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We spoke with syndicated advice columnist Ellie Tesher about the difference between being high maintenance and having your needs met. Here she offers six tips on how to be less demanding.
1. Don't try to give your partner a makeover
Tesher advises her readers to not try to make their partners fit a specific mould. It's one thing to offer your fashion opinion, but if you try to change your partner's look it might make him feel like he's not good enough for you.
"By revamping his wardrobe and surroundings, it's not only costly, but it's imposing and ultimately annoying," says Tesher.
So how do you get him to clean up without coming off as demanding? "Encourage him to look his best, but always compliment him for himself," Tesher suggests.
2. Learn to compromise in a relationship
When making plans with your man – whether it's something as minor as deciding what restaurant to go to for dinner or as major as choosing a holiday destination – don't refuse his ideas and only agree to your own.
"Compromise is so much better for a relationship," say Tesher. "Even if you're a five-star woman, a once-a-year camping experience can be so much fun, puts you in touch with nature and shows him you're a good sport," she explains.
Try to be open-minded. The more you're willing to give in to your partner, the more you'll get back from him. Seriously consider his suggestions – and accept them – to create a better balance in your relationship. If you always insist on things being your way, he may choose to find a relationship with someone who values his wants and needs as well as their own.
3. Be a fan
Many people have a set list of things they just won't do, because they are certain they won't enjoy them. This is especially true for women who don't like the sports or video games that their partners do.
Instead of blowing your partner off or mocking him every time he talks about the latest game – or even wanting to catch a live game together – try being a fan with him.
"If you want to spend time with your guy, be prepared to munch a hotdog at the game of the summer, at least once. Or host a soccer playoff party and whip up a batch of chili – he'll love you for it," says Tesher.
People like to surround themselves with those who make them feel good about themselves, not worse. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy your partner's interests – and there's something to be said for rooting for a team together; it definitely creates a deeper bond.
4. Put yourself together
"Look stylish when you go out, but, appropriate please," says Tesher. "Being overdressed puts a guy off. He knows he might have to keep you that way one day."
This point is particularly important to keep in mind at the beginning of a relationship. "Know when to be truly casual, and work it," Tesher adds.
5. Be honest, but not too honest
When you talk about your dreams, keep your feet on the ground. Too many mentions of big houses, fancy cars and luxury travel may sound a loud alarm," says Tesher.
Men want to feel masculine, and it hits at their masculinity if they know they can't provide for you.
"Share your interests and personal goals that you intend to try to reach on your own, not depending on anyone else," advises Tesher.
6. Keep it real
"Compare yourselves to real people, not celebs," says Tesher. "When a guy hears too many references to Angelina and Brad, he's bound to start calculating the costs he'll never reach."
Sure, bringing up others might help you broach a tough topic, but Tesher suggests talking about people you admire for their character, for how they help others or for how they raise their kids. Not for how beautiful they are or for how much money they have.
If all of your past and current partners have told you that you're too high maintenance, there is likely some truth behind that. If these situations don't relate to you, the best thing you can do – if you have the courage – is to approach your partner, asking him directly why it is he thinks you might be too demanding. Remember, it's all about having boundaries when it comes to your wants and needs, and knowing how to stay within them.
Read more articles like this in Relationships.