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How to figure out what women really want?

Recently I got into a rather heated discussion with a friend of mine. The subject was about gift giving, particularly between couples. Now, is it just my opinion that men are more difficult to buy for than women? Do l hold this opinion because I am a woman? And, is gift giving really just about buying? Men! Pay attention, that's your first clue.

For the sake of argument, let's focus just on women. I will be the first to admit that we can be somewhat difficult to understand as a general rule. Do we really mean what we say when we say it? If we change our r minds, is it forever or just for this onetime only? Does 'no' really mean maybe? Even the courts are continually arguing the validity of a 'no' in certain cases of physical assault You get my drift here. Yes, sad but true, many women are guilty of not communicating with clarity, even I may possibly be guilty, but I feel I do have a valid argument in point for my defense.

I was asked what I wanted for Christmas; I responded 'nothing.' I responded with this answer for two reasons; One, I sincerely was not in want of anything; Two, we had just taken a two week trip to Egypt and I felt that was a spectacular gift enough, and said so. When he wanted to go window shopping I thought that perhaps he was still mulling over the situation, especially when he pointed out certain things to get my response.

Of course this did not preclude me from enjoying the tradition of gift giving to him. On the day of gift opening with my family,! admit I was a little surprised that I received nothing from him. Honestly, I was not disappointed, but I was a little surprised. It is the very first time that a man has actually taken me at my word, when I stated that I did not desire a gift. This is a good thing, for the most part.

Several days later, on two specific and different occasions, two of my dearest friends, one male and one female, asked what I received from my enamorata. When I said 'nothing' they didnt believe me. I then found myself defending him and rationalizing why he really didnt get me anything. They both argued that 'something is wrong here,' or that 'he must really be cheap.' 'How else does one interpret such a non-action? ''A gift doesnt have to be purchased, it is the thought after all.' 

Hmm, I must admit they started me thinking that the situation did require more scrutiny... for myself if not of him.

I recall another incident, back in the days of being married. It was Valentine's Day. My husband of one year came home from work carrying a beautiful flower arrangement Instead of handing it to me, he placed it on the table and proceeded to tell me what a great deal of effort and trouble he went through to get me the flowers and a special gift. He seemed so put out about it that I suggested he not go through all that bother again. I personally dont appreciate a person giving gifts just because they feel they have to, not because they want to. (Men, here is your second clue!) Basically, he made me feel guilty whenever he felt he had to buy me something. That was not my idea of what gift giving/receiving should entail. He never did buy me flowers again, which was never a problem, until years later One day, one of my sons asked me why I didn't like receiving flowers.., it was Mother's Day. I asked where he got such a ridiculous idea. He said that Dad told him I didn't like flowers. HAH! It is a good thing we were already long divorced. That man never got it, he didn't have a clue.

For the record, I don't know of a single female who doesn't enjoy receiving flowers.., store bought, hand-picked, drawn, written, photographed, whatever. Opening those long boxes with huge bows and finding a dozen long stemmed roses are probably the most outstanding memories a woman holds dear.

Okay, back to the main issue, does a woman really mean what she says? For the record, for me personally, yes, I do mean exactly what I say when I say it. IF I am asked what I would like for a gift, for any reason, any occasion, I will always respond the same, I am not in want or need of nothing. I understand that a man is possibly trying to be considerate by asking what a woman would like for a gift... truth? I think that he is actually being lazy.

It's like giving the gift of money, how much effort does that take? Okay, okay, lam NOT speaking for ALL women. Many prefer to be asked, many appreciate the money over receiving something they can't or won't wear, use, etc. More truth? Men are still at fault here. No woman is going to turn down or be disappointed with something personally meaningful. In fact, I don't know that any special gift ever goes unappreciated.

Now, here's the main clue for all gift givers.., men AND women. What we all want, would appreciate the most, and what true gift giving is about.. is the thought and consideration that goes into the selection. Can two people actually care about one another and not know the other well enough to create a stir of emotion and surprise? Does it really have to cost a great deal of time, money, or trouble? I think not

Sean Connery, in Finding Forrester, tells Jamal that one thing he's learned in life is that women like surprise gifts. How many times has Sean been wrong, and who would argue with him?

Gentlemen, Ladies... gift giving is synonymous with a symbolic expression coming from the heart. When one has a full heart, one cannot give enough. It isn't about needing or wanting that which is affordable or not. Giving a gift is a simple gesture of directed thought, specific and particular to that one person. It is what tells that person that he or she is special.

So, Dear Hearts, it isnt about what a person 'wants' or 'needs so much as what you want to tell that person, and how you tell it. Remember to listen to your own heart, sometimes the mind's decibels are too loud and overpowering.

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