Love And Other Drugs: What It’s Like To Be The Girlfriend Of A Stoner
Let me get this out of the way immediately: I am not against the use of recreational marijuana.
You can disagree with me, but IвЂ™m not going to lecture anyone on the myths associated with pot or why our states should legalize it.
I will say, though, that compared to a lot of other recreational drugs out there — including alcohol — the negative side effects of weed pale significantly in comparison.
It can make your food taste better.
People are funnier.
Movies are a lot more interesting.
ItвЂ™s extremely appealing for sure.
So why, then, would I have a problem with my boyfriend smoking pot when I am cool with its recreational use?
You can’t tell me weed isn’t addictive when I have seen it with my own eyes. I understand it’s not addictive in the same way cigarettes are or heroin is.
Rather, its addictive qualities are similar to that of alcohol: Not everyone will get addicted, but some people will ifВ they abuse it.
Nonetheless, I have seen its addictive powers, and have reached out and connected with others who have experienced the same situation.
My boyfriend and I went away for the weekend after Thanksgiving.
He is a hockey coach, and had to coach a tournament in Delaware.
Going into the weekend, I already feltВ uneasy about his excessive pot use.
I had been in serious denial about the issue before, but I was not about to be the girl dating a drug addict.
When I met him, he had been about a year sober from alcohol. I was aware that addiction was something he could easily fall backВ into.
But he was recovering. Or so he told me over and over again.
The word rolled off his tongue with ease and sounded so sweet in my ear.
I was so proud of him: He had taken control of his substance abuse, and worked hard to make a better life for himself.
I could relate to his struggle, and I admired him for it.
However, the gravity ofВ his pot use became more obvious as we started spending more time together.
HeвЂ™d be chasing highs morning, noon and night.
IвЂ™ve seen him smoke before coaching a 9 am game.
He smokes when heВ plays video games.
He smokes before he goes to see his parents.
He smokes before he goes to sleep.
He smoked before our first date, and presumably before every date weвЂ™ve had since.
It occurred to me once that I see him high more often than not, and I haven’t been able to shake the uncomfortable thought since.
He is a smart, charming and insanely funny man. He is also caring and loving.
He is a good friend, and a very good person.
But when heвЂ™s high, heвЂ™s only a fraction of who he is when heвЂ™s sober.
His high self canвЂ™t even compete with the person he is in between those moments of chasing that high.
When he smokes, all of his words start to feel insincere.
He is not fully present with me (or anyone).
He smokes a bowl and puts his life on pause, forgetting all the guilt and shame he built inside after years of being an alcoholic.
It became very clear to me that I’m dealing with two people: one who I may love a lot and one who I donвЂ™t care to know.
I am struggling to accept that these two people exist in the same body.
We agreed to spend oneВ weekend away as aВ makeshift anniversary getaway.
On Saturday afternoon, while we were driving, I finally confessed to him that I didnвЂ™t like how he acted when he was high.
I told him that he sometimes hurts my feelings, and can be a little rough around the edges.
He told me IВ provoke him, and accused me of just being “extra grumpy” when he smokes.
He was on the defense, gaslighting to make me think I wasВ being oversensitive.
I was hurt, but I let it go.
That night, after we had brought dinner back to the room, he announced he was going to go for “a drive.”
In other words, he would pack a bowl, hit the highway and get high away from the hotel to avoid the lingering stench of Mary Jane.
I was furious. I offered shower sex, lingerie and basically anything else to get him to stay sober.
I took my clothes off and jumped on top of him, asking him to stay just a little bit longer.
He left, and I cried in the shower.
I was angry at the rejection. I was angry and scared about how desperate I felt.
I was angry he couldnвЂ™t see how he was affecting me.
When he got back, I could barely look at him. I didnвЂ™t want to interact with him.
I told him I was hurt that he chose to get high over being with me. He told me I was being dramatic.
My heart felt instantly heavy.
He was not allowed to tell me my feelings were invalid.
I told him I was waiting for a sign for him to show me heВ wouldnвЂ™t be getting high constantly for the rest of his life, but he came up short.
He told me I didnвЂ™t grow up with him. I didnвЂ™t know his life.
But I do know how it works.
He is an addict.
If itвЂ™s not alcohol, it’s pot. When itвЂ™s not pot, it will be something else. It might be prescription painkillers, or drugs far more illegal than marijuana.
I didnвЂ™t tell him to quit. I know better than that.
There was no ultimatum. I donвЂ™t make deals with the devil.
I simply let him know that his continued behavior would eventually tire me out, and IвЂ™d let myself out ifВ it came to that.
вЂњI feel like IвЂ™m losing you,вЂќ he said to me in the car that day. I didnвЂ™t respond because he was right.
I have gone through my own darkness more than I can count. I know it well.
I have come back from it every time on my own. I am my own hero.
I know the hard work it takes to tackle your demons.
I know how delicate the word “recovery” is, and I donвЂ™t use it lightly.
My boyfriend is a wonderful person, and part of me could have fallen in love with him.
But the person standing in front of me — whose brain is swimming in THC — is not someone I’ll allowВ myself to fall for.
Things will play out as they’re meant to, and I wonвЂ™t force it either way.
Either he will recover, or I will grow weary of the reoccurring arguments about his drug use.
It makes me sad to think of the pain he must feel in order to constantly need to get his mind away from it.
I wish I could take away his pain so he wouldnвЂ™t feel the need to get high anymore.
I wish being with me was enough motivation to make him stop.
But I know addiction doesnвЂ™t work that way, and life doesnвЂ™t either.
This is his decision and his life, and he can do what he wants with it, regardless of what I think.
My only hope for him now is that he willВ get the help he so desperately needs.
Let me get this out of the way immediately: I am not against the use of recreational marijuana. You can disagree with me, but IвЂ™m not going to lecture anyone on the myths associated with pot or why our states should legalize it. I will say, though,вЂ¦
What Smoking Weed Can Do To Your Relationship
Smoking marijuana is affecting your dating and sex life more than you think.
Now that 23 states and DC have legalized weed, 4 of them for recreational use as well as medical, the debate about whether it enhances – or ruins – sex and relationships is raging hotter than ever. Can a couple survive when only one is a pothead? Does weed make sex mind-blowing or forgettable? Here, eight readers light up the highs and lows of dating in the stoned age.
The Productive Pothead
“My boyfriend and I both smoke weed, and that’s just a part of our lives. Just like I do yoga and he rides bikes, it’s just another thing. We buy weed together. He packs bowls for me — he’s the organizer of all the weed stuff, and I just smoke it. My boyfriend is an engineer for a tech start-up, and I run my own business as a web designer. We both attribute the amount of weed we smoke — we light up almost every day — to the fact that our jobs are so highly technical. It helps us turn our brains off from that mode. If you’re a functional pothead, you don’t have to think twice about it.” – Emily, 28, web designer, San Francisco, CA
The Post-Alcohol Smoker
“My boyfriend is pretty much the only person I smoke with. at home, at night, or on weekends during the day. When we have sex after smoking, there’s definitely more of an observational quality to it. I’m kind of outside myself, observing, instead of in it and in my head. A kind of cool detachment happens. And afterward, I feel like I’m more open to talking about something that happened or something that I liked. Alcohol for me is definitely a depressive experience. I used to have so much fun when I drank, and now it’s just not that fun anymore. When I smoke, I like who I am a little bit more, and I’m able to express myself better.” – Kristin, start-up founder, NYC
The Third Wheel
“I was dating this guy who was otherwise very sweet and wonderful, but there was an addiction issue. He couldn’t go to parties without knowing at what point in the night he’d get to go back to his place, or go somewhere else, and smoke. The only way he could get out of bed or get ready for the day (he was in school at the time) was to smoke. It was embarrassing to have to explain to friends. There’s a difference between the casual stoner who prefers smoking to drinking and the guy who can’t have normal social behavior. It got to a point where I just became so frustrated with the inconvenience. It really doesn’t work for me to be out at a restaurant or have plans to go see a play later and for him to say ‘I can’t because I have to go smoke.’ That necessity was totally disruptive. It was like having a third person in the relationship. I broke it off.” – Lee, 24, fundraiser, Boston, MA
The Medical Marvel
“Depression has run in my family for generations. I started going to therapy for it in sixth grade. I’ve tried every antidepressant under the sun, and nothing ever really worked for me. But I keep taking them just to keep it in check. Now I’m taking Celexa. In college, I had no sex drive whatsoever. I bounced around on different medications to try to fix that, and nothing really helped until I tried smoking. Now, I am an everyday weed smoker, and I do think it helps my depression. and my relationship with my boyfriend. When I smoke, I get very relaxed and super horny. I’m like a ravenous frat boy. I had a boyfriend with a very low sex drive, and it was too much for him. It was always a point of contention. But my current boyfriend loves it!” – Meghan, 29, journalist, NYC
The Industry Insider
“My boyfriend is super supportive of me being in this industry, working for a vaporizer company. He’s a musician, and cannabis and music often go hand in hand. He’s totally supportive and actually very helpful. All his friends come over and try the vaporizers, giving real-time feedback. The way dating is today, the girl can be the aggressive one, going after the guy. A bunch of my friends don’t use cannabis, and they’re like, ‘How do you do that?’ And I’m like, ‘You just invite them over to hit the vape.’ Then the guys are like, ‘Oh my god, this is the coolest girl ever. I want to marry her.'” – Brianna, 28, director of marketing for a vaporizer company, Nashville, TN
The Stoner Buddy
“I love my boyfriend so much, but when he is stoned, he becomes a different person. He’s totally out of it and quiet, and his breath and saliva taste really different and not appealing. He has this one friend he’s always smoking weed with, and I think that’s also what bums me out most. The fact that when he gets with this one friend, it’s all about doing drugs. I just feel like when you get into real life — aka after college — it’s important not to have your social activities revolve around drugs, no matter how innocuous they seem.” – Emily, 26, writer’s assistant, Los Angeles, CA
The Dating Dilemma
“I seem to gravitate toward a certain type. They are always creative and very passionate about what they do, but they also happen to be very big pot smokers. It’s like they need pot to enrich their creative selves. They become so dependent on smoking all the time that you don’t know if you like the person better stoned or not stoned. It gets to the point where it is confusing what their true nature is. With one guy I dated, smoking was so much of who he was, I never really knew when he was and wasn’t high, what was his pure nature and what was his stoned nature. I think I liked him better high — he was less edgy. But I would question myself. Is it bad that I like his altered version more? Pot can definitely make it hard to connect, especially when you’re first getting to know someone.” – Jillian, 25, graphic designer, NYC
The Colorado Quitter
“I am more likely to have drinks on a date than smoke weed. Even though weed is legal in Colorado, you can’t smoke in restaurants or some other public places, so it usually happens at someone’s house. My friends always said having sex while high on weed was so good that you shouldn’t do it, because you wouldn’t enjoy sober sex as much. They were right — when I tried it, it was awesome. High sex makes your mind and body more sensitive to pleasure, and in comparison to drunk sex, it’s less. aggressive? You don’t remember the act of it as much as the feeling because you are in another state of mind. I had a bad experience with weed a couple of months ago where I fainted, so I stopped smoking. Even though I liked high sex, I think it’s more important to enjoy sex with your partner sober because you’re more focused on each other’s needs, rather than just being horny because you’re high.” – Christina, 22, marketing student, Boulder, CO
This was originally published as “Love & Sex & Weed” in the August 2015 issue of Cosmopolitan. Click here to subscribe to the digital edition.
Smoking marijuana is affecting your dating and sex life more than you think.