General Etiquette > Dating

Does He Know You Smoke?

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Charliebug:
I have been spending considerably less time with my friend across the street lately because of certain judgemental things she has said over the last little while and the title of my post is one of them.

First, let me say that I do realize that smoking is harmful to my health, smelly, disgusting, hazardous, the list goes on. I am very aware of this fact and when I decide to quit I will, and it will not be because of PA comments.

My friend, a former smoker, seems to be rather focused on my habit even though I rarely smoke in her presence. She has asked if I can walk a few blocks without needing a break due to my smoking habit (I can walk for miles- she, however, will not even try to walk anywhere which makes this all the more confounding). She will bring it up at the oddest times and without provocation. My last visit with her I told her that I had joined a da-ting site and that I had a nice date with a very nice man. Her first question...."does he know you smoke?". I answered that I had put that on my profile and had not kept it a secret. I thought that would be the end of it but her next question was "and he is okay with that?" I know I should not dignify these questions with a response but it was all I could do to politely say "yes" before moving on to the juicy parts of a great date.

Is there any way a smoker can deflect these kind of comments or is it our due for polluting the world? 

mrkitty:

--- Quote from: Charliebug on January 04, 2013, 03:29:51 AM ---I have been spending considerably less time with my friend across the street lately because of certain judgemental things she has said over the last little while and the title of my post is one of them. First, let me say that I do realize that smoking is harmful to my health, smelly, disgusting, hazardous, the list goes on. I am very aware of this fact and when I decide to quit I will, and it will not be because of PA comments. My friend, a former smoker, seems to be rather focused on my habit even though I rarely smoke in her presence. She has asked if I can walk a few blocks without needing a break due to my smoking habit (I can walk for miles- she, however, will not even try to walk anywhere which makes this all the more confounding). She will bring it up at the oddest times and without provocation. My last visit with her I told her that I had joined a dating site and that I had a nice date with a very nice man. Her first question...."does he know you smoke?". I answered that I had put that on my profile and had not kept it a secret. I thought that would be the end of it but her next question was "and he is okay with that?" I know I should not dignify these questions with a response but it was all I could do to politely say "yes" before moving on to the juicy parts of a great date. Is there any way a smoker can deflect these kind of comments or is it our due for polluting the world?

--- End quote ---

Dear Charliebug,

I think the bolded statement that you made in your OP is the best answer when someone continues to browbeat you. Or maybe you could just bean dip or just use silence....as in waiting for her to finish and then moving on to a different subject.

As a fellow smoker, I feel I can relate to what you're saying. My siblings do not smoke, and one of my sisters is particularly virulent about berating me for my lifestyle choice. Yes, I know all the health risks, but I have my reasons for smoking. And when I'm ready to quit, I certainly will. However, no amount of browbeating or verbal abuse (and yes, at a certain point it becomes abusive) is going to help me overcome this addiction.

I can't really speak for your friend, but in my sister's case, I think her comments are a very PA way of finding a "politically correct" way to make herself feel superior towards me or to put me down. (We have a long and somewhat toxic history, so I won't go into it.) There are people in my life who encourage me to quit, but they also respect my boundaries and understand that it's not as easy as all that. I certainly hope they will continue to be supportive when I make that next attempt to quit....but in any case, I think in regard to your friend, the best thing to do is be direct with her, and if she continues to browbeat you, tell her the discussion is closed and walk away. Every time.

And keep repeating that process as long as it takes for her to "get it". And if she doesn't, you may need to give her the cut direct, because what she is doing is finding a way to just make you feel bad about yourself, not really to help you quit. You'll only quit if and when you're ready, and that motivation can only come from inside you.

I hope this helps, and I'm really sorry your friend is treating you like this.   :'(

SamiHami:
I am a former smoker and cannot stand cigarettes anymore, but I would never talk to a smoker the way your neighbor talks to you! That's not being PA IMO, that's simply being aggressive. I would suggest you distance yourself from her for awhile, since she apparently has decided that her choice to quit gives her authority to judge and berate you.

Outdoor Girl:
I am a non-smoker and am physically ill when around cigarette smoke.  I would ask you not to smoke around me and I would ask if there was anything I could do to help when you were ready to quit but there is no way I would make any comments to you other than that.

I agree with mrkitty:  'When I am ready to quit smoking, I will.  Nothing you say or do is going to influence me so please refrain from making comments.  If you continue, I will leave/escort you to the door/hang up.'

And thank you for making your profile accurate.  I have had several contacts with men who didn't, so much so that now, when I contact/am contacted, the first question I ask is, 'Do you smoke?'.  Because it is an absolute deal breaker for me.  There is no point in us going on a date if you smoke.

bah12:
It sounds like your neighbor is projecting her own experiences as a smoker onto you and is maybe even a little jealous or miffed that you aren't experiencing those same things (with dating and exercise).  She's projecting her frustrations onto you.  Outside of what others have suggested you say "I'll quit when I'm ready" and "I don't want to discuss this with you," the only thing you can do is avoid her.

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