A state or design which does not require much effort for upkeep. Perhaps it is durable, or nobody minds if it isnt in perfect order.

low-maintenance, adj.

Often said of a partner in a friendship or an intimate relationship who makes relatively few demands on the other; not to be confused with someone who is actually uncomfortable doing so.

All relationships take some work to maintain, but a low-maintenance one doesn't feel much like work because of the high return on your investment of time, presence and emotional involvement. If your friend/SO:

  • is perfectly comfortable and happy outside a relationship,
  • makes his/her best effort to communicate honestly and fairly with you in the case of disagreements or distress and expects the same in return,
  • learns quickly and doesn't need a lot of hand-holding,
  • isn't jealous,
  • doesn't mind getting messy,
  • is fairly even-tempered: doesn't take offense easily and doesn't become a person-shaped Jell-O mold under minor stress,

he/she is low-maintenance.

Just as some people prefer to use well-engineered tools that need frequent adjustment and recalibration to work properly -- like carbon-steel Japanese chef's knives, descendants of the katana, that rust easily and need sharpening every day; or Mercedes-Benz cars, which handle beautifully on roads but usually need to be consigned to a mechanic when not in use -- some people prefer high-maintenance relationships. My guess? Stability and consistency bore them.

Not me.

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