the 9’s, constantly aiming for perfection, always trying to maintain and improve an image. I guess in the same way, that’s what I’m trying to do with my feelings.

I know there is no such thing as perfect, but I want to be the best lover I possibly can – I am aiming for perfection. I’m always striving to make others happy, to impress. My emotions may be exhausting, but they are raw, and real, and at the end of the day, I’d rather give too much, push too much, nag too much, ask too many questions, than regret not saying what’s on my mind and how I feel. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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