Going Shopping With Your Girlfriend - Tips and Advice


Few things rouse as much fear in a man as the prospect of going shopping with a girlfriend. He dreads the long hours before the trial room, saying the wrong things when his opinion is asked for, muscles aching from carrying innumerable shopping bags as well as trooping in and out of stores the whole long day. However it is possible to survive this experience, no matter how much the odds seem stacked against you. And in the end who knows you may even get to enjoy a day hanging out together with your girlfriend in the season of the Sale.

Know the difference

Shopping with a girlfriend comes off as a nightmarish experience for most men, essentially because it means entirely two different things for the two different sexes. While the men much prefer to go to their favorite store, pick up their stuff and head back home to enjoy their purchase with a bottle of chilled beer, to a woman shopping means something else altogether. It is a way to unwind, find out the latest trends of the season, compare prices for the same item across a dozen stores, decide that some women have no sense of style at all and eventually undergo some highly effective retail therapy herself. All this seems inexplicable to her boyfriend who cannot understand why she did not pick the dress she spent forty minutes trying out before the mirror. Once you begin to understand how shopping implies a whole complex of emotions and perceptions for your girlfriend, you will be mentally better prepared to go through the ordeal.

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Keep yourself busy

The secret to being a supportive boyfriend while your girl goes shopping is to take along enough things to do when she is set to troop in and out of the trial room for the better part of an afternoon. Most large stores have comfortable seats in the waiting areas so make yourself at home once you reach there. Catch up on your reading while you are lounging or put on your earphones and listen to your favorite songs on the iPod. Alternately you could also sneak in your notebook and rush through pending office-work – the only drawback of this plan is that if your girlfriend sees you gainfully employed while she is agonizing between the velvet black and peach chiffon, you are sure to rouse her ire. So either be discrete while surfing the net on your Blackberry or tactfully hide any material when called upon to offer your opinion.

When asked for advice

Men often complain that their girlfriends ask for their advice when shopping with no intention whatsoever of following them. Very often women have already made up their minds and asking the boyfriend what he thinks is just a means to trap the poor fellow. So when your girlfriend asks for your feedback when shopping, remember you have to walk the delicate line between sounding interested and protecting fragile feelings. If you say too many things look good, she will attribute that to you just not caring. You are obviously an inattentive and terrible boyfriend who can’t do what she wants for once in your life. If you say too many things look bad, it is just because you are in a rotten mood and hate spending time with her. So for instance when your girlfriend begins trying out shoes wait until at least the third or fourth pair to go up and offer your unsolicited opinion. If you get involved after the first you are stuck, and you can’t fake interest for more than a pair or two.

Sound specific even when you have no idea what you are talking about

This may seem a contradiction in terms but really this is the only way you come emerge unscathed when asked to give your opinion after your girlfriend has tried out the eighth outfit in a span of twenty minutes. The trick is to cast a keen eye on her facial expressions as she is taking down the clothes from the rack. Mark the one which has evoked the strongest glint of desire in her eyes and when she asks your opinion on whether to choose the mauve skirt or  the rose cashmere, tell her that you think the one she loved looks great and she should definitely get it. The one she was unsure about looks good on her, but you don’t like the dress itself. More importantly offer your opinion with conviction as if you know for sure what you are saying. A couple of such strong statements - even if they are really just her own thoughts recycled - and they will be enough to convince her you really do care about how she looks and what she buys.

Focus on your girlfriend

Yet another hazard of shopping with your girlfriend is that you are not allowed to appreciate the lovely goddesses of the consumer heaven. The malls and plazas are all full of pretty salesgirls, fragrance models and even other attractive shoppers. But try to keep your eyes on your girlfriend for despite her apparent interest in the items on sale, she is probably watching you from the corner of her eye.

Break it up

A day devoted to shopping will be that much more bearable for you if you introduce breaks in between. For instance if you find yourself losing patience, suggest a trip to the food court; or if your girlfriend is blissfully engrossed, set off on your own to check out the sports or gadget store  on the level above. You could even plan a movie break in order to bring in some much-wanted relief from the shopping spree. Best of all, plan an enjoyable event at the end of the day – say a movie at seven in the evening or dinner reservations at eight. This will mark a deadline for your girlfriend by which the shopping must be wrapped up while you can look forward to the time when you get off your holding-shopping-bags duty. Once you are able to incorporate ideas which appeal to both, you will view it less as a waste of your time and find it an enjoyable way to hang out together.