We talk to a handful of Canadian couples at different points of their relationship status on how their relationship works when only one of them is a cannabis user.
When it comes to romantic partnerships, they say opposites attract. But that saying tends to refer to couples whose work and livelihood are very different, like an introvert with an extrovert, or a business exec with a creative type. But can the same be said in reference to those couples where one partner partakes in daily cannabis use and the other doesn’t imbibe?
I spoke to a handful of former and current Canadian couples who are opposite on the getting high spectrum, to see how it affects their relationship, if at all.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet our couples!
Couple 1: The Cohabitating Couple
Together: 4 years
Who’s the user in the relationship?
I am. She’ll have a little bit now and then, but usually only when we’re celebrating something.
Strain + method: I smoke most often—joints or a bowl—but have been getting into dabbing recently, which I visit a lounge here in Vancouver for. I’ll probably order myself a rig from Amazon soon. Indica is my favourite, but I enjoy good bud of all strains.
Reason for using: I use for pleasure, multiple times a day essentially every day. I’ve been using since I was a teenager. I could probably convince myself (and others) that I do it as a form of self medication—“it helps me destress or focus,” or whatever—but I know deep down that I just like to get high. As a habitual user, my goal isn’t to get super fucked up, though; I’m just trying to smooth it out and relax.
Does it affect your relationship? No, my partner is accepting of all my habits, even the stinky ones. I’ve been in relationships where I was given an ultimatum—“it’s me or the pot!”—and I’d choose the partner, but those relationships never ended up lasting. I love that I can be myself around my current partner. Also, we’ve had some great times using together. Getting a little stoned and cuddling up watching Netflix and eating chips. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Any reserves? Or a “talk” about usage? We’ve talked about why I use, but only ever out of curiosity. And it is curious, I’ll admit. Sometimes I don’t know why I get high. But there wasn’t any agreement or bargaining or anything.
Do you secretly wish that your girlfriend used too? Nah, mostly because it does different things to her than it does to me. I respect her (healthier than mine) choices. But she is great fun when she gets a little stoned.
What do you value most about how she’s handled your usage? Just that it feels really good to know that my partner loves and respects me regardless of whether she shares the same habits I do or even agrees with them.
Couple 2: The Married Couple
Together: 8 years
Are you the cannabis user, or are they?: He is.
Strain + method: Sativa. He primarily vapes, and sometimes has joints.
Reason for use: He does it for pleasure or when he needs to focus on completing work he finds the weed assists with allowing him to concentrate.
Does it affect your relationship? It doesn’t affect the relationship at all. It personally doesn’t bother me. He smokes outside, so I don’t mind it. And he’s respectful – he won’t do it in front of our parents or our son, etc.
Any reserves? No reserves. He’s done it since we met and I used to do it back in university, but one time had a bad experience and never wanted to do it again. Similar to a bad drunk experience and saying I will never drink that much again, lol.
Are you ever tempted to join him? I find I don’t need any substances to make me happy, or use as an “upper” in social settings. So it doesn’t bother me that he does it as I know people prefer weed or alcohol when they’re having a good time, but I don’t use any anymore.
Anything you want to add? I don’t want to do it again. He has asked many times – as he’s well versed in weed as he now owns a Medical Cannabis Clinic – and promises it won’t be a bad experience, but I’m over it. He’s a physician so I know there are many medical benefits it but it doesn’t suit my personality. I have a natural upbeat disposition so I don’t need substances to get me there.
Couple 3: The Divorcee
Together: 8 years, now separated.
Are you the cannabis user, or are they?: I am.
Strain + method: Sativa in the day for pain relief, indica for sleeping assistance. Smoking.
Reason for use: Medicinal for anxiety and a chronic pain condition.
Did it affect your relationship and if so how? Although my partner claimed to be comfortable with my pain relief use, the smell would be bothersome, and sometimes cause issues. My partner would agree that my anxiety issue would significantly benefit from cannabis use.
Any reserves? The smell inside the house was an issue, and we discussed that, often. I would do my best to cover the odour on my clothes and breath, but know that it occasionally would cause some displeasure.
If you’re the user, do you secretly wish that they used too? Of course – my partner chose to use in front of other people only, never just the two of us, and I would have enjoyed kicking back together and playing around post smoke.
Couple 4: The couple that doesn’t live together…yet
Together? 1.5 years.
Are you the cannabis user, or are they? They are.
Method + Strain: He smokes joints or vapes, but I have no idea what strain!
Reason for use: Pleasure.
Does it affect your relationship and if so how? Not at all, it’s his release. I prefer wine after work but it’s never bugged me.
Any reserves? I’ve never worried about it. It seems like such a normal part of life it just doesn’t bother me.
Do you think he wishes you’d dabble or join him ever? I don’t think so, we like what we like, it’s never been a thing.
What is the biggest take away for you on how you guys have handled his usage and your lack thereof within your relationship: Respect is key, I often cough around weed so he smokes outside or by the window. As with anything it’s about understanding your partner’s needs – smoking a j is fun and calming for him but he doesn’t do anything to make it uncomfortable for me.
The Wild Card: The newly single newbie user
“I’ve only been smoking for a few months, I received a medical license to help deal with anxiety and stress and to help ease muscle tension. I typically prefer to smoke joints. I was in a relationship for nearly two years and he preferred my demeanour while stoned, I was just apparently easier to handle laughing on the couch eating bricks of cheese. Since I’ve been dating I’ve had a couple funny memories, one pot friendly guy ate me out while I smoked a joint on his kitchen counter. We honestly spent most of our time pre and post sex getting ripped it was a blast. With another guy, I honestly showed up to our first three dates high as hell, on the third, I was so stoned that the music I was playing was tripping me out and he held me while I sat there in mild terror. He then later said I am too much to handle.”
Feature photo via This Cannabis Life