Gender Differences

I found this great TV program I love. It’s Canadian and it’s titled “Love It Or List It.” It’s one of those houseporn reality shows where people are looking for a new house. There are two hosts, a designer and a realtor. The realtor looks for the perfect house for the family while the designer remodels the existing house. In the end, the family decides if they want to stay in the remodeled house or put it on the market and move.

I’ve watched many episodes, and every one so far has started the same way. The wife wants to move and the husband is desperate to convince her that the old house can be made good enough to stay. Every single time. Even though all the work of packing and moving – and it’s gigantic work – will fall to the wife, it’s the husband who dreads having to move.

It’s the same reason why women are the ones to seek divorce in over 80% of cases, I guess. Men don’t like change. I have no idea how this works.

Does anybody have any insights?

10 thoughts on “Gender Differences”

  1. “Love It Or List It.”

    The show is semi-scripted so that might have something to do with it. I know, I know, if you can’t believe reality tv then who can you believe in this crazy world?

    I suspect that it’s trickier to show a husband wanting to upend the wife’s comfortable life – it could make viewers uneasy and could easily seem like borderline abuse to some viewers….

    My own opinion is that the entire mission of HGTV is to make people unsatisfied with their current home. I know one person who began watching it regularly and is now itchy to move even though their current living arrangement seems perfectly fine…



    1. I don’t know, I’m a contrarian. I wanted to move before but now I’m putting aside money to hire a designer for a remodel.

      But you make good points. I’m a naive viewer, I guess, taking everything at face value.


  2. Maybe it is for the same reason that many men can happily wear the same clothes every day but women can have loads of clothes and nothing to wear. Not that I know what causes that either.


    1. Don’t forget shoes! My husband’s position is, “but why do I need new shoes? I already have a pair.” Of course, when that pair (age 9) falls apart he has nothing to wear to the store to get a new one.

      It’s not a money issue. He’s very successful.


      1. I’m not sure it’s a gender issue, but it’s definitely a personality one. Thanks to having three boys, I can perform all sorts of social experiments (and by perform experiments I mean I observe what they do and report anecdata on blogs 🙂 ). My eldest (20) is like N: completely disinterested in clothes, has one pair of shoes that gets worn until it falls apart. He’s super conscientious about hygiene, but he wears the first thing that’s on the pile with no regard for what matches. I’ve had to work hard on instilling some basic aesthetic principles so he doesn’t look like a hopeless dork now that he’s on his own in college.

        Middle son (13) has always had style. Even as a little kid he wouldn’t wear just anything, was and still is super careful about things matching even if he’s just going to sit at home all day, notices fashion trends for both men and women, and buys every item of clothing for peer acceptance and style as much as, if not more than for comfort and functionality. I’ve never had to teach him anything about how to dress. Otherwise, he’s in every respect a stereotypical boy, leaning toward jock, very much into sports, friends, science and engineering stuff. Youngest (9) is closer to the middle son. Loves new clothes, colors matching, etc.

        The younger two have talent for art, so maybe that has something to do with all this.


    2. There are more social rules around women’s clothing and when it’s appropriate to wear which piece. 🙂 So even if a woman wants the wardrobe range of Charlie Brown it’s not happening in places the industrial revolution has touched.

      Also women’s clothing and shoes have shoddier construction. It’s enraging.


  3. I haven’t noticed a gender difference in who wants to move versus stay.

    The show exists to sell the services of the subcontractors, housing trends and the realtors. That said, Hillary (the remodeler) “wins” more episodes than David (the real estate agent).

    If the real estate agent wins, the couple goes through the pain of a major reno AND packing. (But at least it’s not a multi state move, lmao.) Come on.

    It’s a very strange bias there aren’t more “build it from the ground up” shows on HGTV. People always have insane amounts of money and access to credit, and they want their house to do fifteen different things. At that point you need an architect. I know viewers enjoy the fantasy, but it takes me out of the fantasy that we never know which market they’re in or how they get this money. And the house gets built, reno’ed whatever on a wildly unrealistic timeline.

    There’s no show called Home Reality TV Show Reno Fuckups. Or “I would really like some walls, my children can hear me at night and I want a den, damnit.”


    1. I read an article somewhere many years ago about “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” that gave examples of houses that had tons of construction issues and code violations because they threw things together very quickly. That show redid homes for people in difficult situations and some of the families had issues because tax bill for the remodeled home was often double or triple what they had paid before.


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