My boyfriend’s dad got him that AXE deoderant spray (you know that elevator commercial) for Christmas. He’s been wearing it everyday since he got it and I don’t know how to tell him that it’s a total turn off–it smells like huge sweaty men. I don’t know how to tell him without hurting his feelings. Can you tell me how to break it to him gently?
-Bogged Down with B.O.
Dear Bogged Down,
Your ability to put up with it for over a month is astounding. The best course of action is honesty, or would have been if you hadn’t put off confronting your problem until now.
Your fear of conflict has allowed a minor problem to fester for far too long, stinking up your relationship (pun very much intended) and clouding up your lines of communication. You can’t tell him directly at this point. The window of opportunity for that has been shut, so you must consider subtle hints and propaganda to get your man smelling fresh again.
Ask him what happened to that favorite cologne of yours that he doesn’t wear anymore. That is as safe a query as you can propose, because he’ll have one of two answers: 1) “I don’t use it because I found something so much better now. Here, sniff me!” or 2) “It’s still on. Why, can’t you smell it?
Reply with: 1) “No, I really think what you had before was better. You should go back to that. Definitely.” or 2) “Not really. There’s something odd obscuring it. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s not good.”
Your response to either is simple and straightforward, almost assuredly solving the odiferous obstacles in your relationship and letting you two kiss without a surgeon’s mask between you. Immediate attention is needed to resolve this, so don’t delay any longer. She who waits suffocates.
Go Forth and Succeed,
Dear Bogged Down,
Telling the truth has never been a sin, but today people are afraid of telling the truth or giving a personal opinion because of how other people might react. Most of the time the truth is seen as criticism so don’t expect your boyfriend to praise you for “opening his eyes” to reality.
The way you approach him is probably going to reflect how he’s going to answer you. However, telling him the deodorant spray his dad gave him is turning you off will make him change his attitude toward you.
Here are a few of his possible responses:
*Your boyfriend doesn’t like it either and decides not to use it anymore. Good boy. That deserves a prize.
*He doesn’t like it, but decides to use it just when he goes to visit his folks or knows when they’re coming (smart decision, but better take a shower before coming after you).
*He decides to keep using it because his daddy gave it to him. Sweet little boy, hopefully he’ll get the same satisfaction from the spray as he would get from you.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t be fooled by the expression “if you really love me, you would take it.” Love requires sacrifice, but not for such a worthless thing. Don’t be dramatic.
Remember you’re the one that has to deal with the smell of his lovely spray. There’s no point in him choosing between you and the deodorant spray.