Dear Dance Diva,
What do you do when a guy asks you to dance and he has really, really bad breath? This guy and I belong to the same dance club so I see him almost every weekend at one party or another. He asks me to dance a lot and every time I give him some excuse and decline. He’s a good dancer and a nice person and if it wasn’t for his bad breath, I’d enjoy dancing with him – is it rude to tell him the truth? I am running out of excuses.
—Holding My Breath
Dear Holding My Breath,
First off, “No, but thank you for asking,” is a perfectly acceptable response to someone who invites you to dance at a social function. There is no need to fabricate excuses so stop being a wimp and just say no. Is it rude to tell him the truth? Of course it is. Clearly, if you have to ask, you know it’s rude. Plus, what would you say, “Gee, you’re a terrific dancer and a nice person and normally I’d love to dance with a guy like you, but unfortunately you have really, really bad breath so no thank you.” See? Nothing good will come out of telling him the truth because truth bombs regarding bad breath, body odor and flatulence are reserved solely for dropping by one’s family and closest personal friends.
The thing is, pervasive halitosis can be an indicator of a serious health problem so if you care enough, mention the matter to someone who knows him well enough to bring up the topic and encourage him to see a health professional. Or send him an anonymous note. Or quit rejecting the poor guy, hand him a mint whenever he invites you to dance and hope he eventually gets the hint.
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