DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been dating a guy for about four months now. He is very sweet to me. I like his personality a lot. I work in an office as an office manager; he works construction. I think that's great, except that he doesn't always see the need to shower and change at the end of the day. So if he asks me out on a date, even if he has time to come home, shower and change, he often does not. I don't mean to sound like a snob, but I don't really want to go to a nice restaurant or even to the movies and snuggle up next to somebody who smells like dust and sweat. I don't want to hurt his feelings, but I need to tell him. -- Clean Up, Detroit
DEAR CLEAN UP: I bet your guy has been single for a long time. One of the most common "side effects" of a loving relationship is some good old TLC. Chances are, he hasn't put two and two together at all. He is so eager to see you, getting to you is top of mind. Bathing is not even on the radar. This may be true for white-collar men, too. It's just less obvious because of the nature of their work.
Definitely tell him, but in a nice way. When you are planning for your next date, ask him what he's going to wear. Encourage him by suggesting that he shower and wear whatever cologne you like that he wears, or you could recommend a specific shirt and tie that you have loved him wearing in the past. Make it a sensuous experience. That should encourage him to clean up so that he can enjoy your affection more completely.