How To Address Your Almost Perfect Guy's Flaws

"He's perfect, but..." Do you find yourself saying this? Learn how to subtly weed out the little things that get on your nerves without hurting him.

So, you've scored a great boyfriend--except there's this little blip, like he's obsessed with his hair, or he wears hideous bling. Other people probably don't see the flaw, but it drives you freakin' nuts. Let us help.

It isn't like you'd dump the guy over his minor shortcoming, especially since everything else about him is so awesome. But to be honest, as hard as you try, you just can't overlook it. Perhaps, back when you first started dating, you forgave his quirk or even considered it kind of cute, but now it's just driving you crazy. The problem is, guys have egos. So, you have to be smart about how you go about fixing his fault. "There are ways to tweak the small stuff that irks you about a man--you just have to be subtle and make him think he's changing out of his own free will," explains Barton Goldsmith, PhD, author of Emotional Fitness For Intimacy.

On that premise, we had experts give strategic tricks for eliminating a bunch of real women's guy gripes. If you have an issue, chances are, it's in this mix.

He's perfect, but...he calls everyone 'chief.'

"It doesn't matter who it is--everybody is 'chief.' He even gives me this nickname for one of the guys!" --Patty, 30

The Fix: Ask him why he calls everyone that. He'll probably say he doesn't know, so just come back with "Oh, it seems a little old-fashioned. My lolo used to do the same thing when he was going senile and couldn't remember names." Now that you've planted the idea that he sounds dated, he'll feel self-conscious about his chief habit, and it'll fade.

He's perfect, but...he wears fugly man jewelry.

"My guy dresses well, except for his accessories. They look like they belong in my jewelry box, not on him." --Melissa, 29

The Fix: Next time he wears his flair, enlist a girlfriend to poke fun at him gently by saying "I could have sworn I saw that in a women's store at the mall. Is that where you got it?" If that doesn't get him to put away the accessories, ask a second friend to tease him with "Well, your girlfriend doesn't have to worry about girls hitting on you with that around your neck." It's sneaky, but he's more likely to take wardrobe suggestions from women he doesn't know. Plus, you get the point across without having to be the bad guy.

He's perfect, but...he quotes movies 24/7.

"The first couple of times he quipped 'Life is like a box of chocolates...,' it was hilarious. The 50th time, I wanted to tear my hair out." --Sunshine, 22

The Fix: Say in a joking manner, "Let me take you to a movie, so you can get some new lines." Guys relate through humor, so he'll get the message without feeling hurt. If he still doesn't stop, start talking back to him in annoying chick-flick speak. It will take only a few "You complete me"s to get him to wave the white flag.

He's perfect, but...he has really bad body odor.

"My guy reeks on a regular basis. I love a manly man, but his smell is too potent for me and anyone else with a functioning nose." --Marie, 21

The Fix: Bring him a potent deodorant soap and tell him the scent turns you on, so you'd love it if he used it. Then, suggest a sexy shower, during which you lather him up with your gift. Chances are, he'll start associating the soap with sex, and he's more likely to get clean if he thinks it'll lead to, um, getting a little dirty (sorry, we couldn't help ourselves).

He's perfect, but...he forgets to brush his teeth.

"My boyfriend and I have been living together for three months, and I rarely see him brush his teeth. He could be doing it when I'm not around, but sometimes his breath smells really foul. To make things worse, he says he hates anything mint-flavored." --Sarah, 20

The Fix: Scare him straight with a little subterfuge (hey, it's for the greater good): Relay a horror story about how one of your sister's guy friends, close in age to him, didn't brush often enough and wound up with rotten teeth that required thousands of pesos in dental fees, plus massive mouth pain. If his bad breath still crops up, offer him a cinnamon candy by passing it from your mouth to his. The seductive twist hides the fact that you're trying to mask his bad breath.

Go to the next page to read more pet peeves and how to fix them.
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He's perfect, but...he's addicted to hair gel.

"He spends at least 20 minutes sculpting his hair, and he even carries around a travel-sized gel for 'emergencies.'" --Jamie, 28

The Fix: To get through to him under that gunk, you have to appeal to his vanity. Before he goes wild with the goop, run your fingers through his hair and say how sexy it feels when it's so soft. If he still gels himself out, smile and say, "Your hair looks a little like the lines on my marketing graph." Once he realizes he doesn't look his best, he'll trade in his 'do for softer, natural-looking locks.

He's perfect, but...he chews with his mouth open.

"He doesn't realize that everyone can watch him digest his dinner. Plus, he chews louder than my askal pet." --Angie, 20

The Fix: Whip out your cell and claim you just want to make a cute video of your dinner. Record several seconds of his chewing, then show him the clip, with his face in close-up mode--after the meal is over. Guys are very visual, and seeing his poor table manners onscreen will send him the message.

He's perfect, but...he uses excessive emoticons.

"My boyfriend uses so many smiley faces, it's distracting and hilarious. Except I'm LOLing at him, not with him." --Lizelle, 30

The Fix: First, keep in mind that those virtual gestures are heaven-sent to emotion-challenged guys who rely on them to communicate their feelings without having to put them into words. But okay, yes, an onslaught is annoying. To get him to stop, you must refrain from using emoticons yourself. Out of sight is out of mind, and also, you don't want him to think you actually like the dreaded winky face. Next, make up a story about a friend who was flirting with a guy she liked on Facebook, and all was going well until he wrote her back with an emoticon overload, at which point she completely lost interest and pulled a slow fade. Watch his reaction: If he doesn't come to the other dude's defense, he got the gist.

He's perfect, but...he's always late.

"He's so kalat, I can count on him showing up to anything--a date, dinner with my parents, a work event--about 10 to 15 minutes late. His habit is so bad, my friends and I actually take bets on how long it'll be before he finally walks through the door." --Jennifer, 29

The Fix: Your guy drags ass not only because he's forgetful, but also because he knows he can. Even if you set all his clocks ahead, he'd still show up late because he knows you'll be at the restaurant or event waiting for him. The next time he "loses track of time," as the chronically late like to put it, ditch him. When he calls to see where you are, nonchalantly explain that you took off. The shock of your not being there will help him reform his ways.

He's perfect, but...he takes my stuff without asking.

"We've been dating for so long, he now thinks what's mine is his. He'll help himself to food in the ref that I'm saving for a recipe, take my newspaper home with him, and eat off my plate before I even have a chance to take a bite." --Dewy, 26

The Fix: After you spend some time at his house, bring home something of his you know he'll miss, like his camera charger, or the last few beers stocked in his kitchen. When he asks about the missing items, calmly explain that you assumed it was cool, since he grabs your things, too. The taste of his own medicine will get the point across, and you can propose the radical idea of asking permission before borrowing each other's things in the future.

He's perfect, but...he has trashy facial hair.

"My boyfriend keeps his facial hair long, it's ridiculous. But every time I suggest he shave it off, he says it's his 'thing.'" --Lindsey, 23

The Fix: Tell him that his "thing" is irritating your skin when he kisses you, and you're tired of enduring beard burn so he can look like an ermitanyo. Ask him to shave it before it gets worse. Or, compromise and suggest a scruff style you can deal with, like a slight goatee or short mustache. If he has to choose between hooking up with you and his killer hair artistry, he's going to choose you (and if he doesn't, then his issues run deeper than some bad scruff).

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