My Smelly Valentine

Dear Dategirl,

My boyfriend is 24 and showers, at most, two or three times a week, usually only at my insistence. He doesn't wear deodorant because he doesn't believe in it. Whatever. My family is very close-knit, and have been bugging me to bring him to Sunday dinner, but I can't. We met at Burning Man, where everyone is covered in dust 24/7, so I didn't notice it at first. But I washed the white-girl dreads out of my hair when I got home, and he still looks like he sleeps under a bridge. How can I make him see that cleaning up is the best thing for both of us?

—Reformed Crusty

Longtime readers might recall that I also had a dalliance with the hygiene-impaired. When this particular Pig-Pen asked me why I thought he should bother showering, I reminded him that he had a penis he expected me to put in my mouth. That actually got him into the shower on one occasion, but the relationship was doomed. Someone who doesn't care about themselves enough to scrub the funk out of their asscrack is, quite simply, not boyfriend material.

This foul creature was also a vegan (save the animals, but screw my nasal passages?) who favored pleather trousers. Do you know how bad vinyl smells after a few wears? Imagine a combo of ball sweat, moldy cheese, and fermented urine. Is it any wonder that I refuse to call him an ex-boyfriend and instead just refer to him as my cry for help personified?

So yeah, get rid of this yeast-infection-waiting-to-happen. You can't bring him around your family, and your friends—even if they're not saying anything—are judging you. You may have met him at that hippy-dippy extravaganza in the desert, but someone who's content to wallow in their own filth and expects you to be fine with it is selfish. Being in a relationship requires a lot of compromise, commitment, and certainly some other C-word, but usually basic maintenance (toothbrushing, showering, returning phone calls, etc.) is a given. What is Stinky Steve going to do if you need a date for a wedding? You can't even trust someone covered in crud to help you paint the bathroom, let alone accompany you to dinner with your boss.

The sad fact is that while Fetid Felix may have some lovely qualities—though you didn't name any—you need to break up with him. Now. Not because he smells like a rancid goat, but because you (rightfully) are embarrassed to be seen with him. When you find yourself following your boyfriend around with a spray bottle of Febreze, it's time to say bye-bye. But look on the bright side: Not only is dumping his odorous butt the best thing for you and your upholstery, it's best for him, too. By saying goodbye, you're not only saving yourself from a possible bacterial infection, you're freeing him to find the crusty, musty, dusty girl of his dreams.

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