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I don't want to nag, but my boyfriend won't shower. Solutions? How should I respond?

Tagged as: Dating, Health, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (4 January 2017) 10 Answers - (Newest, 5 January 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I'm 26 and I've just got into a relationship with a guy who's just turned 25.

We've been seeing each other for months and we've been official for less than 3 weeks. As you can imagine I'm still in the honeymoon phase but he's straight away made himself comfortable as if we're a married couple, I'm talking no showers (after workout), smelly lazy clothes, no sex and kiss on the forehead goodbye.

We talked about it, I distressed I see it as lack of effort, I'm making effort why can't he?

He said he gets tired after the gym, he can't be bothered to shower..

The very next day (knowing it gets to me) I showed up to him looking like a slob wearing mucky lazy clothes with holes in and he stunk.

He doesn't even dress to go out! I bit my tongue but it really upset me, I felt that was a disrespectful gesture..

I feel this is isnt the relationship I got in, I feel like he fooled me, I don't want to be a nag, it's too early to be arguing about this. But I can't act normal and act like I'm attracted to a slob.

I dress nice, have my hair and make up done and even ready with sexy underwear but as soon as I see him like that it crushes me. I want to try but I can't bear to get into my sexy underwear and have sex with that.

He gets angry knowing something's wrong but he doesn't change anything after I discuss what's wrong.

How can I solve this without being a nag?

I can see him getting more distant the more it gets to me.

Am I trying to save a relationship he's not interested in??

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A female reader, maverick494 United States +, writes (5 January 2017):

As long as he is clean and his clothes, as terrible as they may look, are too, I'd be fine with it. Not thrilled, but I'd accept it if I loved him. But if he smells bad and his clothes smell bad, it's no longer a thing of him you either accept or don't, it's just plain unhygienic behavior.

So I'd tell him: "Listen, I'll accept you wearing clothes that make you look like a slob, but at least wash them, and yourself, regularly. After you've had a workout, you have to take a shower, no matter how tired you are. It's basic human maintenance, like brushing your teeth. Plus it saves you time and effort, because if you go to bed filthy, guess what you'll need to wash more often....So save yourself some time and everyone else from bad smell."

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (5 January 2017):

N91 agony auntYou tell him straight. Either you shower or I'm gone. That's absolutely disgusting behaviour.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 January 2017):

OK, well let's be honest, a lot of guys aren't exactly the greatest at showering regularly.

There must be some biological imperative that causes them to want to leave their stink on them *lookup pheromones lol*

Is it possible you are being a little superficial?

Now, I understand to some extent if you wanted to have a fancy date night and have him dress up....but it seems like you are pestering him all the time to wear nice clothes...why? He feels relaxed with you. He is happiest in his sweats chilling.

If it were reversed I think you would be very insulted if a guy told you "you know I really like you but i'm not turned on by you because you don't dress hot enough for me.You show up in sweats but I want a girl in a pushup bra and heels all the time"....you would say that is a very superficial guy and I would agree.

ANd if you went au naturel and had a bit of Body odor would you want him to embarrass you about it?

The thing is, everyone has different things that are important to them. If this is important to you, he is not your guy. Others wouldn't fuss so much.

If you are in love, for a lot of girls the superficial things don't matter so much (provided he showers a reasonable amount...but honestly a lot would happily invite them into bed even smelling of man sweat :D)

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A female reader, fishdish United States +, writes (5 January 2017):

fishdish agony auntI think you could ask him to change clothes because your interpret someone putting on nice clothes as making an effort/caring. Like, I sometimes get fancy with my ex, and he'd feel pressure to do the same but I would pick my times to bring it up. I would tell my ex, hey I'm gonna look fancy tonight because I want date night to be special, and I want you to also look nice because I want to feel like you treat it special too. So he would. So I think you can frame it in a nice way vs. a respect vs disrespect thing, even though I get where you're coming from. If you aren't moved in, my feeling Is the way he keeps his house (or not) is his business. If this is just something neither of you can compromise or get over, then you're fundamentally not compatible.

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A female reader, mystiquek United States + , writes (5 January 2017):

mystiquek agony auntYou can't change him. All the crying begging pleading nagging in the world won't make him change if he doesn't want to.

UGH...I couldn't be with someone like that. I'd just tell him that his personal hygiene habits are not attractive to you and you can't live with them. Cut your losses now while its still early in the game. I wouldn't waste my time on him anymore. He heard what you said..he just doesn't care.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (4 January 2017):

eyeswideopen agony auntYou and he have talked about this issue. He hasn't made any changes. There's your answer. Live with his stink or move onto greener and more fragrant pastures. Oh and make sure you tell the slob EXACTLY why you are leaving, consider it a duty to your fellow mankind.

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A female reader, YouWish United States + , writes (4 January 2017):

YouWish agony auntI'm with Honeypie! YUCK! I *have* to shower after a hard workout, because the sweat (and I'm not talking the cutesy kind of perspiration mist, I'm talking SWEAT) is full of dirt and toxins and the shower feels GREAT to aching muscles.

Men's sweat smells GROSS, especially the groin and armpit stuff. I couldn't pretend to be all over a guy who smelled like stale Fritos and feet either.

The problem is - you can't change him. You can't nag it out of him. You can't force him to shower. You are 3 weeks in and you found out a trait of his that you must decide that you either accept or you don't.

I'm with you. I wouldn't accept it either. Poor hygiene is a dealbreaker to me. I'm not talking about the occasional weekend, but the slob-life as a rule I couldn't and won't ever do.

You're not talking to him about it. Just tell him that he's a great guy, but you need someone who is a bit more attentive to hygiene both after a workout and in everyday clothes wearing and style. Then wish him well because at 3 weeks, you can cut and run better than you can 6 months in. Now's not the time to be passive-aggressive or biting your tongue. Guys don't get those messages. They're not mind readers.

Don't go into this hoping to "fix" or "change" him. That's a sure way to make yourself miserable.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (4 January 2017):

Honeypie agony auntYou know, OP, this will only get worse, right?

Someone how doesn't take care of his OWN body, health and hygiene are not going to take care of YOURS either. Does he brush his teeth? Wash his face?

My guess is, he also lives in a pigsty? Dirty old sheets on the bed? Not a clean towel in the bathroom or kitchen?

Who DOESN'T shower either AT the gym right after a workout or AS SOON as they get home? Who goes to bed after a workout without a shower? Gross.

You DO know that you CAN NOT change him, right? No amount of LOVE or NAGGING will make him from a "dirty boy" into a "take care of himself kinda guy". It is SIMPLY not your job to "make" him take care of himself.

With that said, I DO think this happens to a LOT of )especially guys) who are out on their own without having MUM around to tell them to shower, brush their teeth.... Doesn't mean you HAVE to accept it OR date a slob.

Sorry, I would wish him the best and end it.

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A male reader, BrownWolf Canada +, writes (4 January 2017):

BrownWolf agony aunt"Am I trying to save a relationship he's not interested in??"

Still you try...why? Because you love him...yet it is one sided.

Boyfriends are like buying fruit in the store. Do you try to save the bad fruit? Do you bring home the bad fruit? NO!!!

You pick the good fruit, and bring it home. Make sense? No one in their right minds tries to save something that is not right for them. You simple move on to something better.

You can keep banging your head against that wall...sooner or later...the wall is going to win...and you will be left a sad, depressed, "I hate men", basket case.

Bottom line...If he can't look after a simple thing as taking a shower, what will happen when you are to deal with more important things?

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A male reader, Denizen United Kingdom +, writes (4 January 2017):

Denizen agony auntDo you love him enough to accept his idiosyncrasies? If not then it's time to part company. You have made your views clear. What else is left? You can't brainwash him.

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