What's to like about a partner who has no time for you?
Who could (or should) tolerate a companion that doesn't feed your need?

A low-maintenance girlfriend is certainly preferable to a high-maintenance girlfriend, and on this single point I agree with you, lagrange. Where we part ways though, is in our definitions, or functional specifications maybe.

By low-maintenance girlfriend you seem to mean someone who doesn't want your focus or your appreciation. Or maybe, to put a finer point on it, someone who doesn't require that appreciation. Is this 'low-maintenance' or merely self-reliance or self-trust? (forgive the therapy-speak...)

There is a large (but subtle) distinction between "does not constantly demand" and "doesn't want." Not to attack your logic or your grammar, but really... one must be very careful how one states things. Words are very powerful catalysts for behavior.

I sense a species of carelessness in your desire for the "low-maintenance girlfriend." I mean: would you truly want a woman who would stay with the "hulking, rugby-playing, wife-beating tosser" that you say lurks in me, and all men? Of course, there is a hulking tosser in all us men -- though I prefer the term "pirate." But, by now, shouldn't we be smart enough to keep the pirate in his proper place?

Now, I'm not at all saying we should bow down to that Good Woman therapist created for us by Western society -- cull out all our rugby impulses, soften our souls, and shamefully sheath the tools we are given. But seriously, can't we be whole people? I love the "what is a man good for" species of so-called feminist jokes out there. They say we're just cheaper than vibrators?? Okay then... How about giving us the freedom and respect sex toys get?

The whole mistake of all this talk about women and men I think is all the "men are this... women are that, men need this... women need that" crap. Who knows what Men need? or Women need? (Don't get me wrong, a whole lot of that stuff is fascinating and enlightening and really fucking funny!)

I lost someone important, someone who I thought at the time was the perfect low-maintenance girlfriend. Know why? Because I doted on her and needed her, and became the archetype of the high-maintenance boyfriend. What killed that relationship, and killed the Me that started that relationship was the reaction I had to her independence. Why did she cheat on me and then leave me? Because I wasn't an equal to her. Because all my vitality came from her reactions to my affection. Because I lived for her. My self-sacrifice led directly to my self-effacement. What we're talking about is enmeshment (sorry, another therapy word...): being entirely defined by a relationship.

My True Low-Maintenance Girlfriend already has a life, and a strength all her own: but just what makes that a nightmare? Our grandfathers... did they need someone else to measure their worth and vitality? What has happened in the last 60 years to make lifelong partnerships all about self-validation and self-esteem? Oh sure: nurturing, care, love, affection... those are all great. Just fine. But how is it that we consider ourselves adults these days when we don't even feel okay without a lover for a mirror?

Here's what I mean by "low-maintenance girlfriend" just so it's clear: she is self-sufficient, not especially even financially or materially, but self-sufficient -- she trusts completely in the self that only she can ever know; she could be apart from me for ANY length of time and still be okay, and I would be okay, because I'm not basing my self-worth on her or her attention, nor is she on me or mine; I love the affection she has to give me, and I understand its limits, because my affection toward her has its limits too. If she is too swamped at work or a symposium or a class to remember anniversary flowers, that is a happy thing, I am proud of her: as she is proud of me for not needing to see her smile glow when I praise her beauty.

Your question: "Is X incredibly sane and well-balanced or does she not give a fuck...?" is telling. What about the first clause is so threatening that it leads you to pose the second clause as an alternative? The tragic question (I think) is this: whatever convinced us we should undertake lifelong partnerships before we really trust we are sane and well-balanced... alone?