How do you tell someone that you would like to date that they have an odor problem ?

There is a woman that I have known for about a year. She has suggested that she would like to move beyond being just friends.

I really enjoy her company, but I have noticed that she has a frequent bad breath problem and also sometimes I can smell what seems to be a yeast infection problem.

So… how do you tell someone that you would be happy to date them, but that they have two odor problems ?

My guess is that the bad breath is due to needing a dental cleaning. How do you tell someone to go get their teeth cleaned ?

The feminine odor problem is something that I have noticed on hot and/or active days.

She is a really kind and intelligent person. I would like to date her, but I also don’t want to hurt her feelings.

This is not something you can bring up unless you’re already in some kind of relationship with her, either as a friend or something more.

We have been friends for about a year. I would have started dating her earlier, but the odor problems have been keeping me from moving further.

This is a “no-win” situation. Run!

I don’t know that I agree. I can imagine a happy outcome to saying something to her about it; but I don’t know how realistic it is to expect such an outcome.

Does the woman perhaps have a close female friend, so that you could ask her friend to discreetly say something to her?

Send her an anonymous email?

Wait for her to mention some not-so-great traits of yours and slip them in as gently as you can? Then duck, cover, and assess the blast damage?

This is a tough situation because there’s a chance the odor may not be remedied.

My father worked with an office manager who had an odor problem. She tried everything to get rid of it. She had good hygiene. She took everyone’s advice. I think she may even have tried changing her diet. Nothing worked. They couldn’t figure it out.

The only thing I can think of is to try to find out over time what you can rule out that she’s already tried. If you talk about the dentist, you can ask how her last experience was. When she answers, you can rule that out. . . or not.

You can ask what kinds of foods she likes to eat. That might help determine a cause.

There might be a time when people are talking about hygiene. You might be able to sneak in a question about whether she showers in the morning or evening.

It would all have to be done delicately though. She might already know about the problem. It might be hurtful to her to know that you’re asking about it.

If you know people in common, you might ask them too. But again, this is a delicate issue, especially if she already knows about it.

I don’t think she is aware. She is not hesitant to get close to me. She might be aware, but I don’t think she is.

I do need to get a filling replaced. I can bring up the topic of the dentist. Thanks for the suggestion.


Maybe you should heed your own warnings. Most adults have a hard time changing behaviors once they are ingrained.

It’s possible that all she needs is a dentist for teeth cleaning, and a gynecologist to help with a yeast infection.

Maybe not getting medical care is “ingrained”, but I don’t think so.
She seems to otherwise be a considerate and intelligent person.

My friend of many years developed yeast breath. It was really strong and I told him so, and I ordered him some Candidase yeast killing enzymes. I told him yeast was taking over, I could smell it on his breath and it could lead to serious health issues later. He took the enzymes religiously and his breath cleared up in just a couple of weeks. Even his wife was happy, of course. I ordered him even more, though, just to make sure they get killed off. He is very happy I told him and he feels less tired and foggy now.

If you just tell someone they have sucky breath and the conversation sort of ends there, that could be bad! Make it evolve into a conversation about yeast and how you are concerned for their health. Show up with a bottle of Candidase and say this is what you used when you had the same problem and it worked like a charm, and that it’s too bad more people don’t know about it.

After reading your post again, I see you meant the yeast infection as not in the mouth! But yeast lives everywhere. It’s likely she is just eating poorly and has maybe taken antibiotics and not replenished her bacterial flora properly. Yeast getting out of control in the body will give a strong odor to the breath, like one that will make you want to run. Incidentally, that’s the first thing to get out of control in the body of someone who has AIDS.

My friend is in real estate and spends lots of time with people in their cars. I had to tell him, it was so bad I figured it for a “deal killer” with his clients. He wasn’t offended, he’s glad I told him and made him aware of the yeast.

The Candidase is mostly just enzymes that dissolve the yeast cell wall. You take them away from food so they get in the blood and dissolve the yeast. If you take them with food they just get used up digesting the food. BTW, I have taken enzymes long term with no side effects other than feeling better.

I think it’s highly unlikely that going to the dentist to get her teeth cleaned would cure the breath problem. When people close to me have had bad breath, it’s been due to inadequate daily brushing (kids), a persistent sinus infection, a tooth that needed a root canal, and diabetes. I think “dry mouth” is another common cause of bad breath.

As for the yeast infection, hmm, I really can’t think of a polite way for a guy to bring that up unless you happen to have a sister who is seeing someone for it or something. Yogurt is supposed to be helpful for that, if you do happen to have such a sister.

I don’t have any constructive advice. I would have trouble dating someone who smells bad, too.

Don’t tell her anything and there is no chance of developing a satisfying romantic relationship with her.

Tell her and she may get offended and not be interested in becoming involved further. You might risk the friend relationship you have. And she might still be better off long term because she is likely unaware that she stinks. We simply do not smell our own smells and cannot know of them unless we are told.

It is an awkward conversation but telling her that you are attracted to her and interested but that there is an issue that you are a bit afraid to share … yet that any possible romantic relationship has to be based on honesty and openness, right? … from there it may not go well (or she may be relieved that it isn’t that you have a record of being a sexual predator, or are married and separated but not divorced or such) but you’d have a better chance of ending up becoming happily involved romantically with her if you risk it than if you don’t, right?

Yeast infections do not cause a smell.
‘I remember you talked about us being more than friends, I want to know I’ve thought about it too. But I have a problem w/ your body odors and that intrudes on my thoughts about us having a dating relationship.’
Sure, she may get mad and you won’t ever get to date her; but what’s to lose, since you’re not dating her now?

I would rather try and know the answer, than to never try and not know.

I will talk with her and see what happens.

Thanks for all the responses :slight_smile:


It’s really not that much of a problem. First you grin and bear it until she trusts you, trusts you’re not going for the “fuck 'n done”, etc…
Then, when things look kind of solid, you gently tell her that “hey, so, there’s this”. Do take the opportunity to ask her what’s wrong with YOU, too, because she’s always going to have some hangup. Don’t take it any more personally than you hope she’s going to take your shit personally.
Then hopefully you both solve your respective shits and everyone’s happily ever after.
And if not, well, split up, try again, fail again, fail better.
(I know, I know, easier said than done. I really, but really know. Still, that’s how these things get resolved. Sometimes.)

Agree that it’s a no-win situation and that candid discussion will likely turn a friend into a non-friend and perhaps an enemy.

As an aside, “yeast (i.e. Candida) getting out of control in the body*” is highly correlated with immunosuppression as in AIDS, anti-cancer drug treatment etc. and is not an issue for people in relatively normal health. There’s a ton of woo claiming that internal “yeast overgrowth” is responsible for every imaginable condition (including “brain fog”), but it’s bogus.

Not a necessarily no-win … but a risk.

Still, let’s turn this a bit. You have a fairly good friend who has some odor issue that they apparently do not realize exists. You are aware that such has been the cause of their being rejected romantically. As a friend do you keep that information to yourself and let them continue to be rejected without understanding why? Or do you risk offending them, and thus the friendship, by letting them know such is happening?

No surprise Jackmannii that yeast woo gets a rise out of you … :slight_smile: