Guys, you have long wondered why exactly women love having you tag along on shopping sprees. The answer is simple and does not involve your credit cards: It’s because no matter how much confidence we have, we will always feel better in our ensemble of choice if we know you had some say in that choice. We want to know that you find us attractive, we want to know you like our style and we want an honest opinion from the man who knows us best.
The problem: an open invitation for you to say the wrong thing. “Do I look fat in this?” is a cliché for a reason: because it happens. Read on to find out how to answer her honestly, without ending up sleeping on the couch.
Be honest, not blunt
If she is point-blank asking you for your opinion, you have a duty as the man she trusts and loves to tell her how it is. Still, please do so by focusing on her clothing and not her body. If what she’s trying on is too tight, or if the cut is simply not flattering, let her know you prefer some of the other items she tried on, or even tell her that it’s not the most flattering _______ (colour, material, fit, etc.). By contrast, do not say, “I can see the rolls in your stomach,” or “You have back fat in that shirt.” Keep in the clear by giving her nothing to take personally.
When it comes to clothes, women are happy to spend money if they know they will look good. We put ourselves through so much negative self-reflection that we sometimes can’t determine which is the best colour option, style option, etc. The women who know what they want are not the ladies that bring their men with them — so if she’s bringing you, you are there for a purpose. Be decisive: If you like one option better than the next, if you think what she wants is a waste of money, tell her. Don’t just say what you think she wants to hear. Wanting your other half to be happy does not mean you should be a Yes Man. (An aside: Don’t be one at the office, either.) Saying what you think she wants to hear is also unacceptable if the sole goal is getting out of the store quicker — in fact, it’s often at cross-purposes. The quickest way to get’r done is by being decisive and sure of yourself and providing your opinion in a matter-of-fact tone.
OK, a stretch, I know, but if you don’t want the store to be the new battlefield, look around with her as she’s selecting options to try on, and hang tight just outside the change room as she’s experimenting. If you show some enthusiasm, it will make her feel like you really care about her. Remember, though you see this as a chore, she sees it as a date (and some one-on-one time with you). We know you don’t want to be there with us, so if you’re giving in and coming along anyways, give it your all. Don’t give her the opportunity to start looking into/creating issues. If you spend your time waiting outside the store playing on your iPhone, she’ll feel uncared for, she’ll feel as if you don’t value your time together. Quality over quantity, guys — it’s common sense…
Image courtesy of jasonsaten.