Dragon Breath, Cohabitation, Dating Apps and more

Hey Irene,

Currently, I'm debating whether or not to sign up for some of those dating apps. A few of my friends have them but I'm a little on the opposition side of it for various reasons. However, I'm not a fan of being single anymore as I've spent the last 8 years focusing on my studies and I feel as though I am ready to jump into that scene but besides the dating apps, I don't know know how to go about it.

Do you have any advice on what I should do?

Sincerely, Unfortunately Single

Dear Unfortunately Single,

I completely understand your opposition to using a dating app. After all, it may seem a bit strange meeting someone online. In the back of your mind you can’t help but wonder if the picture in their profile is the person they are now or them from 10 years ago. You may even wonder if it is really them at all. Certainly, anyone can be anything they choose to be online. However, that can also be said for meeting someone in person. My advice is to take it slow when it comes to any form of dating. Keep the conversation light and basic. Talk about common interests, hobbies or a relevant topic. Don’t share anything too personal too soon. I know dating can be challenging but treat it like an onion. Slowly peel away the layers by asking questions and if the responses are not clear then ask again. Start where you are comfortable. It’s okay if online dating isn’t for you. You may want to consider speed dating, a singles group or a new interest that involves meeting new people. Dating is supposed to be fun. Keep it that way.


Hi Irene,

My roommates breath smells awful, how do I go about telling them that? I don’t want to be a b*tch but I also don’t want to smell dragon breath all day. Please help!

Sincerely, whyme

Dear whyme,

Having a roommate with bad breath or body odor is awful. I’ve had to deal with unpleasant smelling roommates several times throughout my life. Many would not agree with  my approach on this subject because telling someone about a hygiene issue is never easy. I’ve always been very direct in my approach. I consider feedback to be a gift and I’m a gift giver. Personally, I purchase gift bags and fill them with toothpaste, a toothbrush, mouthwash, breath mints, gum and a bottled water. When the opportunity presents itself I have a very private and discreet conversation with my roommate. I let them know that I’m concerned and I’d much rather tell them about the issue than a stranger. If there is an underlying health issue that caused their bad breath, I would want to know about it and offer my support in any way that I could. I would reassure my roommate that I’m coming from a place of concern and care. I would let them know that I understand how embarrassing bad breath can be and that the travel size gift bag is for them freshen up whenever they are on the go.


Hey there Irene,

I want to know how I can ask my girlfriend to move in with me. We’ve been together for at least 2 years nows so I think we’re ready but I don’t want to sound pushy. This wouldn’t be an issue if she didn’t already reject the idea the first time. I don’t want to scare her away but I also think we’re ready for that next step.

Love, Mr. Unsure

Dear Mr. Unsure,

Taking that next step in a relationship is a big decision and I’m sure there are many things you both have considered since the last discussion about cohabitation. I would encourage you both to revisit the last conversation and ask yourself what has changed in the relationship to warrant a “yes” from your girlfriend. Are you asking her to move in under the conditions that she will not have to contribute anything financially to the household bills? If not, are you both in a good place financially to afford the move and added expense of living under the same roof? Have you discussed the topic of marriage or long term cohabitation? How does your girlfriend feel about premarital living arrangements or residential partnership? Is your living situation a step up from where she currently resides. I would suggest that if you really feel strongly about taking your relationship to the next level, then having an open and honest discussion with your girlfriend would be ideal. Hopefully, having an in depth discussion with your girlfriend about how you truly feel will allow you both to feel a bit more secure. Who knows? Maybe this time you’ll get your “yes.”


Hi Irene,

How can I deal with a cultural class that essentially makes me feel like I can’t participate in discussion because I don’t have the same experience as everyone else?




Dear Anonymous,

 First, I would like to offer my sincere apology on behalf of anyone that has made you feel like your life experience is not valued because you are of a different cultural background. Please know that you and your experiences are not less than anyone else's. While you may be of a different cultural background, it should not make a difference in an institutional setting. Please don’t remain silent or suppress who you are because others cannot relate. Your experiences are what has shaped you and they add perspective to an otherwise closed conversation. You are absolutely extraordinary and everything about you is unique. The best way to deal with those who choose to isolate others is to never allow yourself to be put in a box. Stand confident when you stand out and be unafraid to speak your mind.