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

  1. #51
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    They live in a flat, so they have enough money to spend a little on soap, toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo. They just don't see it as a priority right now because of the funds.

    Normally I would say, no you can't say that, she'll be hurt. But on this case it's so bad that you have to do something. That kind of lack of hygiene is unhealthy and disrespectful to you and others.

    A nice middle solution might be to buy her *the first round* of hygiene products. All together the items above should total like $25 or less depending on where you live. And then don't kiss her if she hasn't brushed her teeth that day, don't sleep with her if she doesn't take care of the rest of her body, etc. etc. Be direct and let her know this is a big deal to you.

  2. #52

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    shes depressed, talk to her about how serious her health is, and how it would make you happy to see her respect herself and be able to live a happy healthy life together. gl love

  3. #53
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    Originally Posted by muluv
    shes depressed, talk to her about how serious her health is, and how it would make you happy to see her respect herself and be able to live a happy healthy life together. gl love
    did you read that she comes from poverty and the mother encouraged the kids to shower infrequently to save electricity? (probably saving gas or electric depending on what their hot water heater is fueled by and if they have a well - then electricity there also).

  4. 10-30-2017, 09:56 PM
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    Disrespectful

  5. #54
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    I also wanted to suggest something for dental hygiene: tell her that if at any point she runs out of toothpaste and doesn't have money to get more, she can brush with salt. Yes, regular salt - it can neutralise bacteria and get the mouth clean.

    The thing with not brushing/flossing etc is that it can cost so much more after a while. Even if NHS covers things, nothing can replace receded gums or lost bone and sometimes an implant is not even possible for those reasons. Because if plaque accummulates and pushes on the gum, and gum recedes, and the next step from gingivitis is periodontitis, it is very hard and sometimes impossible to fix. And can be very painful, too.

    I tend to stress dental hygiene, b/c I had gum problems - in my case it was due to braces, not poor hygiene, but the latter can and often is a culprit for such problems for a lot of people. Some things are much easier to prevent than to deal with afterwards. I spent two years paying off those dental bills, and developed severe anemia from not being able to eat normally for a while.

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  7. #55
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RomanticFool
    I think it’s the cultural background she’s from, in part. You guys all seem to be Americans, we’re English, and in the English working classes in very poor areas there is this idea that showering only once a week is enough. (Although obviously a lot of working class people are nothing like that.) A lot of my girlfriend’s friends are fairly similar, although most of them aren’t as bad.

    Anyway, I guess I’ll have to have a chat with her at some point about it, but you could be right.
    Can you lead by example?
    How often do you shower and brush your teeth?
    I know I'd feel really awkward if I were her and you were always scrubbing up, flossing and squeaky clean.

  8. #56

    Been there

    Originally Posted by RomanticFool
    Tl;dr: my girlfriend, who I care about a great deal, doesn’t take good care of her hygiene - how do I help her without hurting her feelings?

    This is a pretty long story, but basically I’ve been dating this girl for nearly a year, and everything’s great - we’re best friends, she’s a lovely person, she’s really beautiful and fun to be with. The only problem is her personal hygiene, which is pretty bad, and I don’t really know what to do.

    She comes from a very poor family, she lives in a flat with her mum (who is unemployed) and three of her sisters, and none of them are very clean. I think it’s partly a lack of money - they genuinely don’t have enough to spare to buy things like clothes, and because of that, they don’t spend money on stuff to keep clean. But also I guess she’s never been brought up to see the importance of good hygiene.

    We’re both at college, and during term she only showers once a week, and during holidays only once every fortnight or sometimes even less. She’s quite athletic and often goes running and stuff, so she tends to sweat a lot, and most of the time her body smells of dirt and sweat when you’re close to her. Her feet always stink really badly too, like as soon as she takes her shoes off you can smell them, and her hair is usually very greasy and oily.

    Also her teeth are really bad, they’re all bright yellow and absolutely caked in plaque and bits of rotten food. She says she brushes them ‘every couple of days’ but they look like she hardly cleans them at all. Her breath always stinks really badly, so much that sometimes I have to give her a couple of mints otherwise it’s genuinely hard to put up with the smell when we’re kissing.

    Her hygiene was never great even when we started dating, but it’s got worse the longer we’ve been together. At weekends and in holidays I occasionally sleep over at her place when my parents are away, her mum is fine with it and all, but before we go to bed together she doesn’t shower, doesn’t clean her face or her private parts, doesn’t wash her underarms (which stink of stale sweat), doesn’t brush her teeth, and sometimes doesn’t even change her underwear.

    She does clearly know her hygiene isn’t great, she sometimes makes comments like ‘you might want to get some mints before you kiss me, I haven’t brushed my teeth for a while’, and she’s mentioned in conversation that she knows she needs to shower more. But she seems to see it as a poverty thing, that she just doesn’t have the money to regularly use soap and toothpaste as well as buying food for all her family and commuting to college every day. She’s even said to me before that she thinks I’m a great boyfriend because I never mind it when she’s short of cash and she hasn’t showered for a while. I’ve tried to offer to lend her some money now and then, but she always refuses it and says she doesn’t want to be helpless like that.

    What should I do to help this get better, without making her think I’m criticising her for being poor? In truth it doesn’t really affect our relationship that badly, although it can be quite tough to get intimate with someone whose skin is so oily and sticky and whose breath stinks. But she’s a really pretty girl, and if she kept herself clean she could look absolutely stunning and feel much better about herself. Also I don’t want other people to be judging her for smelling dirty, she deserves better than that.
    I've been with partners who had very bad hygiene. Wouldn't brush their teeth for days, smoked and drank or refused to bathe for weeks at a time. So I get where you're coming from with tolerating it. (I once had to tell my partner to wash his junk because he tools his pants off and I could smell him from across the room blech).

    But here's the thing, you will get candida yeast (thrush) on your mouth and genitals. There's no ifs ands or buts about this. Candida thrive in moist environments like sweaty underwear, and it's a pain to get dealt with. It's itchy, uncomfortable, can blister and cause cracks on the vaginal lips and penile head. Even ppl in medieval times understood that hygiene was a necessity.

    That being said though, it's not a reflection of who she is, she sounds wonderful and caring, but she must have very little self esteem. As someone who bathes only 2-3x a week myself, who also suffers from depression, I can see how she might think she's doing the right thing even if it's detrimental.
    Even though she says she doesn't have anything to be "depressed" about, it literally could be a chemical imbalance in her brain (like mine is) and she won't notice it's happening until she gets medicated and starts taking proper care of herself. Try to get her on a good sleep schedule, and eating more vegetables and red meat. She will start to feel better and be less oily naturally, and in time hopefully her odour will start to offend herself and she'll make it a priority.

    As far as everyone else said, be open and honest. Don't sugar coat it. Don't buy her things to butter her up about it. Just tell her that it's really unbecoming and can hinder her progress in life and ask the real reasons why she isn't taking care of herself. If she says the poor thing, have information about the cost of toiletries and detergent vs. something she could do without once a week such as take aways or Starbucks or cigarettes. She just might not realize how affordable it could actually be. Lots of ppl are money dumb. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Anyway dearest I hope things shape up!

  9. #57
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    Are you really 18? I'm English too and I've never heard an 18 year old man use phrases like "she's a beautiful young woman".

  10. #58

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    I also second that personal hygiene is a matter of habit and not poverty. It’s only that she has been brought up to view hygiene as less important. Despite the situation, it can’t be impossible to make a few coins to buy soap and toothpaste, and good underwear doesn’t have to be expensive. The fact that she is conscious of her smell and sweat makes it awkward that she doesn’t want your money for hygiene purposes. Make it clear to her that cleanliness important to the relationship, it’s not just about conforming to her social circle.

  11. #59
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    This thread has turned my stomach. Good luck OP.

  12. #60
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    Guys this thread is like 2 years old .

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