Drunk in Love

Zach Patrick-Riley

My boyfriend has been growing some sort of beardlike fluff on his face this winter, and to be honest, it kind of turns me off. How can I let him know that I want him to shave without hurting his feelings? Should I just hope he shaves it off eventually?
— Craving some cleanAll right, first and foremost you definitely should let him know as soon as possible. Although I think beards are pretty sweet (at least mine is), a lady friend of mine might think the opposite. You don’t want to think “ouch” or “yuck” when you kiss him.
Now, speaking on behalf of guys here — we are proud to be able to grow a beard. For some reason it makes us feel older and also may just keep our face warm. But even though it would be difficult for me to hear that a lady friend of mine didn’t like my proud facial achievement, I would try to appreciate it. That’s the good news. If you go about telling him the right way, no feelings or arguments will be provoked.

With this in mind, the best piece of advice is to be as subtle as possible!!! Be sensitive to your Mountain Man’s feelings. Behind that hearty beard there is still some vulnerability. The bad news is that if you say it the wrong way, his feelings will be hurt AND this beard thing might into a yearlong fiasco.

So because I am nice, and I am a victim of girls not being subtle, I will offer you a few potential suggestions of what sorts of things you should say and avoid saying.

Don’t say things like:

“Honey, give up the beard already — peach fuzz is for seventh graders, not college guys. Wait a couple more years.”
“There’s no way I am going out in public with you … It’s like I’m going out to eat with my dog.”

Or a classic, “I won’t kiss you unless you shave it off.”

These are the worst sorts of things you could say, and they have strong potential to hurt his feelings. Although the idea of him not being able to kiss you may provide some incentive and he might do it, he easily might hold in some bitterness.

The key is to tell him constructively and use positive persuasion as opposed to negative. Here are some potentially good comments to use:

When you’re lying next to each other cuddling, you may say something like, “You know babe, I have almost forgotten what you look like clean-shaven. From what I remember, the smoothness was pretty sexy.”

Or when you’re touching hands say, “You know, the sensation of your smooth skin really gets me going. Let’s mix it up a little: How about I get a razor and we get down to business?”

All in all, when thinking of how to get your bearded beast to be a clean-shaven prince again, just use some tact and think what sorts of things you would or wouldn’t want to hear about somewhere on your body, such as your haircut, legs, or … well, you get it. Just be nice.