Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Sweetheart Begins to Sour With No Change of Clothes

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a wonderful man for three months. He takes me out to dinner, to the movies, shopping, etc. He is in his early 40s and I am in my early 30s. He is everything I have ever wanted in a man, and I really care for him.

However, there are a few problems that I don't know how to handle. For one thing, he wears the same clothes for three or four days in a row, and after the first day, he tends to smell of perspiration. He says he showers every other day. Also, he doesn't brush his teeth regularly.

We are going to be living together soon and I would like to clear up these problems before we move in together. Please give me some advice on how to tell him, because his feelings are easily hurt. If it weren't for the reasons stated above, he would be perfect.

Also, this is a small town, so please don't print my name, initials or where it came from. He reads your column every day. -- HIS GIRLFRIEND

DEAR GIRLFRIEND: You must tell your sweetheart that you are concerned about him because he doesn't take proper care of himself. Explain that it's imperative that he see his dentist twice a year, and that he brush and floss his teeth twice a day so that his mouth is always "kissing sweet." And point out the importance of showering every morning and in the evening, too, if he goes out that evening. It goes without saying that a well-groomed adult launders or changes his clothes daily.

Once it has been pointed out to him, insist that he follow these suggestions. Living with someone who has poor personal hygiene could be very trying to anyone with a keen sense of smell, and I'm putting this mildly!