Life Coach Magazine

The Difference Between Men and Women, Especially When It Comes To Gift Giving

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg

women and menIt’s funny how clearly some things seem in retrospect.  I was reading a book about the art of a happy marriage when a thought occurred to me.  It was the answer to something that’s been bugging me for weeks now.

You see, one of the few points of contention between Julie and I has been my time management.  She wants me to spend more time with her but I’m too busy with work and friends and such so instead I show my love through doing things for her.  I cook her dinner, I make her lunch and I even constructed a hammock for her in the backyard.  So when she tells me “I don’t seem to be your priority” I think to myself “that’s crazy, everything I do I do for you!” (Yes, that’s also a lovely Bryan Adams song).

This has been bothering me for a while because I truly love Julie and I don’t like it when something comes between us.  How can she think she’s not my top priority when she so clearly is?  I would do anything for her.  Whatever she wants or needs, I’ll go get.  Whatever she’s missing, I’ll go find.  How can she possibly even think for a second that she’s not my top priority?  Except what I failed to remember is how differently men and women think and that’s what this book reminded me of.

Men Are All About Doing

One of the ways to a man’s heart is indeed through his stomach, but this is just one variation on a theme.  In general, a man loves it when you do things for him.  That means cooking him dinner, getting him a practical present that he’s been wanting for a while or yes, dressing up in that sexy little outfit.  We love having things done for us because it makes us feel special.  We think to ourselves “wow, she went through all this trouble just for me, that’s amazing!  She must truly love me”.

Women Are All About Feeling

Yes, this is just my observation and I can’t verify this because I’m not a woman, but it seems to me that women are all about the experience of being loved.  That means that spending time with your loved one is the most important thing ever.  It also means that presents are less about what she needs and more about the feeling that’s behind the present.  That’s the complete opposite of how most men think which is why you get those awkward situations when he buys her a new set of tires and can’t figure out why she’s upset or she buys him that cute little picture of the two of them together and can’t figure out why he doesn’t look as happy as he should.

Tires versus Pictures

To a man, giving a new set of tires is the perfect gift.  He’s taken the time to notice what she needs, he’s being protective by making sure she’s safe while driving and he’s doing something that she’d probably rather not do herself.  For a woman, he’s being an idiot.  Tires?  Seriously?  How unromantic is that!  That’s not an expression of love, that’s something her mechanic suggests when she comes in for an oil change.  By the same token, to a woman, framed picture of a couple seems to be a perfect gift.  It’s thoughtful, it includes both of them and it’s a wonderful memory of their love which he can look at for years and remember how wonderful these times are.  To a man, this is silly.  A picture?  Really?  Isn’t this a gift for you and not me?  I don’t care what’s on my desk at work and I remember your face just fine.  Why would I want this picture?

Ok, so I exaggerate a little but it really seems to me that men and women are sometimes talking completely different languages.  Let me give you a more realistic example.  For her birthday, Julie wanted me to put together a romantic weekend away for just the two of us.  Note the emphasis on us again and on spending time together.  For my birthday, I wanted Julie to put together a party, get my favorite foods and invite my friends.  Notice the emphasis on doing something cool for me.  See the difference?

Good or Bad?

Ultimately, this is neither good nor bad, it’s just something we need to keep in mind if we want to maintain a happy life with our partners.  For me, I need to remember that Julie values spending time with me and see that as the ultimate expression of love.  For Julie, she needs to remember that men love having things done for them, especially practical stuff that they’ve been putting off doing themselves.  We see that as a wonderful expression of love.

All of us should remember that men and women are not in fact the same.  No, this isn’t some political statement, it’s merely fact.  Our bodies are not the same, our minds are not the same and our value systems are not the same.  The things we love and care about are different and that’s a valuable little tidbit for those of us looking for a happy marriage.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the living room to spend some quality time with the woman I love


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