Sense & Sensitivity

DEAR HARRIETTE: I participated in a wonderful family celebration, and we took a ton of photos. I took some on my phone, and as per usual, I posted some of them. My husband hit the roof. He was so angry that I had “violated” our family’s privacy. I never thought I was doing that. I am proud of my family and happy to share. I use social media all the time. I don’t think other family members had the same opinion, but my husband is livid. How do I handle this in the future? -- To Post or Not to Post, Chicago

DEAR TO POST OR NOT TO POST: Some people want their private moments to remain private, which is difficult in these days of social media. Your husband is not wrong to have wanted the times you spent with family to remain within the family. That you typically post photos, though, means he knows this is your practice. His alarm could be out of proportion to your common practice.

It is smart for you to ask before posting pictures, even images of your family and friends. Before the advent of social media, it was common practice for people to be required to sign photo releases stating that they had given permission for their image to be broadcast or published. This is still a regular practice professionally, but it is hard to enforce when nearly everyone has a smartphone and a social media account.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been dating a guy for about six months. He is nice and thoughtful, but he wears way too much cologne. I’m not sure why he thinks he needs to spray it on so heavy, but sometimes it gives me a headache. I am very sensitive to smell, which he doesn’t know. I figure he sprays it on a lot because he wants to impress me. How can I let him know I would prefer he didn’t wear it, without hurting his feelings? -- Creative Courting, Dallas

DEAR CREATIVE COURTING: You have endured too much cologne for six months, which means your guy probably has no clue you don’t like it. Speak up, using your sensitivity to smell as the lead. Tell him how you react to fragrance, whether you get a headache or sick to your stomach, whatever happens. Explain you didn’t want to hurt his feelings because you know he likes to wear cologne. Admit that while you think it’s nice, it really is hard for you.

If you like this guy, you must give your relationship a chance by asking him to take away this barrier to intimacy. You cannot expect him to know how you feel about fragrance -- or anything else -- if you don’t tell him. The key to a successful relationship is communication. It’s the little things that make the difference in effective communication, too. Be kind and clear when you talk to him.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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