It might seem like the ways to help your man enjoy shopping with you are known only to the strange, ethereal goddesses (you know, the kind who seem to have walked straight out of a magazine shoot into the mall – they’re in six-inch heels with their gorgeous well-behaved cherubs bouncing along happily beside them and a smiling husband on their arm), but I am here to tell you – their secret is OUT! Read on and discover ways to help your man enjoy shopping with you – with no need for those blister-inducing six-inchers!
1. Take Breaks
Whether it’s a movie, the arcade or just taking a few minutes out to relax in between shops, it's a good idea to break up the day into sections - this will stop the day from feeling like an eternal, interminable experience and make it more like a few smaller manageable ones. It seems obvious, but this is one of the most crucial ways to help your man enjoy shopping with you.
2. Avoid All-Dayers
While full day (i.e. 9am to 5.30pm) shopping trips are long and luxurious to you and your girlfriends, a crucial thing to remember is that your boyfriend does not share this opinion. Boys just don’t have the correct training for this particular marathon. All-dayers might be frequent practice for you and the girls, but your man will go crazy if you keep him cooped up that long.
3. Keep Him Fed and Watered
We’ve all been through it. You’re at the shops with someone who will not stop complaining, cries occasionally and drags their feet so slowly and laboriously across the ground that you would think there was a ball and chain attached to them. But it’s not a child! It is, unfortunately, a grown man behaving like one. It’s a fact that most men transform into tantrum-throwing terrors when they shop. The key to putting them on the fast track to adulthood is to keep them fed and watered. I’m serious! Men in malls are like babies - they will cry every few hours if they're not fed. So, make sure he’s got food in his stomach and a coffee in his hand most of the day, and it’ll go a long way.
4. Positive Reinforcement
I think just making the effort to express your appreciation to your boyfriend for coming out with you matters. He will feel less like he is just fulfilling an obligation and more like he is being valued for helping you out. After all, it's probably not his favorite thing to do. Plus, if he asked you to come to a super-long and super-boring weekend game of his, you'd love some kudos as well. So it goes both ways!
5. Be Task-Oriented
For a guy there is almost nothing worse than traipsing from shop to shop with no purpose and no end in sight. In fact, it has just been in the news that a man in China threw himself off a seventh floor mall balcony when his girlfriend refused to stop shopping. Something about never-ever-ever-ending shopping does things to a guy - it breaks their brain a little bit. So try to follow the advice of the delightful Hugh Dancy in the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009): "Strike with precision and get out!" It actually makes sense - if you conduct the trip with specific things in mind, you are more likely to have a successful day. Also, your man might just go into overdrive trying to help you find it – you’ve given him a task to complete, and that will focus his energies on something other than his severe boredom.
6. Don’t Go when the Game is on
If you choose a day when the sport your boyfriend likes is having play offs, finals etc, he will be exponentially more absent while shopping than he would normally be. Like a tween checking Facebook for likes on her status, he will look at his phone approximately 147 times a minute and it will be difficult for him to walk in a straight line, let alone tell you which color Crocs look better (And they’re Crocs! So the answer is none!)
7. Go to His Fave Shops Too
Be an equal-shopportunity girlfriend. It's not totally fair to spend the whole trip just checking out stores you want, right? It's a good idea to be flexible about your plans and encourage your man to have a wander in the shops he likes too - it's going to make him happier and the whole day will run smoother - plus you can get him a surprise present and win some girlfriend points!
And there you have it – my tips to keep your boyfriend’s spirits up and his eyes on the prize – helping you find some bangin’ bargains and serious shopping success! Follow these hints and you might just find him to be your best shopping buddy yet! What techniques do you use to help your man enjoy shopping? Let me know!