Sex & Relationships

How to improve your guy

If the man you love sometimes stimulates the senses (and not in a good way), talk it out -- without hurting his feelings.

You love everything about him…well, almost everything. If you sometimes catch yourself cringing because he’s tucked his sweater into his jeans, or recoil when he leans in for a smooch due to his swamp mouth, it’s time to do something about it. But before you begin making over your man, check your motives.

“It’s important to understand for yourself why you want him to change,” says Vancouver-based couples therapist, Kerry Moller. “You need to look at whether these issues are affecting your intimacy.” Moller also adds that your best strategy is to “focus on making specific complaints and requests rather than overwhelming him with a whole bunch of issues at once.” In other words, pick your battles, ladies. The best way to tackle this type of man-trouble is with tact, kindness, positive reinforcement and carefully-phrased sentences. If you’re thinking, “Ugh, I really hate that shirt”, say “I think this one would look amazing on you.” Stay away from blaming or shaming statements like “you always” or “you never” and for this mission you’ll have to banish the word cute from your vocabulary; you’ll find greater success with adjectives such as handsome, or sexy – words he’ll respond to.

Taste
Breath strips can be a Band-aid solution, but if his halitosis is affecting your relationship, try explaining to him that you love your one-on-one time together (notice how we started with positive reinforcement), but that sometimes his breath stands in the way. Diet, undiagnosed medical conditions and dental issues such as decay or gum disease may all be causes. If it’s chronic, schedule an appointment for a checkup with his doctor or dentist, otherwise pass the mouthwash and get ready for good morning snuggles.Smell
If he’s taking a heavy hand with the cologne – and the whole world is noticing – it might be time to switch brands. After a certain amount of time, your nose naturally adjusts to a regularly-applied fragrance; you don’t notice it as much, thus the need for extra application. Consider the cologne he already likes, then hit the fragrance department for a replacement in the same family of scents. Most trained salespeople will be able to build suggestions from his original fave. Present him with your gift and if he still over-applies, gently let him know that fragrance should be sprayed directly on to the body, from four to five inches away, and only below the collarbone.Touch
Salons across the country now offer men’s waxing and laser treatments – plus grooming services for unruly brows and nose hair – so if your guy’s hairy back is keeping him T-shirt-clad on the beach, help him build confidence by booking a joint waxing session. Hey, the couple that waxes together, stays together, right? Prevent any 40-Year-Old Virgin mishaps by advising him to first exfoliate the area, then trim the hair to a quarter of an inch. Caffeine restricts blood vessels, so keep him off the java for at least an hour prior to his treatment. If he’s worried about the pain, suggest that he pop a couple of painkillers and/or applies a pre-numbing cream before his treatment. If he’d rather take matters into his own hands, the Philips Bodygroom is an electric razor designed especially for manscaping. Don’t forget to comment on how good he looks afterwards.

Hear
Afraid of what he’ll say to your boss at the office BBQ? His vocabulary skills might work with the boys, but if his potty mouth is causing you to consider RSVPing “No” next time, carefully bring up the issue. Explain to him that his candid conversation style might reflect badly upon you, which could impact your job. There are fun ways of upping his – and your – language skills. Challenge him to a sexy game of Scrabble where you can use as many dirty or suggestive terms as you like. That could help him get it out of his system and even lead to the bedroom!

See
You know him best, so before you clean out his closet, think about his lifestyle. Sure, he would look great in a suit for date night, but is he really going to be comfortable? The best way to mini-makeover your man is to simply shop for him. Lots of style-challenged guys just don’t know what looks good on them. But, his primal aim is to make you want him, so if your guy knows you think he looks sexy in something, he’ll wear it.

Flip through men’s fashion magazines, keep your eyes peeled for sharply-dressed men to use as inspiration and always check store return policies before you buy.