You Need Help: Brand New Gays and Social Ashtrays

Welcome to You Need Help! Where you seek advice and we try our very best to give it.

This has traditionally been done by way of individual Formspring accounts, Autostraddle’s Tumblr and a Formspring Friday column, which has all been very fun and insightful. But, because Formspring has a character limit and we’re wildly optimistic w/r/t our time-management skills, we thought we’d go one further and let you use our ASS private messaging to share advice-related feelings, too.

For more info on sending in questions, see the bottom of this post. Let’s get down to bossing people around on the internet! Today’s contestants include a social smoker who may or may not quit for her girlfriend’s sake and a college-bound chick who wants to date other chicks but can’t seem to break the habit of not dating chicks. Enjoy!

My girlfriend is really annoyed because I’m a “social smoker.” When we go to parties and other people are smoking, I may have one, or two (or eight) cigarettes. She doesn’t smoke at all. Should I stop smoking to keep the peace?

You should stop smoking only because you want to stop smoking, but let’s talk about why your girlfriend is so annoyed! If it’s something superficial — like the smell, the cost or the social stigmas — it falls under the ‘Sometimes My Girlfriend Isn’t Perfect’ umbrella. Everything under this umbrella is hers to weigh and ultimately either get over or break up because of.

If her annoyance is more feelings/love-based, it’s still up to her to weigh, but it puts more pressure on you to be sensitive to those feelings. Like if her father died of lung cancer, for example. You can’t very well smoke around a person you love when that’s in her back pocket, you know?

Hey let’s play a fun game! Being annoyed by smokers is easily justifiable for most people, because it’s unhealthy and second-hand smoke omg and waaah so smelly, etc. But what if your girlfriend was repulsed by seafood and you were mildly allergic to shellfish, yet every time you were out with your friends you kicked back a couple of oysters? Your overall health would take a hit because of that pesky allergy, but what would that have to do with your girlfriend? Is it up to her to take care of you when you’re sick? What kind of steps is she taking to stay healthy, either for the sake of herself or those who care about her?

I think doing anything just to keep the peace is a good way to build resentment and I hate resentment. It’s the number one reason I say All The Things — I don’t want a single unchecked negative thought swimming around in there. Tiny negative thoughtfish turn into giant angry thoughtsharks and then they eat you and then you die. Simple as that.

Talk to your girlfriend about why she’s so annoyed by smoking and decide for yourself if she’s coming from a place of love or control. But also seriously, you should stop smoking.

I’m 18, about to go to college, and I’m pretty sure I’m into chicks. But I keep dating dudes even though I’m not into them at all. I’m too shy/ scared of being myself to do anything. So my question is, how do I get over myself and go for what I want?

Going for a new thing you want is terrifying! For some people (hi!) the fear of failure or rejection can be enough to keep them from trying new things, even if they really really want to do them. Dating girls for the first time is no exception, so take a second to realize that what you’re feeling isn’t uncommon, you are not alone, etc.

Ok! So you wanna try something new. There are a few steps everyone can take to prepare themselves for a brave new world (of sexy girlparts).

1. Read a f*cking book
The new thing is so very new that you really have no idea what to do or expect, probably. You’re like a child, or a snail in snow. You should read a book about it! How do you feel about YA fiction? I personally love it. Here are few books we really liked and one of them isn’t YA!

+ Empress of the World

+ Pages for You

+ A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend

+ One Bloody Thing After Another (which Intern Grace describes as “really, really weird”)

Also obviously there’s this handy collection of books and book-related feelings we’ve put together for you!

2. Watch a movie
Movies are like books that talk, so if you don’t want to read, you should watch some films. Let’s call them films instead of movies. Here are some films that Riese and I like:

+ Puccini for Beginners

+ All Over Me

+ Fucking Åmål

+ South of Nowhere: Season One (ok this is a tv show, but “Watch a movie / tv show” didn’t look as cute, so)

3. Visualize the future
I don’t mean like, in an effort to manifest your destiny, but visualizing yourself actually doing the new thing can work to trick your brain into feeling like it’s already done something before. I’ve been successfully using this technique since my first real job interview — I had to wear pantyhose and this silk shirt, so clearly I was already having six different panic attacks just based on my wardrobe, and having visualized the little things, like opening the door or handing them my resume, really helped me chill the f*ck out.

You should visualize yourself pulling a girl in for a kiss, or like, a nuzzle? You’re gonna want to nail that move.

The good news is that you’re on your way to college, which is, according to lore and American Eagle ads, where all the girls wear cute sweatpants and turn into lesbians. Find the local group of Autostraddlers via ASS, go to some meet-ups, and join the school’s LGBT group / club. Also, lucky for you, Autostraddle has about 3,000 articles on the topic of lesbiqueer dating, most notably How to Make Gay Friends and Meet Girls: The Ultimate Guide to Effective Queer Socializing, which really was pretty ultimate.

So basically all that’s left is getting some Tegan & Sara tickets.

You should probably share your wisdom and overall feelings in the comments! There’s a good chance I’m totally wrong or left something out or haven’t been yelled at enough today.


To send your question via ASS personal messaging, choose an editor: Riese | Laneia | Rachel
Or ask any team member you’d like: Meet the Team
*If messaging is down, email us! There are so many options, you guys! You could send carrier pigeons!*
For 100% anonymity, contact us through Formspring:  Riese | Laneia | Rachel

Please keep your questions to around, at most, 100 words. Due to the high volume of questions and feelings, not every question or feeling will be answered or published on Autostraddle. We hope you know that we love you regardless.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. The one time I hooked up with a smoker (who said she was trying to quit) I came down with bronchitis right after sleeping in her apartment.

    So it’s a reaaaaalllyyy big problem for some people. Like me…so if a girl asks you to stop, it might be for a really good reason.

    • I was just about to add something similar. I have asthma, so I am incapable of being around cigarette smoke. Every time I’ve ever been around secondhand smoke I have gotten bronchitis or something similar. Smoking is an instant dealbreaker for me not because it makes me uncomfortable but because it has serious, immediate effects on my health.

      • right! which is why you would never date a smoker, social or otherwise — because you’ve already weighed the importance of that thing. just like i would never date a carnival clown.

        • Are you allergic to clowns?

          Anyway, this is true–this is the point in which I learned that I can’t date a smoker because for my own health–I knew I was sensitive, but not HOW sensitive (she wasn’t smoking in my face, it was sleeping within the apartment smoke residue that got me sick–after the previous day we had found that even kissing her after a cigarette made my tongue itch, so she brushed her teeth/took shots of vodka after each cigarette). But since I’m all open mouth breathing when I sleep…yeah, I got sick.

          This is also why I can’t go to the gay bar here in Indiana very much because chainsmoking queers make me sick, and I have to shower and throw my clothes in the wash when I get home, and then my throat is scratchy for a couple days while I wait to see if it gets worse…

          • marika!!!! I feel you, there are like absolute nooooo social smokers in indiana everyone is either a chain smoker or doesn’t smoke at all. most of my friends are chain smokers which makes it extremely hard for me to hang with them outside because they start pulling out their packs and i quit smoking. safest bet is to check people out in the gym, very very few smokers there.

          • GOOD THOUGHT! Except I go to the gym at school, and I go to Notre Dame (grad student) and the lil Catholic undergrads are not fair game. (even tho one was gym stalking me, it was weird).



          • i do not advise this for the simple fact that I almost burned my lips off twice last time this happened.
            but if you are smoking and drinking make sure you have friends around that will warn you if the wrong end of the cigarette goes near your mouth

        • How about a chain-smoking carnival clown? Then I could have a combined panic attack and asthma attack and nightmares to last a lifetime.

    • Queers around my parts generally smoke, amounts ranging anywhere from social to chimney. I think it has something to do with this: and all the other factors that lead LGBTQ people to make bad health decisions at a higher rate than some other demographic groups. To be honest, you know why I social smoke? So that if there’s a hot girl I want to talk to at a party or bar or something I can just conveniently follow her outside and smoke one right next to her. If I’m lucky she’ll let me light her cig and suck on her face, etc.

  2. first question : you can try to quit for your girlfriend, but at the end of the day it has to be you that wants it more. i guess another thing you can do is make some sort of agreement like you only smoke every other time you go out or instead of having 2-8 cigarettes you only limit yourself to two. at the end of the day though, it’ll be about how much you want to quit.

    second question: i think it would also majorly help if you stop seeing guys for a while. also, remember the wise words of inter grace:

    start to see rejection as checking off the people who aren’t interested in order to narrow down those who are (does that sound creepy? i don’t mean it to). if you never jump in you’ll always be the person watching everyone else swim and having a fun time. take a deep breath and jump in the lesbian pool woooo!!!

    watch fucking amal it’s a good movie.
    playing scenarios in your head will help sooooo much ( i thought i was the only one who did this. yess not weird!!!) and you’ll see that your anxiety is nothing more than just you putting pressure on yourself.

    good luck to you both!!!

  3. Kay you guys? My girlfriend smokes and I’ve seriously never noticed anything.
    Also 90% of my friends smoke, so that might be why I don’t even care anymore.

  4. “Tiny negative thoughtfish turn into giant angry thoughtsharks and then they eat you and then you die.”


  5. Smoker person: I’m mildly allergic to pineapple, and whilst I don’t have a girlfriend – I have a Mum, and she buys the pineapple. Sometimes I feel like my Mum doesn’t care about my well being. This story does not have a point, or maybe it does.

    • I would say no, your mother doesn’t care about your well being, only if she frequently cooked food with pineapple in it, decorated your bathroom with pineapples, or hid pineapple in your bed.

    • I have a citrus allergy which for some reason includes pineapple, even though it’s technically not a citrus fruit. But it’s fairly mild for me, basically all it is is that I get hives if I eat something with it in it or lather it on my body (like shampoos or soaps). I actually work as a cashier in a grocery store where I have to handle lemons and limes all the time because most of our patrons are rich alkies who drink 50 cocktails a day, I think, and it doesn’t do anything to me.

      This story doesn’t really have a point either, does it?

      • It’s really sad to me that you are allergic to pineapple, which is the king of all fruits, but I really like everything else about this comment.

    • The analogy would be much better if your mother’s pineapple habit was going to give her cancer, emphysema, or another disorder in a constellation of awful diseases.

      • Gangrene. I didn’t know about this till a relative who is an orthopedic surgeon told me he had to amputate a man’s arm after he developed gangrene as a result of smoking. The guy had already had to have both legs amputated for the same reason, so he had one arm left one after my relative had finished. The guy said he still wasn’t going to stop smoking. He said it was his only comfort by then.

    • I’m super allergic to pineapple! Not like, death, but like every time I have even a tiny bit my ears immediately fill up with fluid and it’s like the worst ear infection you’ve ever had all up in there.

      The same thing happens when I eat sorghum, and my mom fed me gluten free pizza crust with sorghum in it (she knew I was allergic and didn’t read the label, I think) and sometimes I feel like my mom doesn’t love me either.

      I think we should hug now.

  6. I know I risk sounding like a jerk here, but I don’t think I/other people should change anything just to keep the peace. I mean, not a damn thing. If there’s something you might do differently because you feel so inclined, turn that leaf baby. Otherwise, what do you really have?

    Every for real, down for life relationship/friendship I’ve had has come about when we’ve approached it like it’s going to sink or float based on who we actually are right now. So if you smoke, smoke until you don’t want to anymore. YOU DO YOU.

    • I feel like that could get hard though(you’d have to be strong), sometimes you need to change to mesh a little more you know? a lot of life is about making compromises so whatever mutual thing you have going on works. you give a little she gives a little.

      • In my mind a compromise would be something like agreeing to not always go to bars where people smoke in order to avoid sinus issues, instead if completely stopping something you do just to make someone happy.

        I mean, it does take strength. But tough ladies who work personal accountability kinda turn me on. So.

    • @difficiledame ‘s original post. So if you are flawed and your loved one tries to get you to change, that’s bad? Like, if your girlfriend really wants you to quit smoking, or really wants you to go to college, that is a bad thing? Find someone who’s down with you being a lazy smoker with no life goals? I mean, maybe you specifically mean “change behaviors I don’t want to change just because my girlfriend yells at me.” But even then, if you’re girlfriend gets pissed about you leaving your dirty clothes everywhere, don’t start throwing them in a hamper? Personally, the best girlfriend I ever had was SUPPORTIVE of me in the things I struggled with, but also PUSHED me to be more and do more.

      • Did you just equate not going to college with having no life goals and being lazy? That’s how I’ve interpreted what you’ve said – correct me if I’m wrong.

        • No, and I realize that’s how it sounded. I meant if that was the case in that scenario. When I said that and used that example, I was actually thinking of an actual relationship I had where I wasn’t doing shit and she helped me get some focus and do something with my life. I realize no one would know that. Hah. My bad.

      • Ehh, I have a major problem with the concept of telling people what to do in relationships. Honestly, if anyone thinks I’m so flawed they have to change me I really don’t want to date them. That sounds busted to me.

        It’s my job to determine and pursue my own life goals/values/etc. No way would I ever go after something like a college degree just because my gf wanted me to. That’s not living my life, it’s living someone else’s. I’d rather be motivated of my own accord and date people who are as well.

        I mean hopefully my significant other does put their drawers in the hamper, but if they don’t do it all the time I have to confront that “My being annoyed that you do or don’t do x is my shit.” And if it’s so bad that I really think they’re not doing enough for me or want to change them, then I probably shouldn’t be dating them.

        • I’m not saying you do things because your girlfriend wants you to and you don’t. I’m saying, in my book, a good relationship is about pushing each other to be better and do better. A girlfriend doesn’t say, “Go to college or I’m dumping you.” Maybe she says, “You’re so smart and good at x. I know you really want a better career path. Have you thought about this? I think you’d kick ass and I’d love to see you feeling better about where you’re going.” Etc. Kind of like, “Smoking is horrible for you and I’d really like you to be healthy so you stick around for a while. And it’s such a wallet drain. Maybe you should quit? Plus, kissing you tastes a little gross after you’ve smoked so I’ll be in the mood more often when you quit!” I mean, those sound like public service announcements, but you get what I mean. I just can’t fathom that being a problem, or the “take it or leave it” being an ideal approach to a relationship. But hey, I guess that’s why we’re not dating. Haha.

          • There’s a difference between suggestions and ultimatums, though. Asking a partner/girlfriend to consider something might lead to compromise in a relationship. BUT if suggestions start turning into commands, the relationship can quickly turn into an emotionally abusive, controlling type thing. So, it’s important to listen to the person you’re dating but ALSO to live your own life and not do something simply at the command of others.

        • I mean, /expecting/ a person to change is a recipe for disaster…because though a person can be encouraged or supported in a certain direction, ultimately change must come from within them. An outsider can never count on that person changing…they never know what is truly inside the other person, but heck, assuming for a moment they do know what’s in your “soul”, they certainly don’t know what time clock you’re on! We only know what another person does and says, and can only expect/count on the person doing what they do and say. (And “say” only goes so far…)

          /Asking/ a person to change is not necessarily wrong. Though ultimately kind of a silly yardstick (because what will be will be, whether you are “justified” or not), there are some times where you are justified in requesting another person act differently. I.e. in situations where the person is being rude (refusing compromise-leaving clothes all over the place and expecting to be picked up after-keeping you up at night when you have work the next morning-breathing in your face after a cigarette-whatever). In that respect I thought the answer provided originally was a good one. But where I diverge from it is I don’t think you are justified in asking a person to change unilaterally (though you can ask her to slap your ass every now and then even if she’s not really into it, if that makes sense) just because it “comes from a place of love.” Sometimes values diverge, and if it is a case of values diverging, you don’t have the right to force your values on someone else. Do so, and that is where the resentment will come from. The girl clearly likes smoking, has accepted the possible trade off, and has determined it is not against her personal values to smoke. The gf disagrees. Well, not everyone agrees on everything in life. You can’t force your gf to agree with you. Therein the fishes will turn to sharks…

          So is your girlfriend being your minister or are you blowing smoke in her face/refusing to slap her ass every now and then? The asker knows the answer to this..

          • Lol, just realized the ass-slapping thing came off as really random…but the whole “asking your partner to change” fine line really does kind of remind me of having sex. It’s like, sometimes you do shit you’re not into, because your gf’s into it. So it’s wrong to say it’s /always/ unjustified to do things just because your gf says so…I think every partner deserves to be indulged a little in a relationship, to a point.

      • I don’t think you can equate parts of someone’s lifestyle with doing chores.

        • I think you could argue that being messy and not caring about keeping a tidy place is part of someone’s lifestyle as much as smoking. How is smoking, an act someone choosing to do or not do, that much different from leaving shit around? I really beg to differ that smoking constitutes a “lifestyle.”

          • I just don’t see how equating something as minor as leaving clothes on the floor to something as major as a health-choice (negative or positive). And from personal experience, I nearly destroyed my own relationship because I got too controlling around alcohol. I tried to force my own principles about drinking on my bf, and to spite me, he’d act out and do things out of character because I was trying to bend him to my will. Needless to say, after nearly losing him, I relaxed and realized that I can’t dictate what he does in life, regardless of how I feel about it.

          • i agree with @Paper0Flowers here — maybe I’m also just balking from memories of a past relationship in which someone i was dating would throw epic fucking conniption fits if he suspected I’d had a cigarette, if he suspected I’d had a drink without him there, if I left a sock on the floor EVER AT ALL REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES, if I didn’t call him at least three times a day, if I suggested another restaurant for dinner, if I painted my toenails a colour he didn’t like… and it started small, with things like “I just really don’t like that you bummed that cigarette from your friend when you went outside to talk to her.” And then it escalated to him throwing things when, literally, I was wearing the wrong shoes or had too much or not enough makeup on or he didn’t like my hair or whatever — and that wasn’t about ‘smoking is gross’ anymore, it was about ‘i am in an abusive relationship with a fucking crazy controlling person.’

            in no way is THAT healthy or normal, and honestly, it was way more detrimental to my health at the time than the occasional cigarette. i think what most people are saying are that there’s two ways of this: one of them is like my crazy ex, where it’s about the non-smoker being controlling of the smoker’s behavior and the cigarettes being a factor of that. the other is about the non-smoker bein’ all ‘this is icky, i don’t like that you do’ but not turning it into an epic battle about control.

            i think those of us who are like ‘DON’T QUIT JUST BECAUSE SHE WANTS YOU TO’ are speaking to that first half — that it’s totally unhealthy to let someone control your behavior, but if you take their feelings into consideration and that decision feels okay for you, then that’s a good idea, especially if it’s something that’s actually good for you, like quitting smoking. but if you just quit because someone told you to and you resent them for that and it’s part of a larger pattern of behavioral control — not good and also really unhealthy.

            i quit smoking two years ago and my current gf smokes and i don’t like it, but i don’t nag her about it even though i don’t approve… we make rules like: no smoking in the house, no i’m not buying you cigarettes when i run to the corner store you should quit, etc. i’ll mention it to her once in a while but i know it’s not going to happen overnight and that making it something to fight over is gonna fuck things up. i’m not perfect either and there’s tons of things i do that are horribly unhealthy — drinking too much coffee/diet coke, using too many beauty products, having raging anxiety problems, not taking my vitamins, spending a lot of money on clothes and girly stuff and whatever — that i know she probably disapproves of too, but we’re our own people and it’s neither of our places to judge or try to control each other.

          • Well yeah, your scenario honestly sounds abusive to me. I don’t think anyone should control anyone in a relationship. I see relationships where one person sort of calls the shots and I don’t get it. I view relationships as an equal partnership. But I guess the way I’m looking at it is if something really bothered my girlfriend more than I cared about doing it, I’d just stop. Like, I want to make my girlfriend happy as long as it doesn’t compromise my happiness. We don’t know how attached the person in the original scenario is to smoking. I have known people who love smoking and say they will die from lung cancer and are perfectly accepting of that. I think it’s quite weird, but there are people who love smoking. I’m assuming the girlfriend hates smoking more than the girl likes smoking. But we can go around and around in circles on this. I clearly disagree with all of you.

          • No, I don’t think we’re all disagreeing. I think you’ve made it clear that *you* would choose to do something to make your girlfriend happy. I think what the disagreement is whether or not you can expect your girlfriend to do the same for you when she’s not inclined to do so in the first place. Like, to make it an extreme, I think even you’re agreeing that if it comes to an ultimatum, it’s not fair for either person, but if the smoker (in this case) is willing to change on her own terms, then I don’t think there’s much disagreement. It’s all about the smoker’s right to choose what to do in the relationship regarding her habit.

    • Agreed. I think if the person you are dating has something going on that you can’t live with, then you shouldn’t be dating that person. I’m not saying you should date someone identical to you, but if you know that you don’t like x, y, and z, you shouldn’t date someone hoping for them to change. Otherwise one of you will force yourselves to change and end up resenting the other. It never works out.

      *speaking from experience*

      …..*as the woman with such high standards that she’s been celibate for 13 months. so…take it or leave it.*

  7. dude, that second one: I really distinctly remember having this hilarious moment a little over a year ago — a solid SIX YEARS after I first started sleeping with girls too — where I broke up with my boyfriend-at-the-time, a terrible relationship I’d agreed to get into out of like ‘oh well he’s really cool maybe it will work this time OH NO OOPS goddamnit I DID IT AGAIN’ you know. and was like, wait. I don’t have to do that ever again. I never have to date a boy again if I don’t want to, this isn’t something I need to keep doing, if they ask me out I am actually under no obligation to say yes even if they are attractive and nice, I just…. don’t have to do that anymore. It wasn’t this “oh shit, I’m gay” moment: it was this “oh shit, I can totally do this now. NBD.”

    It was like because I wasn’t repulsed by boys and because, well, they tend to like me and it’s nice having people like me and because I felt BAD ‘not giving them a chance’ for some reason, like as if ‘being gay’ was also ‘making me a bitch’ and because on some level i probably felt like there was something wrong with me for just literally not being able to stir up any major feelings or attraction for these good-looking, intelligent, nice, successful, funny, goodhearted men — that I just was never really rejecting them even though I can’t remember a point in my life where I EVER pursued them first. I’d never really been too shy about the fact that I liked girls, too — it just had genuinely never occurred to me in those terms that I honestly did not have to date dudes if I didn’t want to anymore. No penises! No blowjobs! No chest hair! None of it, in my life, ever again! I was amazed! It was this really momentous revelation!

    moral of the story: turning boys down is an okay thing to do, especially if it helps you figure out what you want.

    • I really relate to that. It took me so long to go “Maybe this having sex with ladies thing is, like, a thing.”

    • I relate to this as well. People always ask “When did you realize you liked girls?” but for me it wasn’t a matter of realizing I liked girls, it was about realizing I didn’t like guys and I didn’t have to keep trying to like something that I don’t.

    • I can relate to this like WHOA. Currently, I’m still trying to reconcile with those feelings, even though I am falling into old patterns and AUGH AUGH.

      Heteronormativity, why must you be so damned pervasive

    • Okay so it is SO LONG after the posting of this article and your comment, but I was reading back articles and what you said just clicked with me so hard. This has basically been me up until very recently, not really realizing that I actually don’t have to date dudes. I don’t have to say yes because hey he’s cute and nice and maybe it’ll be perfect this time. There’s nothing wrong with me because I can’t really conjure up any meaningful feelings for these men.

      Nope. Maybe it’s that I just am gay. So thank you for this.

  8. A former (emphasis on former) friend tried to make my cat smoke once… so I’m obviously having too many feelings about the picture above to comment at length on content.

    My reason for classifying smoking as a dealbreaker is that I tend to pick the habit back up when I date smokers.

  9. You should quit if you have any better reasons than “keeping the peace”. Like how to nonsmokers, cigarette smoking kinda makes your bodily fluids taste bad.

  10. I think the smoking part also depends on whether it’s a new habit or something that has been going on since they met.

  11. Which is more important: smoking, or this girl who I love/get to have sex with?

    Aduh, I’ll take the poon.

  12. is it weird if i just wanna use this space to talk with grace about joey comeau? is that derailing? i don’t think i even care

    • I just read the book description and I’m very intrigued. Is it really, really good in addition to “really, really weird?”

    • Joey Comeau is awesome, though have you read that weird story about a young woman inventing a whole history with an old woman she met once that they were having sex and sending her letters about it even though it never happened. It was really odd.

  13. This is very tricky. I don’t smoke cigarettes but I do treat myself to a cigar or a pipe once in a while. Partly because I’m an old man from the 19th century at heart and partly because I love everything about it. This only happens every other month. I can understand why people don’t like smoking, I myself dislike the smell of cigarette smoke quite a bit.

    However, I think it’s important, especially if your significant other is doing something in moderation, to be willing to compromise. Sure if a person has an allergic reaction to the smoke one should make sure not to do it while they’re present. But I don’t think you should make something that’s being done in moderation and while respecting boundaries a deal breaker. Seems unnecessary.

  14. Just quit smoking. It’s gross. It’s deadly. It cost way too damn much. Tobacco companies are evil. And it just isn’t necessary. My mom was a smoker, like a legit smoker when she met my dad. She had smoked for 10 years. But my dad demanded she quit and she did and now she’s nothing but grateful and thrilled to be 100% smoke free. I don’t see why anyone should compromise on something that is really just a bad thing. Couples tend to smoke together or not smoke together. (I know a number where one person tried to quit, but without the other quitting also, the never succeeded.) Do you really want to be responsible for your girlfriend starting to smoke? The great thing about the person we love is they push us to be better people. Your girlfriend causing you to quit smoking falls directly in this category. I disagree with Laniea this one. My advice is this and this only: Stop being a baby and just fucking quit.

  15. Here’s the thing… I don’t see the problem with social smoking (mostly because I too am a social [read: drunk] smoker). Like, if you’re at a party and you’re drinking, and you’re offered a cigarette, what’s the big deal? I mean, you’re not smoking all the time, it doesn’t even sound like you’re buying cigarettes. I can’t afford to smoke, but if it’s offered, yeah, I’ll take it. So I think you should talk it out with your girlfriend and try to rationalize it (unless of course it’s happening more than you make it seem like it is). But if she’s adamant about it, the choice is clear: choose cigarettes. (JUST KIDDING IT’S OPPOSITE DAY CHOOSE YOUR GIRLFRIEND.)

    Also, once my sister caught me on the porch with a cigarette and later she sprayed perfume in my mouth. She snuck up on me and sprayed Marc fucking Jacobs’ perfume in my MOUTH.

    • See, maybe because I hate smoking SO MUCH (I fall into the lost loved ones category aside from it being gross), I don’t understand social smoking especially. If you smoke all the time it’s an addiction and I get that it’s hard as hell to quit.

      But social smoking for me is like “Don’t worry, I only engage in gross and self-destructive behavior when there are people around to see it.”

      • It’s mostly just DRUNK smoking, is what I mean. Because I want nicotine when I’m drunk and have no self-control.

  16. If my grandmother can quit cold turkey after smoking for 50 years I think anyone can.

    • I dunno, my mom used to smoke in college socially but she never became addicted so she just stopped and that was that, but I know so many people that want to quit but can’t because the addiction is too strong. I think there’s a genetic component that affects your addictions to things, so it’s not just about willpower.

      • Definitely. My grandfather smoked from 13 and when he was told he’d die in 6 mo if he didn’t quit, even checking into a hospital program to quit didn’t do the trick. He managed to make it 2 years instead of 6 mo. I’m happy for your grandma, but addiction is more complicated than “Well, one person did it.”

  17. There is no stupid or wrong reason to quit smoking. Give a shit about yourself and quit, make your lady happy. Win-win all around!

  18. I feel like there hasn’t been much discussion of the medical consequences of smoking and how they impact on relationships. If you are building a future with someone, it’s hard to accept a behaviour or addiction of theirs when you see how that could result in their early death or serious illness down the track. To me it’s a little like being with an alcoholic or drug addict (though maybe not social smoking, as that is less about physical dependency).

    I’m a non-smoker, I once had a boyfriend who smoked. He had a heart condition too which was caused / exacerbated by smoking. It wasn’t the reason we broke up, but I remember thinking at the time, that I was likely to lose him to a heart attack or stroke within 10 years… and that definitely did build resentment, in the sense I resented the fact he didn’t change his ways and substantially decrease his chance of death.

    • Well, I have acute asthma, and being with someone whose family all smokes (but self doesn’t) has been really difficult but I’ve managed. But I definitely took that into consideration when we started dating – if my bf smoked, I never would’ve gone out with him in the first place. So, maybe some people already consider the medical consequences of the smoker by not dating them in the first place.

    • Yeah, see? This. Of my (very small) extended family, five people have died, slowly and painfully, of smoking related illnesses. Mostly lung cancer. It is really not a pretty way to go.

      As a result, I have a lot of feelings about my wife’s smoking. She doesn’t get that she sees it as no big deal and she’ll quit in a while and I just remember looking after dying people and going to a lot of funerals.

      I nag her about it way more than I should but I really don’t want to see her go the way I saw my uncles and grandparents go.

      • Yeah, I understand that. I remember having discussions with my bf about his own health risks because of his lifelong exposure to second-hand smoke, and his family is pretty stubborn/defensive about smoking because so far, NOT ONE member has had any detrimental side-effects from smoking (i.e. no one has died or had had cancer because of smoking) so they feel like they have no reason to quit for health reasons. Super frustrating, but I lost that health argument years ago because there are just some people who cannot be convinced, or will not be dissuaded regardless of the all the information they have.

  19. idk. i used to hate smokers and smoking, but after my ex turned into a psycho when i got her to quit i am NEVER doing that again. and then a different ex that i was hanging out with at the time got me to smoke every once in a while, socially, but i often forget i even have cigarettes and can go months without smoking. and my dad died from cigarette related diseases, so i have plenty of reason to stop. i just really don’t give a fuck about my body so i see no point. it gives me something to do when i’m with smokers. and because of that, i feel like i have no right to ask whoever i’m with to stop. also because they might turn into a crazy person.

    so yeah. there’s my input.

  20. As a smoker I will say it is difficult if you enjoy a cigarette, of course if my gf didn’t like it, I will totally quit or like make a deal to only have a cigarette once in a while, not close to her and not to kiss her unless she wanted me to.

    But of course I would totally choose my partner over my cigarette, specially if you think all of the things you can do/have with your partner but not with a cigarette ;P and also all the money you will save and now have to enjoy with your significant other :)

  21. I could not date someone who is smoking, not simply because it’s gross, tastes gross, but more the fact that my lungs freakin’ CLOSE UP at the first sign of cigarette/marijuana/any sort of smoke.

    If I liked someone and they smoked, if they refused to at least stop smoking while I’m around them, then I couldn’t date them.

    Hell, if they refused to stop smoking close to/around an asthmatic, I would probably not be friends with them.

    • I did actually lose friends partially because of this–they were smoking in the front seat of a car (I was sitting in the back) and later I had my first asthma attack since I was a lil kid, after I asked them to stop and they didn’t…

      also, I had rolled down the window to get some air because of said smoke, and one of them threw her cigarette out the window and it came in through mine and landed in my lap and I was angry.


  22. Re: quitting smoking, I feel like there is a huge piece missing from this argument in everyone’s comments (unless I missed something) and the article — caring about their health.

    My girlfriend used to chain smoke and then quit. She occasionally will smoke socially, and I’ve made it very clear that I disapprove of this… for HER health, not for my satisfaction or disgust in the activity. She put a lot of effort into quitting, so why risk starting up again?

    • maybe cause a lot of people do a lot of things that aren’t good for them?

      and it’s all perspective :) some might find eating dairy, drinking alcohol, or drinking pop to be just as unhealthy as a casual smoker. and i do all of these things.

      • i felt like bringing up the health aspect of smoking would be like talking about the wetness of water. like we can skip lesson one and get straight to lesson two, you know?

  23. you guys i have asthma and i dont smoke and i dont like being around smoke much cause it makes me break out like mad etc etc reasons why i dont smoke/want a gf to

    EXCEPT I HAVE A MAJOR PROBLEM called i love kissing a girl who has just had a drag of a cig. like tasting the smoke in her mouth.
    isnt this supposed to be something disgusting?!?!?!

    help, whats wrong with me ._.

  24. I once dated a social smoker, but it wasn’t that big of a deal for me. I’ve never really minded cigarettes as much as a lot of other people do.
    However, that being said, here’s the problem with social smoking: If one attends these sorts of social gatherings frequently enough, one runs the risk of becoming a full-blown smoker. This has happened to a number of my friends, some of whom have attempted to quit multiple times, but to no avail.
    I smoked tobacco once, and ended up with this very bizarre headache in the back of my head that lasted for a couple days. It really freaked me out, so I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.

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