For these men, the definition of “maintenance” has shifted from traditional strategies like sending gifts and engaging in the occasional dinner, drinks or movie, to this incredibly convenient and empty form of communication based on text messages, emails, and social media: e-maintaining. And it is a mode of communication that isn’t even based in reality.
Coined by Yashar Ali
Karen would always fill him in on her life, and Michael would always respond with the same short answer, “That’s cool.”
After one or two text messages, Michael would usually disappear. But a couple of weeks later, he would show up again. Sometimes their conversations would go deeper—ten minutes of texting back and forth. Karen would find hope in those longer texting sessions, thinking that he was finally engaging with her.
A couple times he even texted, “We should have dinner soon.”
But every time Karen agreed to dinner, Michael would tell her about his really busy month at work, delaying the need to schedule a real date. Then, he would never follow up.
This faux-relationship wasn’t going anywhere and Karen was left feeling confused and frustrated about Michael’s intentions.
But these sporadic texts weren’t even about sex. Michael never even proposed any sort of rendezvous. And Karen’s motivation was certainly not friendship. “I have enough friends,” she said.
“He’s not even trying to sleep with me, what’s the point of all this?”
I told her, “Karen you’re being e-maintained”