Men pride themselves on being straightforward and uncomplicated. We women are the ones who say one thing and mean another, change our minds constantly and get anxious when things don’t go exactly to plan. So, if we women are the complicated ones, why is it that men are so hard to buy gifts for? Here, we will try to help you understand how your man thinks, and what he wants for Christmas.
The truth is, most men are fairly low maintenance. If a woman tries hard to find the right gift for her man, she will be rewarded with praise and appreciation, even if the gift is completely impractical and not to his taste. On the other hand, if a man tries hard to find the perfect gift for his lady and fails, she finds it difficult to return the feigned appreciation. Instead, the man is met with a variety of responses, from “I can’t believe you don’t know me at ALL!” (the jewelry gift), or “What are you trying to tell me?” (the perfume gift) or “What am I supposed to do with this?” (the toaster oven gift).
So while men live in constant fear of retribution for the gift choices they make, we are free to make mistakes, year after year, knowing full well that those mistakes will be met with polite (if completely feigned) gratitude and appreciation. The problem is, we kind of know when our man is not entirely thrilled with a gift. It’s sweet that he pretends to love it, but we really just want to get it right, and therein lies the problem. How can we get it right if we don’t understand how men think?
Well, it’s kind of simple. There are some fundamental differences between the sexes. Here are some tips on how to interpret male behavior as it relates to buying Christmas gifts for men.
Tips for Thinking Like (and Buying for) Your Man:
TIP #1 - Men Do Not Have An Opinion About Home Décor:
This should probably indicate to you that he would not enjoy that gorgeous vase you saw on sale last week as much as you. Ergo – the vase would be a gift for YOU, not him.
TIP #2 - Men Love Gadgets!
Just as men do not share women’s obsession with perfectly matched hats, bags and shoes, women find it hard to feign interest in the inner workings of electronic gadgets and machinery. State of the art headphones, interesting bottle openers, watches that do more than tell the time, universal remote controls… these are all things that men enjoy a lot more than women. Do not assume that just because you don’t find it thrilling, he won’t.
TIP #3 - Men Are Able to Store Useless Information:
Think about the useless information your man stores, and look for clues about his passions in life. If he knows the top speed of a racecar that he has never driven, buy him a rally car drive-along. If he knows facts and figures on the Bonobo population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and refers to monkeys as his furry friends, buy him a gift certificate to “Apes and Chimps Week” at the zoo.
TIP #4 - Men Go to Their Caves: Gifts that encourage this practice, will tell him that you acknowledge and support his need for time out. This might be the greatest gift you can give to your man. The den, garage or his home office, can be thought of as his “Man-Cave”. This is an excellent place for him to be himself and gather his thoughts (or watch football and drink beer in his underwear). This concept may be upsetting to start with, but if you take part in facilitating this aspect of his life (for instance, by buying him a dart board for the garage), your desire to destroy his “Man-Cave”, is likely to subside over time.
TIP #5 - Ask a Bro:
It seems guys know what other guys want. And that’s logical, right? Usually, a Bro will know what your man is into and what he might want as gift. However, there are a few things to look out for when taking advice from a “Bro”. Firstly, you don’t have to buy your man anything that has the potential to harm him physically. For example: if your man has chronic back pain and Bro suggests a day of high-speed rally car driving for two people, you can assume that Bro himself, just wants to go rally car driving. Secondly, you don’t have to buy your man anything that has the potential to harm your relationship. For example: if Bro suggests a trip to Vegas on the weekend of your anniversary, don’t be “the best girlfriend ever” - some things are sacred.
TIP #6 - EXTRA HARD CASES:
All of the above said, every man is different, and some are genuinely just VERY hard to buy for. In these cases, a little more creativity is required. First you need to know what you are dealing with. Here are a few common reasons that your man might be hard to buy for, and suggestions on how to get around the problem.
He is the “Man Who Has Everything”. If he’s a confident self-starter who knows what he wants, chances are he already has it, or at least it’s on order through Amazon. The best way to get around this one is to preempt his next purchase. Look for clues. If he just bought an iPad, buy him a leather iPad case; if he just booked a snow-boarding trip, buy him a new pair of gloves and a hat.
He’s a Control Freak. This guy knows what he wants, and it’s likely that anything you buy him would have been better in a different model, color and size. The hardest case of all, the best remedy for a control freak is gift cards. Buy one for his favorite store and let him choose exactly what he wants. Everyone stays happy.
His tastes are so distinctive and unusual, that even his best male buddies have trouble figuring him out. The reasons you fell for him in the first place now prevent you from being able to decide on a gift for him. Go for broke on this one. Chances are, the craziest gift you can think of is going to make his day. Experiences over material things are always a good bet for this guy. Skydiving, anyone?