Dear Cheryl, I'm entering a new relationship, but I find myself slightly hesitant about this really nice guy I met online. We're very comfortable with each other and feel like we've known each other for a long time although it's only been six months.
But several things about him bother me. First is his horrific posture. He appears shorter than me although he's actually six inches taller. He's slumped over so badly that his back is hunched. Then he drags or shuffles his feet when he walks. Even though his shoes are new, the soles are worn out! And the worst are his teeth. They're discolored from too much coffee and they're ground down so badly that they're short and the insides show. They appear green.
After telling me that he was glad that my teeth are nice, I told him about his and about a bonding procedure my ex-husband and daughter had. His dentist told him he doesn't do it, but he could do expensive veneers or crowns. It's not practical for him to go to my dentist because he's two hours away.
Here's something you should know about him. His wife suffered from cancer for half of his married life. He was severely despondent for 10 years after her death. He finally started getting on with his life shortly before we met.
We both see that this relationship progressing. He finds me physically attractive. I'd like him to be more physically attractive.
After two very long-term relationships with men who lacked respect and appreciation for me and had no communication skills, I'm really grateful for how well we interact. I've met a lot of good-looking men but their personalities were a total turnoff. This is a really good human being. —I wanna polish this diamond in the rough till it sparkles
Dear IWPTDITRTIS, You have to tell him, in the nicest way, that what he went through with his wife has had a profound influence on his physical appearance. You don't have to be a shrink to see the connection. He's shuffling through life. He's dragging his feet. He's slouching, in other words, keeping his head down to avoid getting knocked over, again.
You have to emphasize that this isn't just about looking good. The way he takes care of himself and carries himself is a reflection of how he feels about himself. Until he feels he's worth the time and money to get his teeth fixed and work on his posture and his gait, he's still living in response to the past, not marching into the future.
Tell him you'd like to help him find a dentist who does the bonding procedure. Your dentist should be able to recommend someone closer to him. And then suggest that the two of you join a gym halfway between your homes. He needs to start working out. It will help everything.
Be patient. He's been through a trauma and he's just coming out of it. Help him work on one thing at a time and hopefully it will snow ball until you've spruced him up, outside and in.
Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants to [email protected] And check out my ebook, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."