Why Can't Guys Buy Gifts?

Dear Guys,

What is the deal with guys? Why can’t they buy gifts? Do Guys think they are exempt from buying once they are married or with a long term partner?”

Cindy (name changed in case hubby reads)

Dear Cindy,

The partial truth is, YES!

But the whole truth is, we are only accomplices. We might be completely overwhelmed by it all or we might just be good atΒ  playing dumb, but the bottom line is, women are enablers in this predicament and for good reason. Many women feel it’s easier to do it themselves, or so we’ve been told!

So yes, guys don’t get gifts much. We will absolutely try to get out of whatever we can when it comes to thinking up ideas, following through with the ideas(shopping), and then wrapping them up. But mostly because we’re given a free pass.

Free passes are usually given for three reasons.

1. Pity: This situation involves a Guy who is either inept or pretending to be inept at anything to do with gift giving. His wife or partner just feels badly for him. Of course if this goes on for too long it leads to our next reason…..

2. Disgust: The Guy has shown that he’s not only bad at gift giving he’s actually semi-offensive or at least not romantic. His idea of a good present for the women in his life is a blender, a vacuum or an exercise tape…..that his partner DIDN’T ask for!

3. Whatever: This is actually the worst of the free passes…..for the guy. It comes to this when a woman realizes it’s just easier to do it herself. But of course this is laced with annoyance and sometimes resentment.

So yes Cindy, we are certainly pretty lame when it comes to gift giving, but women need to stop enabling us . Make your guy, MAN UP!

Something to keep in mind. If your Guy was able to graduate high school and college, get a job, convince you to be with him, he certainly is clever or smart enough to think of gifts, buy them and wrap them. Or at least pay someone to do it for him.

We see two solutions to this problem. One would be let your man fail. Certainly not with the kids, but maybe with his own family or even you. Yes, you. If that happens you can constantly remind him why a new fishing pole was not on your list. He might get the hint and learn by next holiday season.

The second solution, which may be a more positive one, is to involve him. If he won’t take the initiative you might have to. Sit him down and have a discussion. If he’s not actually lazy, but just kind of clueless, then give him a list of jobs to do. He probably will comply even if he grumbles a bit. The more he’s involved the more he may change his behavior. Of course this is a five year plan, so take it a step at a time.

One word of warning. Relationships work with good communication and understanding. We don’t suggest making this a power struggle. Anytime you withhold “other” things it will only make matters worse. Guys don’t respond well to perceived threats. It just makes us more stubborn and boorish.

So start your plans soon. The holidays always come faster than you think.


15 Comments on Why Can't Guys Buy Gifts?

  1. I give my husband hints about what I would like for a gift, and he always pays attention. Gift-giving should not stop after marriage. If anything it is an affirmation of love and your importance to one another. You’re right, Guys. This one needs to “Man up!”

  2. I couldn’t agree with Cher more! Give hints, lists, suggestions, whatever. He should get it; it’s not that hard. My husband says the worst thing is to be expected to guess out of the blue; I agree.

  3. hahahaha! funny! funny again!

    Happy New Year, Guys!!!! πŸ™‚

  4. Mine’s discovered my Amazon wish list. He’s really good at reading my mind and knowing what I want, now.

    Guys don’t like guessing games, especially the kind they’re pretty sure they’ll lose in some way they won’t even fully understand. So they just give up. At least, that’s my take on it – too many pitfalls, might as well just fail honestly.

    Years ago, my husband and I agreed to give each other the gift of one less gift to stress out over at Christmas. We don’t give each other Christmas presents. Birthday presents, yes – “Honey, what do you want for your birthday?” (Or a quick glance at the Amazon wish list. Either works.) I’m not much of a mind-reader, either, so this works just FINE for me. πŸ˜‰

  5. It is always a pleasure to go through your posts πŸ™‚ . You rock . Happy new year ……… looking forward to more posts from you .

  6. Guys-very funny, and true. I admit it-I’m not a gift buyer or a gift giver. I can’t see the point. I figure if somebody wants something badly enough (children excepted of course) they can buy it themselves.

  7. I am lucky that Match does well with my gifts. He has a hard time giving gifts to anyone else. He’s constantly bemoaning Christmas for that reason. He agree that sometimes its a pain but when you can give a gift that someone loves and their eyes light up-its so worth it. I like what you said about letting them fail. Don’t go buying gifts “from” the husband-he can do it his damn self! πŸ™‚ and it will be much more genuine that way!

  8. I laughed at your post, thank you for sharing!!! I must say, men CAN BE TRAINED. My man did VERY well this year, not only picking perfect and thoughtful gifts for me, but he was generous to boot. This is the guy who gave me a homemade CD copied off one of his own tapes the first Christmas we spent together. I demanded he “man up” and he did just that.
    Thanks, Cathy

  9. My husband is a great gift giver, his problem is that he tends to spend too much (weird complaint I know, but I’m a 3rd generation saver and big price tags freak me out). Like Cher said, I have made a point to let my husband know some of my favorite items (especially things that get used up like perfume etc) so that he can always find a gift that I will love while I try to make sure that he doesn’t spend too much.

  10. I hate to admit it but after a decade of marriage, our gift giving prowess has shifted to where my husband is the good gift giver and I suck at it. Not sure how this happened…

  11. Another fun one, as always! And thanks for stopping by my gift giving humor post. I’m willing to wager you’ve never given as bad a gift as the one I talk about in my How To Muck Up Gift Giving.

    Happy new year!

  12. hippieshay // November 15, 2012 at 7:32 pm //

    I have a long distance relationship with my fiance for 4 years now. I am the only one who has ever travelled. He has never been to my home, 4K miles away. Every birthday & christmas I sent him things. This year I sent 3 boxes of goodies that he adored. 2 weeks later was my birthday. He didn’t even send me a card. Hasn’t sent me a card or a gift in all the time I’ve known him. Oh, he once gave me a pocket knife, the first christmas we were together & so coveted it that I felt obliged to buy him the same one back. This guy is a design architect who is particular about every colour, every piece of furniture. Yes, he has no money thanks to the economy but I don’t either – I’m on a pension. But I always find ways to send him gifts. This is probably the last birthday I’ll expect anything because I don’t think I’ll be speaking to him by the time my next birthday comes around. It’s the ultimate in rudeness & uncaring & I don’t care that he praises me to skies.

  13. @Hippieshay……We’re sorry to hear this. His behavior kind of goes along with the other details you shared about him. Did you get a chance to see our response to your questions? We replied on the Forum from: “My boyfriend is on dating sites; Is he cheating? Check it out.

  14. None of the men in my life give gifts. I go out of my way to think of something thoughtful they would like – a superpowered LED flashlight, tickets to the game, a favourite whiskey, a Scotty vest. But they do not have 2 seconds to even sign the card their spouse has picked out. This makes me feel unloved, as if I am not even worth the time to sign a card. They play dumb by telling themselves oh the wife bought the gift and since we share accounts it is from both of us. But everybody knows it is the wife that puts in the effort. If it is the thought that counts, I just have to accept that I don’t matter enough for even a thought.

  15. @J Hughes…..Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You have a right to feel as you do. Sounds like you’re on an island when it comes to giving gifts. But it also sounds like there’s more going on than a lack of giving gifts. Do you want to talk about this? Seems like maybe this lack of giving, or lack of caring, has spilled over. Let us know if you want to talk about it.

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