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    Old 02-24-2009, 01:30 AM   #1
    John5500
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    Unhappy Smoking and relationships

    Something has been niggling away at me for the past few days and I realised last night that it has become an issue in my current burgeoning relationship. The girl in question is a smoker. And I detest smoking

    I only discovered after a week of getting to know each other that she smokes. She asked me at the time if it is a problem and I stupidly said “no” because, at that stage, I kidded myself that it wouldn’t be because there are so many positive aspects to her that would negate this one.

    However, the more I hear about her smoking habits the more put off I become. This morning I woke up thinking about it and resolved I would seek advice here. I decided I would explain that when she says “I’m havin’ a fag”, it basically makes wants me to hang up the phone on her. So it was ironic and painful that she ended her first text message of today with that exact phrase.

    I don’t want to be so shallow that my girlfriend’s habit puts me off her entirely, but I don’t think I can suppress my emotions when it comes to smoking. It disgusts me. Not simply because I don’t like the smell and taste of smoke. I find smoking incredibly unattractive because of the health implications.

    Ever since we have been getting to know each other, this new girl has been coughing on and off. Like me, she has asthma. But still she persists to smoke. I know that I couldn’t sit there and listen to her coughing without wanting to shake some sense into her and tell her to stop smoking. It would bring out an angry side to me. Anger has no place in any stage of a relationship, let alone the start.

    I want to broach the subject with this girl before I meet her in person. However, I am afraid that either she won’t want to know me anymore or that she will tell me that she’ll quit for me, and subsequently continue to smoke to the point that I can no longer bottle up my feelings and have a massive outburst at her. That happened with my ex-girlfriend who also smoked.

    Can anybody advise me as to how to tackle this subject? Do you think this is too much of a deal-breaker for me that we don’t stand a chance as a couple?

     
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    Old 02-24-2009, 01:42 AM   #2
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JohnnyBoateng View Post

    Can anybody advise me as to how to tackle this subject? Do you think this is too much of a deal-breaker for me that we don’t stand a chance as a couple?
    I do think this is a deal-breaker for you and, in fairness to this girl, you need to tell her sooner rather than later. Do not worry about her quitting 'for you', it is her choice. You never know, she may just need this impetus to quit. Do not go on about the bad stuff; smokers are pretty much deaf to other people telling them that. I used to smoke as a young thing, but I would definitely abstain if I fancied a hot non-smoking guy. Revise your statement about it bothering you; she needs to know this now, and make a choice. Don't just tolerate it and then hit her with it later. Good luck, Sera.

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 01:56 AM   #3
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
    I do think this is a deal-breaker for you and, in fairness to this girl, you need to tell her sooner rather than later. Don't just tolerate it and then hit her with it later.
    Thanks, Sera, you've helped me realise that it would be unfair of me not to tell her my misgivings until we're in deep. I will try to bring it up in conversation this evening. As you suggest, I won't harp on about the evils of smoking. I hit a brick wall over that with my ex who said "it's my choice; I'm not addicted; I can quit if I want to; my nan has smoked every day of her life and it never did her any harm, etc, etc". I will just explain my position and see what she has to say. It will only cause a problem later on if I put off raising my concerns at this stage.

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 02:19 AM   #4
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    It will work better just telling her you hate the smell and the breath etc rather than being all moral about it. When I was smoking, somebody could lecture me about health and the look of it yada yada, but it was being self-conscious about the smell and the thought of bad breath that did the trick with me. One wince and backing off from somebody you want to impress is a really effective deterrent. If she wants to hang on to the smokes, then you know what is more important. Be patient if she is genuinely trying to give up. Just gag and choke if she comes near you LOL. Sera.

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 05:29 AM   #5
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    Only you can say whether this is a deal breaker for you, Johnny. No one else can tell you what is YOUR deal breaker.

    But the reasons you gave for not wanting to date a smoker are not superficial at all. I decided a long time ago I would never, ever date a smoker, Not only does it smell awful and makes a person's hair, clothes, fingers and breath smell awful, but I want to be with someone who takes care of himself. I didn't want to be 50, still relatively young, with a husband wasting away of emphasima or cancer because he smoked his whole life. Not to mention the danger it would put me in as well, as second hand smoke is also very dangerous. I want someone who can keep up with me and someone who shares my views on a healthy lifestyle. So smoking is a total deal breaker for me and I don't think it's superficial at all.

    But I like Sera's advice. Don't lecture her or try to change her or get her to stop. Just let her know what about it turns you off. But be prepared for her to not really care. Smoking is highly addictive and if quiting were that easy, there wouldn't be a billion dollar quit-smoking industry, and the tobacco companies would have gone belly up a long time ago. People can't afford heat, gas, rent or to pay their bills, but they can somehow still afford their cigarettes. What does that tell you? She could very well take the stance of "well, if you really cared for me, you would get over the fact that I smoke. This is who I am." You need to be prepared for that.

    Last edited by Larrylou'smom; 02-24-2009 at 05:30 AM.

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 07:27 AM   #6
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    Good idea Seraph, just gag and choke in front of her and be like "gosh I hate those things." Hopefully she'll abstain when she's around you...best of all hopefully she'll quit.

    I used to smoke but unfortunately everyone I hung around with did...now, I only have one or two smokes with a drink here and there and that's it.

    Last edited by Jess75; 02-24-2009 at 07:30 AM.

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 08:30 AM   #7
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    You can always talk to your girlfriend about her smoking habit, though I'm not certain what you want to say. In the first week of your relationship, she asked you if her smoking would be a problem, and you said it wouldn't. Now, to her, all of a sudden it will be. What is the girl to do?

    While I would agree that smoking is a gross habit, I have to give your girlfriend credit in that she was upfront. For you to now come to her and tell her it's a problem, well, if I were her, I'm not quite sure what I would do.

    You really can't ask her quit (unless she has indicated previously she has a desire to do so), because to quit this habit does require a personal commitment. One does for themselves, not another person. The most I think you could ask of her is to not smoke when she is around you. This isn't the most ideal situation for either of you, but it is a compromise that might work.

    All you can do at this point is to come clean with her that you were less than honest with her and yourself about how much you could tolerate smoking. Let her know how you feel about smoking, but be careful that many smokers associate the habit to themselves - i.e. if you think the habit is dirty, she might think you feel she is dirty. Ask her to work out a compromise with you that works because you want to stay together. Realize that she has every right to walk away from the relationship if she feels she doesn't want to compromise, sadly enough. I really hope something can be worked out, though.

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 08:56 AM   #8
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    I don't see how you ever put up with her that first week when you knew she smoked, that is when you should have stood up and said something how you dislike smoking and what it does to a person ect,,ect,,(altho she knows that) smokers don't like to hear someone preaching to them about ''stop smoking'' and they know its bad for them. (if they continue to smoke its there own health) but second hand smoke is just as bad to a non-smoker.
    If she stops smoking tell her to do it for her not you!

    If I was you I would just be honest with her and tell her we can be platonic friends but thats all there will be if she continues to smoke simply because you can't stand it and what smoking does to a person.

    I wish they would ban making them darn things. eh!

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 09:01 AM   #9
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Larrylou'smom View Post
    Not only does it smell awful and makes a person's hair, clothes, fingers and breath smell awful, but I want to be with someone who takes care of himself. I didn't want to be 50, still relatively young, with a husband wasting away of emphasima or cancer because he smoked his whole life.
    Thanks for your reply, LLM. It's not the smell that bothers me so much; it's the connotations. With my ex-girlfriend it made me extremely angry that a girlfriend of mine was trapped by the tobacco industry, which, to my mind, is no better - if not worse - than the narcotics industry. I just can't stand the idea that an individual has had the freedom of choice, to follow a healthier lifestyle, taken away from them because of the addictive nature of nicotine.

    My ex-girlfriend assured me that she wasn't an addict. Yet, three hours into her first stay at my parents' place, where smoking is forbidden, and she was grouchy and trembling like a leaf. In the end I gave up and drove her to the nearest shop and bought her some cigarettes myself. I was very angry at myself Eventually I took my anger out on her and expressed my views on smoking very harshly.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jessicca View Post
    Good idea Seraph, just gag and choke in front of her and be like "gosh I hate those things." Hopefully she'll abstain when she's around you...best of all hopefully she'll quit.
    I know you meant it in a jokey way, Jessicca, but I don’t want to adopt this tack. I certainly wouldn’t have the heart to admit that I find the smell of cigarettes on her breath and hair repulsive, but I wouldn’t want her to think I was only against smoking at a superficial level. I need to convey the depth of my dislike for it.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chele60 View Post
    While I would agree that smoking is a gross habit, I have to give your girlfriend credit in that she was upfront.

    You really can't ask her quit (unless she has indicated previously she has a desire to do so), because to quit this habit does require a personal commitment.

    The most I think you could ask of her is to not smoke when she is around you. This isn't the most ideal situation for either of you, but it is a compromise that might work.
    Hi, Chele60. Thanks for your input I don't feel that Lora was particularly upfront. I'm sure she realised from our initial conversations that I place a lot of importance on leading a healthy lifestyle and she didn't bring it up until a week or so of knowing each other. I felt a bit cheated because I might have been less inclined to get to know her had I known from the outset that she smokes.

    She has mentioned that she wouldn't feel the need to smoke if it weren't for some current problems in her social and family life (her birth parents have recently attempted to come back into her life and her ex-boyfriend who raped her has recently been released from prison). But she doesn't acknowledge that smoking is bad for her health. In general, she seems to have less regard for her health than I have for mine, which concerns me.

    I have considered the idea of asking her not to smoke in my presence but I don't think that would help. When I embark on a relationship I always look at the long term. There is no way I would want to live with, marry and start a family with a smoker. So simply keeping her habit out of sight would not keep it out of mind. If she doesn't want to quit, there will be no us I am not looking forward to dropping this bombshell this evening.

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 09:04 AM   #10
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chevyman View Post
    I don't see how you ever put up with her that first week when you knew she smoked, that is when you should have stood up and said something how you dislike smoking and what it does to a person
    Hey, chevyman I didn't make it clear that I haven't yet met this girl in person. We have been getting to know each other by telephone. We have been building up towards meeting up and it only really struck me last night how much it's going to bother me that she smokes. I know I should have said something earlier so I guess I'm going to have to bring it up this evening and hope it doesn't too much damage to the chance of us meeting up in due course.

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 10:20 AM   #11
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    Smoking is an addiction. I've known people that have given up drugs and drinking and the smoking has been the hardest thing to give up. Harping on someone works next to never. Coughing and admonishment doesn't work either. I used to smoke and it was the hardest thing to quit. It's like telling someone who is seriously overwieght to simply stop overeating and making cutting remarks with they grab a bag of chips - it's all part of an addiction and addictive personality.

    The best thing you can do is tell her that you really like her and you would like to get to know her better, but you don't think you can date her going forward if she continues to smoke. Then - let her make the decision. Sometimes a great motivator, like the potential of a great relationship with someone is enough of a catalyst to make someone quit.

    Last edited by cathy1; 02-24-2009 at 10:22 AM.

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 11:29 AM   #12
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    [QUOTE=JohnnyBoateng;3896924

    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I know you meant it in a jokey way, Jessicca, but I don’t want to adopt this tack. I certainly wouldn’t have the heart to admit that I find the smell of cigarettes on her breath and hair repulsive, but I wouldn’t want her to think I was only against smoking at a superficial level. I need to convey the depth of my dislike for it.[/FONT]

    Well I would let her know in a way that wasn't sounding like I was telling her what to do so it doesn't seem like your trying to be controling. I would let her know that you don't like cigarrettes perhaps in a more lovingly way than my example. If she doesn't want to quit after she is aware that you don't like it then it's your decision to put up with her smoking or not. You knew she smoked when you met her.
    Besides, you haven't even met her in person yet, so give it some more time...you may not even want to continue the relationship for other reasons. No offense to her but what if she happens to picks her nose? What if she is constantly looking in the mirror while your talking to her which happens to turn you off? What if she wears too much makeup for your liking? You know, those kinds of things...I'm sure she wouldn't pick her nose but you never never know.

    You may be worrying about this too much right now for nothing, it's too soon to tell.

    Last edited by Jess75; 02-24-2009 at 02:11 PM.

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 12:54 PM   #13
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    I guess I mis-read your post - I thought this was a girl you had met in person. Well, then this should be even easier for you! Since you haven't actually been around the cigarette smoke and putting up with it, I think you will have a much easier time initiating the conversation. Just let her know this is a serious consideration for you, and now that you are getting to know and like her, you really need to work things out.

    Oh, and just a word regarding using health as a reason for not smoking. I am an ex-smoker and I had this thrown at me when I was smoking 2 1/2 - 3 packs a day. Usually by people who were overweight, didn't exercise on a regular basis, ate junk food at every turn, drank alcohol like fish, drove their cars without using seatbelts and drove wrecklessly - you get the message. It's not wise to throw stones while in glass houses. Smokers pick up on those things really, really well! Denial and defensiveness can be so powerful!

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 01:02 PM   #14
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chele60 View Post
    I guess I mis-read your post - I thought this was a girl you had met in person. Well, then this should be even easier for you! Since you haven't actually been around the cigarette smoke and putting up with it, I think you will have a much easier time initiating the conversation. Just let her know this is a serious consideration for you, and now that you are getting to know and like her, you really need to work things out.

    Oh, and just a word regarding using health as a reason for not smoking. I am an ex-smoker and I had this thrown at me when I was smoking 2 1/2 - 3 packs a day. Usually by people who were overweight, didn't exercise on a regular basis, ate junk food at every turn, drank alcohol like fish, drove their cars without using seatbelts and drove wrecklessly - you get the message. It's not wise to throw stones while in glass houses. Smokers pick up on those things really, really well! Denial and defensiveness can be so powerful!
    Chele.... so true. I remember my ex boss who would say I was "disgusting" for smoking... this from a person who had multiple skin cancers removed from her face and who was still laying out daily worshiping the sun. We all do stupid things... but he who cast the first stone.... I said that to her about the sun worshiping and she never said anything to me again about smoking. Telling me that didn't make me stop smoking, it just showed that she was rude and abrasive. After all, I wasn't even smoking nor never did around her.

    I also have a friend who is very overweight, and a friend of mine said to me "how could she let herself go like that!"... I turned to her and said... "you smoke" - same thing - you just can't see the damage you're doing to your body.

    Last edited by cathy1; 02-24-2009 at 01:05 PM.

     
    Old 02-24-2009, 02:04 PM   #15
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    Re: Smoking and relationships

    I think it's best to end things now if the smoking bothers you so much.

    If she's smoking more than just socially (like a poster said here ... someone who can have just a smoke or two with a drink), she's an addict and always will be. You can't reason with an addict. You can't use logic with an addict.

    Most smokers aren't health nuts, so the last thing on this woman's mind is how you might take care of your health more than she takes care of hers.

    A smoker thinks things like this:

    "We're all going to die someday ... might as well enjoy myself and my vices along the journey."

    "There's toxicity in everything anyway. If lung cancer doesn't kill me, a heart attach from too much stress, high-fructose corn syrup or sodium will."

    "I'll quit when I'm older and health problems start to creep up."

    If you can't fathom these statements or understand how a person might feel this way, it's best to move on. It's obvious you feel extremely strong about smoking, and I really can't see you and a smoker (even an ex smoker) getting along well.

     
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