Archive for November 12th, 2009

November 12, 2009

How do I tell him his breath smells?

by Rod Smith

“I have been in contact with a guy for the past 18 months, chatting online. He lives in another city. A few months ago we met, and really hit it off. I have met him a few times since, and had initially thought that I was imagining, his bad breath. The last visit which was a few days ago, left me quite repelled as he seems to have a serious halitosis problem that he is not aware of. The sad thing is that other than that, he is absolutely wonderful, but I really feel that I will be unable to go on with a person who has such bad breath. Both of us have been divorced previously, with no children and we are both in our thirties. Please help! How do I approach this?”


Tell him...

You tell him as kindly and directly as possible. Try to be humorous; first tell him of some of your own “blind spots” and ask if he is “open” to hearing some you have noticed. If this relationship progresses to levels of greater commitment and deeper love, you are going to have to have far more difficult conversations. This conversation will be good practice for what is to come – if you are anything like millions of other healthy couples.



Be blunt! You’re both mature thirty-plus year olds right? And I’m assuming life has taught you both that there is never a need to “beat around the bush” at this age. Having bad breath is like having bad body odor, your always the last one to notice (or so I’ve heard). So in the grand scheme of things, and it sounds like this man is “absolutely wonderful” as you say, telling him he has bad breath will probably be one of the easiest relationship issues you’ll have to address together. And this is nothing that couldn’t be solved with, like gifting your boyfriend with a year’s supply of Cool Mint breath strips!

Jean Hatton

ACT, Australia

After eighteen months chatting online and then meeting him and enjoying the times together, you have probably communicated to him your enjoyment of the relationship. It sounds as if you like each other. It’s with that in mind that I suggest that he might appreciate your honesty about how you are struggling with his bad breath. Telling the truth to someone (not in a critical manner) is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself as well as the other.


Midwest, USA

From a distance! No really- its probably something that you’ll need to bring up with him if you do in fact want to remain in relationship with him. Have the courage to do so even if it doesn’t end up working out. If he can seek medical help for it it may be something you laugh about later in your relationship. The way he responds to you when you tell him will speak volumes to the future you may or may not have with him.