I met a wonderful man on social media and after six months of back and forth messaging, we’ve starting dating. In his online photos he is clean-shaven. On our first date, it was a shock to meet him in the flesh hiding behind a hipster mustache and beard.
I must confess to being somewhat of a germaphobe and awfully disturbed by news reports of studies comparing the amount of bacteria in public toilets to those in men’s beards that show that most toilets are more hygienic than beards! How do I bring up the problem of his beard?
–LWL, Boston, MA
About dating etiquette for beards and mustaches.
His beard and mustache may be your problem, not his. So far there isn’t any concrete research evidence that bearded faces are any less hygienic that clean-shaven ones.
A beard and mustache may even be beneficial to his health: studies show antibiotics work slightly better on men who have beards and mustaches.
- Apparently, as long as proper hygiene is consistently maintained, most beards contain normal levels of bacteria and, in fact, keeping clean and not being clean-shaven could be the key to better health.
Listen up, if you don’t like his beard and mustache and you became enamored with him when he was clean-shaven, you should bring this up in a face-to-face conversation. The jury is still out on just how “dangerous” beards are or are not.
- Beards can trap dirt and germs more easily, but if your friend is well-groomed, his beard and mustache will be clean, too.
- You certainly should suggest that he updates his social media photos.
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Accepting A Compliment