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Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,242
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Advice: Is it ever OK to tell someone they smell?

Is he very obese? Some obese people have difficulty reaching all parts of their body to clean or during their toileting. Approach sensitively when you bring up the topic.

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼
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Super Contributor
Posts: 480
Registered: ‎06-19-2010

Re: Advice: Is it ever OK to tell someone they smell?


wrote:

Hmmm, maybe you could say "something smells bad - you think you might have stepped on something?  Could you check your shoes?"  

 

You could even do that again the next time it occurred. Maybe that would give him the chance to recognize that there is a bad smell without embarrassing him or suggesting it is his body.

 

If he doesn't get I think (maybe he doesn't notice the smell at all) I'm not sure what I would do.  For me this would be a deal breaker because I am pretty aware of odor and how people smell in general, and that would greatly influence my attraction to someone.


I like this approach.  

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,058
Registered: ‎09-08-2010

Re: Advice: Is it ever OK to tell someone they smell?

OMG - poor hygiene is a bad sign.....it just is. 

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Registered: ‎08-22-2013

Re: Advice: Is it ever OK to tell someone they smell?

I remember my Mom telling me as handsome as my Dad was, when they first met he smelled of body odor. My Dad was first generation American and didn't speak English until he was in the 5th grade, the nuns spoke Polish. My Mom said she told him right away he had BO, she knew she could never take him to meet her family the way he smelled. She said my Dad said his people didn't use deodorant, now this was back in the 40's. No problem he got himself some Tussi and problem solved. Now on the other hand, I worked as a unit secretary at a huge hospital one time and came in contact with everyone. There was a nurses aide who looked dirty and had terrible body odor. She was a nice, sweet girl and no one would tell her  she smelled. I mentioned this to the head nurse and she said, as long as the patients didn't complain, she wasn't going to do anything about it. In fact, she thought I was mean for mentioning it, she must have shared my complaint with other staff because they were very cool to me after that. So now, I would never tell someone I wasn't intimate with they had an odor.

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Registered: ‎03-17-2010

Re: Advice: Is it ever OK to tell someone they smell?

@BirkiLady  Thank you SO much for revisiting your reply!  First of all, I am so sorry for your loss.  That must have been so difficult to go through.  Secondly, your post has some really good information.  He is indeed on medication -- one blood thinner and one for gout. 

 

Yes, "nursing home" smell is the best descriptor I can come up with.  I worked in one about 25 years ago, and you just never forget that smell.  I suppose in that setting, the odor is a combinaton of multiple things -- bodily fluids, medical conditions, food, etc.  I just HATE that a nursing home is what his smell sometimes makes me think of -- but it is what it is.

 

He does not smell bad every day.  In fact, on the days that he doesn't, he smells downright delicious (I love his cologne!).  So it is either one end of the spectrum or the other, and there is no rhyme or reason to the when or the why.  It has gotten to where I just cross my fingers before I see him in the morning that we are going to have a good smell day!

 

The next time it happens, I will try to take a light-hearted approach.  I think I will matter-of-factly say something like, "Did you take a shower this morning??  And then when he asks why I'm asking (which I'm sure he will), I can just playfully tell him that he smells funky.  Then hopefully that will lead to a casual conversation about it.  Once the ice gets broken on the subject, I would have no problem asking him if he wiped his butt good that morning! Smiley Surprised)  I don't think I want him to know that this has been bugging me for quite a while and that I have struggled all that time with whether to say anything (and that I asked a bunch of women on a message board!).  I imagine that would make him feel worse about it.  I can also bring up the fact that if I can smell it, other people probably can too, and I don't want him to be embarrassed or have our co-workers talking ugly about him behind his back.

 

Thank you again for your post and repost.  Bless you!

 

 

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Registered: ‎03-17-2010

Re: Advice: Is it ever OK to tell someone they smell?

@JustJazzmom  No, he is not obese.  Maybe 30 pounds heavier than he should be but not grossly overweight.  But he is not in the best shape -- bad knees, bad back and yes, some belly.  Plus, I imagine the bathroom stalls in the men's room aren't very big -- I know the ones in the women's room across the hall from the men's room in his building are pretty narrow (except for the handicap stall).  It's possible that all of these circumstances make bathroom clean-up a challenge.  As for me, I never go anywhere without baby wipes in my purse for just such a reason!

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Registered: ‎03-17-2010

Re: Advice: Is it ever OK to tell someone they smell?

@Jordan2  I agree with all of this -- thanks!  Smiley Happy

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Posts: 3,097
Registered: ‎06-15-2014

Re: Advice: Is it ever OK to tell someone they smell?

I would check out his living conditions. Maybe he doesn’t do laundry. Are his pants polyester? I’d get him

cotton pants, I’d buy wipes and tell him how you just love the clean scent.

I would also tell him to take a shower before we had any contact. Tell him cleanliness turns you on.

 

Is it worth losing a good relationship over an embarrassment. Wouldn’t you want him to tell you.

 

My dh showers daily or he can’t get into bed. I used to tell him you stink, he’d get upset. Now I say, “honey you need a shower.”

 

Also, he might need to see a dentist, exam and cleaning. 

 

Good luck, a good man is hard to find, they need a little 

training.

 

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Posts: 131
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Advice: Is it ever OK to tell someone they smell?

Someone's probably already mentioned this but I wonder if the smell is caused by some once per week medication that your boyfriend takes. Apparently antidepressants can make people smell bad, partly by increasing the amount of sweating. But antidepressants are probably taken daily not weekly. 

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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Advice: Is it ever OK to tell someone they smell?

Honesty is always best in a relationship so you need to tell him , honestly about this. Just say, there is something coming between us that we need to discuss. Then go from there.