Ask Alison: Finding Out You Smell

Good advice from someone who is terrible at dating

I went out with this guy a few times, and then he stopped calling. I thought things had been going really well, and I wanted an explanation, so I called him to ask what had happened. At first he just gave me a line about being too busy with school and work but I wouldn't let it go. He finally told me that is was my smell. MY SMELL. I am a very clean and tidy person so I was hurt and offended by this. He told me that he just has a really strong sense of smell and something about me was off, at least for him. That's bullshit, right?

It sucks when someone doesn't like us back or changes their mind, but for the life of me, I will never understand demanding an explanation out of the person. Like, I know I have an annoying laugh and it's probably caused a few second dates not to turn into thirds but I don't need the dude to tell me that. Why would you want to know the specific reason why someone passed, when you can go on blissfully through your life assuming they either fell off a cliff or were intimidated by your intelligence?

There are plenty of guys who will be into you and your stink. And you won't even have to talk them into it.

It's not bullshit because you called, he gave you a polite answer and you didn't accept it. Did you think that if you pressed the issue, he'd realize that there was nothing wrong with you? As though you can debate someone into a relationship. Sure, I have a scent that affects your delicate sense of smell, but have you seen my record collection? There isn't anything wrong with you. You're probably fine. Just not for him. And I'm sure you smell fine, definitely better than I do right now, that's for sure.

Maybe the smell thing is real, maybe he just wanted to shame you off the phone, but either way, he's not into it. There are plenty of guys who will be into you and your stink. And you won't even have to talk them into it.

My ex-boyfriend of three years and I broke up about six months ago. It wasn't a particularly bad breakup, we just both agreed that it wasn't working. I ran into him a few nights ago and he looked good. Really good. I texted him, and since then we've been sending flirty messages back and forth nonstop. There are no real feelings there on my end, but I do miss having sex with him. I'd like to again. Bad idea?

I am incredibly jealous of you. Having sex with someone after a breakup is all I want to do, and I've never pulled it off. I've tried to passionately kiss a man while he's trying to dump me on several different occasions. Something about a relationship ending that makes me want to squeeze the last bit of life out of it, carnally.

Your situation is obviously a bit less manic. You ran into an ex, you're both still attracted to each other and presumably unattached, go for it. There is nothing wrong with casual sex, and there is nothing more ideal than casual sex with a partner you know and like. But there is some prep before you go down this path.

There's nothing more charming than a naked man in your bed who knows you and knows how to talk to you.

You say in your question that there are no "feelings" there anymore. One, that is not true. You were with this guy for three years and unless you're a robot or heavily medicated you absolutely still feel for this person. I know that you mean that you don't have long-term romantic feelings for him anymore, but I just wanted to point out that there is most likely a deep care and respect for one another and you should try to protect that. Make your intentions very clear from the beginning and make sure that he also doesn't have any "feelings" for you anymore. He will be crushed if you two are on different pages about what this is.

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Alison Agosti is a writer living in Los Angeles.

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