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Thread: My girlfriend has pretty bad personal hygiene - how best to help her?

  1. #41
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    Originally Posted by RomanticFool
    We're best friends, though, I've dated a fair few girls and I've never been with someone I have so much in common with and find it so easy to get along with. I can kind of forgive her a lot, I've never had a girlfriend who I trust and care about quite as much, and who I know cares about me the same.
    As for her teeth, she told me once that she'd never been to the dentist in her life. I think she'd be worried to go for fear of what she'd find, she said to me once that her teeth don't hurt her so she'd rather not find out if there are any problems, because she couldn't afford to fix them if there were.
    To be honest her teeth are the thing I'm most worried about from a health point of view, seeing as it's the hardest thing to fix later on. I'll try to show her that she needs to take much better care of them.
    darling let me tell you , because I understand you are 18 .....so I don't expect you to know how the system works ...... she gets free NHS dental treatment and will do into her 18th year ... then if she is still at school she will fill in an exemption form that the dentist will give her for when she turns 19 and the free treatment will carry on .

    No , we can't get implants and shiney Hollywood teeth , but ...we get them cleaned , we get them filled , we get bridges and crowns ..all free ...she has no excuse , her mum should know this because you said she is unemployed which means she will be on benefits and also gets free dental care ..as will the two younger siblings .

  2. #42
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but I am having a hard time understanding how you can be sexually intimate with someone that has not showered in a week! It speaks to your own lack sensibilities, values and standards to be honest. Genitals are NOT self-cleaning and anyone who has been in a public washroom stall after someone that is not clean can attest that they don't smell like flowers either.

    If I were you, I'd have a scented bath waiting for her when she graces you with her company and I'd educate her on how to keep herself socially acceptable before she's unable to keep a job because of her personal stench or before some stranger lets her know without worrying about her feelings.

    Her lack of personal care has zero to do with poverty. She is not living on the street and has no access to water or a dollar bar of soap.

  3. #43
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    Thought I’d just post an update - I had a chat with her earlier today about her hygiene. She was pretty upset, burst into tears and everything, but I don’t think she was upset with me, more that she hadn’t realised I thought it was this bad.

    Apparently her mum has always told her and her sisters that it’s fine to shower only once a week, and that it helps save money in terms of using less electricity for the shower, and that’s more or less what they’ve always done since they were young. She also said that one reason she’s been reluctant to have a shower is that their flat smells pretty dirty anyway, and that even when she’s just showered, her clothes and her hair smell again really soon after spending any time at home.
    She promised me that she’ll shower once every other day in future, or once every three days at absolute least, and that on the nights she doesn’t shower, she’ll wash her feet and genitals with a flannel and some soap. We’ve also worked out some nights when she can come round to my house and have a shower, if her mum doesn’t want her to use the shower at home more often. I also bought her some cheap new pairs of shoes, because she only owns two pairs at the minute and they both really stink, so that her feet smell really bad as soon as she puts them on, even if she’s just showered.

    As for her teeth, I think she was a bit ashamed of letting them get this bad, she told me she’d be embarrassed to go to a dentist and she’d also be really worried about how bad it really was. But she’s agreed that she’ll start brushing twice a day, and she’s going to book an appointment to see the dentist soon. She asked me to have a look inside her mouth and see how bad things were, her breath stank really badly but her teeth themselves weren’t anything like as bad as I was afraid they might be. They were pretty dirty and stained, but I could only see two fairly small cavities- so hopefully she might get away without needing too much done.

    Thanks for trying to help, everyone, and hopefully things will be a lot better in the future. She’s already had a shower and brushed her teeth after our chat earlier, I’ll just have to make sure she keeps to her promise and makes sure she’s clean in the future. As for how I could be with someone who hasn’t showered for ages, I get why some of you think it’s a bit disgusting, I probably would have thought the same before I started going out with her. It’s just I genuinely do care about her a great deal, she’s an incredibly lovely person, and I guess I’ve been too willing to put up with her dirtiness just because I didn’t want to damage our relationship. But I think things will hopefully be better now.

  4. #44
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    Oh how wonderful to read , you are a very nice young man and very kind x I wish you both the best

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  6. #45
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    Thank you so much, if you knew her you’d see why she deserves someone to be kind to her.

  7. #46
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    Originally Posted by RomanticFool
    Thank you so much, if you knew her you’d see why she deserves someone to be kind to her.
    I think that is really why we have been a little harsh about it , because we know she doesn't deserve the bullying and cruelty she will get through life if she doesn't sort this out .
    For the record , I do believe what she said about the shower and her mum putting restrictions on all of them , it does burn through the electric and gas and living on the bread line , as I suspect her mother did , as did her parents and her parents , these little habits follow down through the family and I do get that . I remember a time of bath sharing , one in , next one in in the same water once the first was out .

    I believe she does deserve love and kindness and so do you .

  8. #47
    Bronze Member True Story's Avatar
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    With the shower issue, why not suggest filling a bucket with water instead of letting the shower run. It's what I do, though i'm not on a tight budget, it's a great way to not waste water.

  9. #48
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    It is good that you talked to her, OP. She needs to get herself cleaned up if she expected to lead a decent life, for reasons we've already stated. I am sure she felt embarrassed but it's so much better to address it now than wait until a health issues or some other social embarrassment arises. It was very kind of you to get her some new shoes and offer your own home shower, and I do hope she takes you up on the showering.

    The one point I would continue to insist on is that she get to a dentist. You looking inside her mouth doesn't cut it, as you aren't trained to detect dental problems in the making (ie. early signs of cavities, micro-cracks in the enamel, gum problems) nor can your eyes do what an x-ray or scan can. Many dental problems are not visible to the naked eye. That is why she very much needs a professional to examine her before matters get any worse. That horrible breath might not be only from a lack of brushing. There could be other problems causing it, too. You can reassure her that a good dentist isn't going to embarrass her; in fact, they will likely be glad she's taking control of the situation and doing something about it that could prevent problems in the future.

    She is lucky in many ways that this is coming from you, and relatively early in her life. As she gets older, people around her won't be so forgiving and it could be a lot worse for her. Let's hope she listens to your concerns and takes the correct course of action.

  10. #49
    *edit* Forget all this - sorry! I didn't see that you had already talked to her. Good luck - you both sound like wonderful people.

    I think you can tell her the truth without really hurting her. You might slightly embarrass her, but I think you can talk through it. Just be really gentle, and start the conversation by telling her all the things you told us - "you're my best friend, I love you no matter what, I think you're so kind/beautiful/the best thing ever, etc." Then say that you're a little concerned about her lack of hygiene. Tell her that it isn't healthy in the long run to not bathe, and to not brush your teeth. Tell her about your concerns with germs, her health/your health. Read some online facts about oral hygiene, brushing and flossing, and tell her about your concerns over what you learned. Tell her it's silly for her to have to worry about her breath, and that she could stop worrying if she just took care of herself in that way. Tell her how proud you are of her for being an active person and taking care of her body in that regard. Tell her that you'd never want to hurt her feelings, but that you really would prefer that she brush and wash more often. Let her know that if she doesn't want to, you of course love her no matter what. Tell her that you hope you didn't hurt her feelings, that you were afraid to bring it up, but that you thought it might help her get healthier, and feel better about herself. If she shows any sort of negative reaction, tell her immediately and gently that you are sorry, and that you really love her. You've got to be really sensitive and reassuring in relationships. If she is sane and aware and loves you at all, this should not be a very big problem.

  11. #50
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    Apparently her mum has always told her and her sisters that it’s fine to shower only once a week, and that it helps save money in terms of using less electricity for the shower, and that’s more or less what they’ve always done since they were young. She also said that one reason she’s been reluctant to have a shower is that their flat smells pretty dirty anyway, and that even when she’s just showered, her clothes and her hair smell again really soon after spending any time at home.

    That is so sad. How about telling her if she is worried about money, she can always shower at your place? I was also going to make the suggestion make showers part of intimacy -- take a couples shower in an intimate way. But since she understands now -- watch how she does going forward. For Christmas get her a regular gift and then get her some pretty scented shower gels or fun hair stuff or lip balm. People give those things as gifts even to people that shower frequently

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