G0lden said: But maybe a simple hint may not be enough. A two by four up the backside of the head sounds like a really good way to get their undivided attention.
All my girlfriends have said that this is true of men- that they don't get hints. That you have to flat out just tell them things... even things you would think would be patently obvious. And in the end, don't take it personally that it didn't occur to them.
But honestly- I'm not sure if that flies. First of all, I've had lots of guy friends- and I haven't observed them to be cognitively impaired when it comes to understanding the nuances in many other things- video games, art, their friendships with each other, observations about life, their jobs, their cars, collectible toys, politics, humor, literature, etc.. They seem to be able to analyze. But when it comes to women- they all seem to have a blind spot that renders them suddenly incapable of thinking outside of themselves.
Is that because men and women have slight differences in their brain structures? Or is it simply because they don't put the time and effort in? Which basically comes down to: do they really, truly not understand- or do they just not care?
It would be unproductive to expect a man to change if he is incapable of it. But is it unreasonable to ask someone who is capable to step up to plate?
With my boyfriend... I think it was just that he was never taught how to give a gift. He doesn't know how to shop for other people- doesn't know what to get them- feels awkward doing it. But you know... I had that same problem too. I used to have a hard time figuring out what to get people, wasn't sure how to shop and felt awkward doing it. But I figured it out through trial and error and just by making the effort. I made an effort to think about the perspective of the person I was shopping for and guess as to what they would want. That is why giving a gift is so considerate- because it shows you have not only thought about the person- but have tried to understand them as well.
If I can do it- why can't he? Is it a personality factor? Is it just a "man" thing that women need to accept? Or is it a very subtle form of misogyny that tells men (who are capable of understanding so many different things) that they don't need to try to understand the women in their lives?