Dear Mistress Maeve,
I've been out a few times with a guy I find very interesting and sexy. I think the feeling is mutual, but I have one concern: He has bad breath. I noticed it the first time we met, but I just figured he was nervous and had dry mouth or something. The second and third times we hung out, I noticed the same smell. It's not a food odor, like garlic or onions; it's more like morning breath.
I have made out with him, and it actually didn't bother me all that much. I'm more worried about talking, snuggling and getting close. I'm just not sure I'll be able to stand it if it's going to be an ongoing thing.
How do I clue him in to his foul breath without totally offending him?
Waiting to Exhale
Girl, your hunk has halitosis.
In all likelihood, your beau simply needs to pay more attention to his tongue and gums when he's brushing his teeth. While bad breath can be caused by a number of things, from acid reflux to gum disease, my dentist tells me it's generally caused by bacteria on the tongue.
Try offering him a mint or gum when you hang out. After you offer the breath aids on a couple of occasions, he'll probably get the hint. However, if your relationship progresses along with his bad breath, you'll have to talk with him about it. After all, wouldn't you want to know if you were odiferously offending your mate?
Talking to a partner about personal hygiene issues can be a delicate matter. No matter how you deliver the news, it's likely to bruise his ego. Choose a close moment to bring up the subject, so he feels connected to you. Start by saying how much you like him, then let him know you've noticed his breath on a few occasions. Tell him you want to be intimate with him, and you don't want something as silly as bad breath to get in the way.