Relationship Questions and Answers

Boyfriend’s Change in Hygiene



Question

My boyfriend was a very clean-shaven type of guy who always smelled and looked good. We started to take things seriously about three months ago and everything was going great, but he started to not shave and not pay attention to his hygiene and appearance around me. I don't mind it that much, when we go out he wants to be comfortable, which I understand, but he doesn't even shave anymore. Also, it has been affecting our sex life, so it does bother me. I want to know what caused this sudden change and how I can address it without hurting him?

Answer

Thank you for sharing your situation. It’s hard to tell why people change in a relationship but talking calmly and kindly is a great way to find out. You might try an exercise like the following:

  • Pick a time when you both can focus on talking.
  • Tell him about the behavior you’ve noticed and how you feel about it without saying the word “You.” For example: I like to date clean-shaven people and it makes me uncomfortable when someone doesn’t shave.
  • Tell him what you would like to see happen instead. For example: I prefer to date someone who shaves.
  • Switch sides (he talks you listen).
  • Do it again when you’re both ready and keep practicing until you’re able to talk about any issue.

The idea is to get things out in the open and keep talking with each other rather than guessing. Listening is a great skill to work on together because it enables you to gather information and figure out what’s really going on. Make sure you both listen to each other without reacting negatively. Each of you gets an equal amount of time to talk.

Keep in mind that all you’re trying to do is gently learn more about him and the situation and letting him know what’s important to you. Once you have more information you can decide what you want to do. You might also find it helpful to clarify what you want before starting these conversations.

Remember that you deserve to be with someone who meets your needs and values your opinion.



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