How to Tell Your Boyfriend His Breath Stinks Without Being Mean

Tell your boyfriend his breath stinks to save him future embarrassment.
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Your boyfriend's bad breath puts you in an awkward position. You can either spare his feelings and endure the smell or let him know and potentially embarrass him. Even though his breath is a sensitive topic, you can still let him know that it is less than pleasing without hurting his feelings. By taking the time to soften the blow, you can tell your boyfriend his breath stinks without a fallout.

1 Honesty Is the Breath Policy

2 Create the right circumstances for conversation

Create the right circumstances for conversation. Ask your boyfriend if you can get a moment with him to offer an honest assessment of his breath. If you are with other people, pull him aside for a moment to talk about his breath. Ease into the conversation using a calm and polite tone. By using this process, you facilitate conditions that are less likely to induce strong feelings or reactions in your boyfriend.

3 Use quick

Use quick, direct language. Don't beat around the bush -- be honest with your boyfriend and let him know about his bad breath. Men value communication that is straightforward and to-the-point without too much fluff. Use a communication style that fits who he is to reduce potential embarrassment.

4 Offer your boyfriend a solution

Offer your boyfriend a solution. Give him a piece of gum or a mint if you have one handy. Lending him a helping hand softens the blow of knowing he has bad breath. You also help to reduce any negative feelings that may result from telling him his breath stinks.

5 Ask about his feelings

Ask about his feelings. Telling your boyfriend his breath stinks may have hurt his pride, so check in to see how he took it. Listen actively by paying attention to him and let him know you hear him by nodding. Rephrase what he said to show him that you understood him. By checking in, you allow him to de-stress from the embarrassment and get back to enjoying his day.

  • Model to your boyfriend how you'd want him to tell you your breath stinks. By being polite and gentle with your boyfriend, you set an example for how to talk about difficult or embarrassing topics. Use words or phrasing that you would want to hear if your breath stunk and he noticed.

S. Grey has a Master of Science in counseling psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. He is also pursuing a PhD and has a love for psychology, comic books and social justice. He has been published in a text on social psychology and regularly presents research at regional psychology conferences.