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Should I Date Him Even If He Smokes?

"Should I Date Him Even If He Smokes?"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. He's kind, loving, supportive, and hilarious. He has a great family and we're great together. The bad news: he was a smoker before we started dating and I hate smoking. My dad died from cancer — smoked every day of his life — and the smell makes me sick, so my boyfriend quit. I've brought it up to him 100 times: I will not be with a smoker. He told me that he was a smoker when we started dating, but now it's just once in a while. 

The other day, I saw a receipt for a pack of cigarettes. I haven't seen the pack, just the receipt — what should I do? Part of me wants to just find them and throw them out. Part of me wants to tell him to choose between me or the cigarettes. I've told him before that I don't want anything to do with them, and I especially don't want my future children to lose their father the way I did. He's made it perfectly clear that no matter what I say, he's probably going to smoke one every once in a while, but never in front of me. 

Should I just let it go? Do I dump him? I could see myself spending the rest of my life with him. He's not perfect and neither am I, but I promised my parents — and myself — that I would never date someone who smoked. I'm so confused.

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously on Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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UGHUGH UGHUGH 3 years
I am in a similar relationship. When I met her I had no idea that she was a smoker. I later learned that she was an "occasional" smoker. Between the times she vanishes at parties so she can sneak a cigarette, the smell, sometimes avoids me cause she does not want me to smell it on her I've just about had it. Additionally she lies about it which is such a take away!
GZO GZO 3 years
I think the fact that he quit when you started dating is amazing. I think that says something big about him. The fact that he may smoke occasionally, if it's not in your presence, shouldn't change that. If he makes sure it's not around you and it's only once in a while, I think it's something you can deal with. After all, like the others have said, it's his decision, not yours. Do NOT steal his pack of cigarettes and throw them away--he will only resent you for it. If you find yourself getting closer to things being very serious with this guy, I think you would need to have a calm heart-to-heart. Say that you don't want your children suffering the same way you did because of something that could have been changed, say that you don't want to lose him the way you lost your father, say that you've made a promise to yourself to not have to go through the same thing twice, etc. Tell him you would support him 100% in his total quitting, and be understanding if he gets bitchy when he craves a cigarette but can't have one, and all the crazy he might go through when he's off cigarettes. Do not be a nag! It will cause more resentment and give you the opposite effect. I think people forget that smoking isn't just a "habit", it's an addiction. Educate yourself and him. Check out the vast resources online. If it doesn't work after all that, then you need to decide if staying with him is worth it.
ChrissyLee ChrissyLee 3 years
A smoker's choice to quit has to be theirs and theirs alone.  Forcing him or trying to is only going to make him hide it from you and probably make it worse.  You knew going in that he was a smoker and stuck around so now you have to figure out what you really want.  I've lost a lot of family to smoking as well and know that we're the ones who truly understand the cost of this habit, however most people just can't see that because it hasn't happened to them.  Either you accept that it's a part of him right now or you move on.  The only person you can control in this life is yourself.  If it's that important to you then go find someone who doesn't indulge in the disgusting habit and leave him with his smelly self.  
steph1234 steph1234 3 years
First of all you've got to stop trying to change him. He will quit when he truly wants to quit...and it's not up to you. So if smoking is something that you can't live with...then move on....but if this is something that you can leave up to him...and enjoy him for the good things..then you need to accept that this is part of him and that you cannot control it...and you need to leave it alone. Either way though, it is his decision...and you went into the relationship knowing he smokes.
BiWife BiWife 3 years
oh, btw, I've been smoke-free since Dec 2010. So once you are ready, it's totally possible to kick it in short order. Get with your insurance provider or the national cancer society to see what quit help is available.
BiWife BiWife 3 years
As someone who smoked for 10 years, and who is married to someone who has smoked for 19 years, I can say for a fact that the smoker has to want to quit themselves. If they are reducing their intake or doing it away from the home/partner/family, they clearly are trying to respect the people they love but are not ready to quit. Nagging them is not going to help, it will most likely make them just work harder at hiding it from you and bring an unnecessary element of deception to your relationship. I would give him a lot more credit for keeping it so far away from you, he's clearly got an addiction issue (as nearly all smokers have, considering the addictive properties of tobacco and the chemicals they add to cigarettes) but is doing his best to manage it in a way that doesn't harm you. However, if it's a deal-breaker for you, it's a deal-breaker for you and he needs to be aware of this. If it is a deal-breaker, he needs to know that you won't tolerate him sneaking around to get his nicotine and would consider it a breach of trust that he tell you he has quit but still sneaks smokes. If it's not a deal-breaker but a serious irritation, I would look into seeing a mediator/counselor that can help you guys come to a reasonable compromise, as well as deal with internal emotions relating to his reason for smoking and your reason for holding it against him so much.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 3 years
Only you know what's your deal breaker. Does your bf truly want to quit, or he's saying that because of you? Find out the bottom line. If he doesn't want to quit, then you have to make the final decision by yourself. You can't force someone to quit, they'll sneak it behind your back and that's just ineffective, still unhealthy for that person and definitely not going to work with what your principles are. My husband has been smoking for 28 years and he's quitting. But from what I've seen, your bf has to want it from himself. When he was doing it because of his mother told him to stop, he has had trouble and it didn't stick. Then when he wanted to really do it himself, he went out of his way to make sure that it'll happen (quitting). If your bf doesn't feel it from inside, he won't be able to quit. From the look of it, it doesn't seem like he wants to. And when your bf does decide to quit for good (btw, social smoking or smoking less is NOT quitting), he will seek out help in form of nicorettes or even attend meetings if necessary. Cold turkey, for some aren't very effective, so do encourage and be supportive for him to seek out help. Hypnosis can work too, by the way. And if your bf has been a lifelong smoker, there's always a chance of relapsing, but if he's serious he'll get back on track immediately. Addiction is tricky that way. Good luck making your choice, sweetie.
missmaryb missmaryb 3 years
I know how you feel. Interestingly, my sister in law is dealing with finding my brother's chewing tobacco, though he swore he'd given it up (I'm not too happy with him, either). Is this a deal breaker for you? That's up to you to decide, but if you really can't be in a relationship with a smoker, and he's a smoker, then I guess you have your answer. Or you can choose to talk about it with him, see if he is willing to give it up for you. Either way, you need to get this out into the open and deal with it together. Good luck.
henna-red henna-red 3 years
I understand your hate. I'm the same. I have dated a smoker, he did not smoke in my house or dispose of his butts on my property. I get supremely pissed at smokers who throw their nasty, dirty, not biodegradable butts on my property......gross, disrespectful, trashy the environment.....yuck My parents smoked, and we believe that's one of the main causes of my mom developing pancreatic cancer, which took her in '09. So I really understand your issue, and I empathize. So, here's the deal, as I see it. You love him, he loves you, he has made a big change, and a sacrifice to be with you. Cigarettes are addictive, and not just what's in them. It's also about the stress relief for people. The comfort. The familiarity. I have friends who have had the relationship you're describing....for 30 some years. I think he's quit now, permanently. But, for years, he would have an occasional cig, out in the garage, away from his house and family. And he's asthmatic....as is his oldest daughter. So you have a choice to make. I understand that you never want to live with this issue. But you do want to live with him. You can control what you do, and what you choose, but you can never really control anyone else. You can put your dealbreaker up there, and stand your ground, and possibly lose this man and possibly find another who will be a great man who doesn't smoke, ever. Love is a risk. Life is a risk. And we all die. From something. If it's not cancer, or alzheimers and it's complications, it's getting hit by a bus, or having a heart attack, or ebola or ......whatever. There are people who get lung cancer who have never smoked a day in their lives. My mom survived a gangrenous ovary at 20, and blood poisoning, and pnumonia, and a strangulated hernia in her bowel, and endometrial cancer. But she didn't survive the pancreatic cancer. She smoked for 20 years, and stopped cold turykey my second year of college. But if it wasn't that cancer, it would have been......... Ya makes ya choices and ya takes ya chances. Good luck with your choice, and your guy :)
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