DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve had this one friend since college who I’ve always had a thing for.
I used to think he was really sweet, but he’s changed a lot over the years. He was a bit of a nerdy guy back then, but now that he’s a very successful well-known artist, it seems like he has an air of cockiness about him. He often tells me about how many women are interested in him and how he’s too good for most of them.
We went on a few dates and the chemistry is there, but I’m not sure if it would be worth it to pursue anything with him — he’s so different from the way he was before.
He has told me that he really likes me and wants a relationship with me, but I am hesitant because of how much he has changed. Should I give him a chance?
— Having Doubts
DEAR HAVING DOUBTS: Stay in the present and see what happens.
This guy sounds like he may still have that vulnerable shy guy lying dormant inside. His cockiness may be a mask for insecurity. Time will show you who he is.
Go out with him. Be in the moment and enjoy the experience. Do your best not to compare him to the nerdy guy of yesteryear. Pay attention to the man in front of you. See if you enjoy your conversation and camaraderie. Spend time with him without committing to anything at first. Tell him you want to take it slowly to see if you are compatible.
By the way, a man who brags a lot about how many women are interested in him is probably exaggerating. Look past the bravado to see who this guy really is. The guy you liked years ago may be right there sitting in front of you.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a co-worker who has serious B.O.
I know he showers and takes care of himself, even though he doesn’t smell like it. We were on a business trip recently and had to stay in the same house. I witnessed him take long showers each day, and still he reeked of his awful musky scent after a few hours.
I find it close to intolerable to work with him. His body odor makes me want to throw up.
How do you even address something like that? I can’t accuse him of not bathing because he does. I guess it must be something he eats or just who he is, but the stench is making me crazy. What can I do?
— Ready To Puke
DEAR READY TO PUKE: This is a tough one. Our bodies do have their own individual smells, depending on so many factors, chief among them being what we put into them.
Your friend’s strong scent likely is related to what he consumes. Whatever the reason, there is nothing you can do about it, at least as far as getting him to do something.
I spoke to an aesthetician who told me she often puts a dab of lavender under her nose when she is working closely with clients to mask their scents. You may want to consider such a solution. If you are able to light a candle or have air freshener in your shared space, that may help, as well. If you actively use it all the time, it won’t be obvious to him that you use it when he is around.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)
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