“Make a list of qualities that you are looking for in a wife.” That was the advice that many people gave me as a single person – in magazines, conferences, and as personal advice. So I started making my list: beautiful, intelligent, fun, adventurous, and low-maintenance.
As I compared my list to my other guy friends, I noticed that “low-maintenance” was on many people’s lists. We all wanted to avoid “high-maintenance” girls, i.e., the girl that takes forever to get ready for a date and is picky about everything. This seemed reasonable and practical. As a contributor for askmen.com said in a recent article, “If you can find a Miss Low Maintenance, hang on to her for dear life!” So I kept my eyes open for that beautiful, low-maintenance girl.
After being married for four years, I realize that looking for a low-maintenance wife was a mistake.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There was nothing wrong with a low-maintenance girl. It was not the act of dating or marrying a low-maintenance girl that was a mistake. It’s the fact that the reason I wanted to find a low-maintenance girl was because low maintenance = easy work. The motivation behind looking for someone low-maintenance was that I didn’t want to work very hard to make the relationship work.
This mentality was harmful because there is no such thing as a good relationship that doesn’t require hard work.
Sydney J. Harris insightfully says,
“Almost no one is foolish enough to imagine that he automatically deserves great success in any field of activity; yet almost everyone believes that he automatically deserves success in marriage.”
To have any successful relationship, including a dating relationship or marriage, it requires both people to work at it. Many people believe that the perfect relationship should happen naturally – that love should come without effort. That is a myth. It takes hard work to make a relationship work.
Don’t make the mistake of looking for a low-maintenance person to date because it will make things easy. If you want a good, satisfying, and healthy relationship, be prepared to put in the time, effort, sacrifice, and hard work to make it happen.
photo credit: Toban Black