Why Men And Women Can Never Be Shopping Buddies

This was going to be a guide for men on how to survive a shopping expedition with a woman, but on reflection, that idea was scrapped. The bottom line is men and women just should not shop together. Ever. 

This is not a product of the failings of the interrelationship between men and women in modern society – far from it. In fact, it has its roots in the Stone Age and the evolutionary adaptation of gender roles. Men are biologically programmed to be the hunters; women are the gatherers. That’s why when we enter a shopping centre – today’s incarnation of the prehistoric jungle – men sniff out their prey and go straight for the kill, while women are driven to ensure that every stone has been turned and every branch rattled to procure the finest fruits.

Men hunt; women gather – just one of the reasons men and women can never be shopping buddies.*

Men hunt; women gather – just one of the reasons men and women can never be shopping buddies.*

Our divergent primal instincts are only the beginning when it comes to reasons why men and women are hardwired to be incompatible shopping buddies. Here are some others.

Our mental calculators conflict
Mathematically, we are wired differently. Take, for example, methods for calculating ‘savings’. While a woman is high-fiving herself for saving $400 off the price of a Louis Vuitton handbag, her other half is reaching for the smelling salts after looking at the receipt. Only in a women’s clothing store could the concept of the ‘spend and save’ promotion possibly be considered anything but a misguided attempt at humour.

You spent WHAT??????!!!!!!!!

You spent WHAT??????!!!!!!!!

Our triggers are different
Men and women might both consider a change of season to be a reason to go shopping, but for vastly different reasons. For women, a change of season presents an ultimatum: hit the shops or risk having to be seen wearing last year’s fashion. For men, it’s about the fact that the jeans that held themselves together by a thread over summer are just not going to cut it in sub-arctic temperatures.

Selective memory loss is a competitive advantage in the shopping stakes.

Selective memory loss is a competitive advantage in the shopping stakes.

Our purposes don’t align
‘Retail therapy’ – in the sense of shopping as a form of stress relief – is a term that applies pretty much exclusively to women. To men, therapy is generally what comes after the ordeal of shopping. 

Heaven and hell ... such a fine line.

Heaven and hell … such a fine line.

Women don’t share men’s ‘pack mentality’
In the wild, male animals hunt in packs. Human males, by contrast, hunt for packs. Unlike his female counterpart, the human male seeks his prey in bulk. If he finds a shirt that fits, he buys it in every colour of the rainbow. Women, on the other hand, will go to extensive lengths to avoid being spotted in the same outfit at two social events in a calendar year.

A simpler time: There were only so many variations available on the loin cloth.

A simpler time: There were only so many variations available on the loin cloth.

It’s fraught with danger
Shopping is to a relationship what white walls are to a toddler – a canvas for disaster. It gives rise to lethal man-traps like “Does my butt look big in this?” The truth is, there really is no carnage-free way out of this perilous query for the targeted male, especially if the answer is anything other than a genuine “no”. The only safe option for the man in question is to say “no” to the question he was asked before he left the house – i.e. Do you want to come shopping with me?

Shopping with the one you love is a battlefield.

Shopping with the one you love is a battlefield.

In short: don’t go there, boyfriend!
When we try to mess with the natural order of things, nature has a way of coming back to bite us. Shopping is no exception. Men hunt, women gather – and if you try to force the two to align, what you end up with is an unwinnable game of relationship roulette. So blokes, spare your sanity and the cost of couples counselling and just say NO!  

 

*Adapted from image of unknown origin: ‘Mission: Go to Gap, Buy A Pair of Pants’.

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2017-06-13T15:15:29+00:00 Shopping|5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Samdu May 15, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I recently went to Masters Hardware Store with hubby. He of course likes to wander and look! I don’t. So I asked a storeperson where was the "LADIES LOUNGE". there is not one, but I mentioned that if they had one with a TV, coffee/tea etc. the ladies would let their men shop for much longer. The reverse applies when women are shopping. So why not have facilities for the opposite sex to R and R while their other half is shopping???

  2. Vicky May 19, 2015 at 2:54 am

    Well I must be a male then because I definitely CANT stand being in a shopping mall or shop more than 30 mins……..and WHY would ANYONE want to waste 665 dollars on clothes?

    • Vicky May 19, 2015 at 2:57 am

      Besides my husband and I make awesome shopping buddies so your article is invalid.

  3. Jane May 19, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Another stereotype article to just fill space. People are individuals. As Samdu has highlighted it simply depends on what people are shopping for and if they have an interest in it. Men enjoy shopping and can overspend also if it’s something of interest.

  4. rusty May 19, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Oh come on gals, It’s all in jest, tongue in cheek etc. Certainly a couple of truths but mainly entertainment value 🙂

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