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.