Since Canada legalized cannabis, society has started to chill out. People who used to equate pot with heavy narcotics are learning the facts and the social stigma is breaking down. On top of that, there are lots of people who accept cannabis use now simply because the government is on board. Regardless of why stoners and squares are letting go of social judgments and connecting with each other more than ever… and many are starting to date.

Like the first slow song played at a middle school dance, these new human interactions can get pretty awkward. To avoid stepping on any toes, here are some tips to help you approach.

Decide beforehand if this is really what you want

When it comes to dating a non-toker, you can never expect to complete your life by adding someone else to it; you need to be a complete person, to begin with. Before you affect the wellbeing of someone else, take an honest look at yourself and lifestyle.

How big of a part does cannabis have to play in your day to day life? Are you willing to adapt or change any of those habits? Do you really want to? If the answer is no, it’s ok! Knowing what you don’t want in a relationship can teach you to recognize what would truly fulfill your heart. The important thing is to listen to this inner voice and let it guide you, regardless of what it says.

Communicate

Does this non-toker person really mesh with your life and routine? Do you want to do all of the same things? Check-in with each other regularly to make sure you are still both on the same journey because it’s easy to get too comfortable in a relationship when there’s a weed. Having this conversation all throughout dating is key because something that might be a mild annoyance, in the beginning, can end a relationship if left unchecked. 

date

What is it?

Explain how cannabis is medicine, even if you aren’t using it like that. After all, the difference between a recreational and medical need is hurt or illness and no one is safe from that. Assuming that your significant other will know the difference at the moment you need them to is leaving a lot up to chance. If you get the horrible stomach flu and need to have a quick puff out the window, the last thing you need is your non-toker partner reacting negatively.

How do you use it?

Go through to the details of how you use cannabis so your date knows what to expect. Sure, they might not have any issue being around you smoking in your place. But, if you need to leave the balcony door open, give them a heads up and have a blanket ready. Someone who is non-toker just can’t understand why you “have to have the door open for two hours because you can’t put the bong down”. Having a conversation beforehand to set expectations goes a long way.

Plus, they might not know. Tell them how to respect your cannabis use because a non-toker will need the suggestions.

Why?

Your non-toker partner wants to get to know you. If cannabis is a part of who you are, do yourself justice and be honest with them about that. Approaching this subject early on can really help to solidify a common understanding; that way, you can puff in peace. If you need to use cannabis medically, this conversation is a critical necessity. 

  • Create boundaries and ground rules so both of you don’t impose your views on each other.
  • Discuss pet peeves, including yours. If they can’t stand the smell of your roaches, find that out and keep them in a mason jar. Tell them about that strategically placed lighter for the days you can never find one. It is not about being finicky, it is about preventing arguments. 
  • Use this as an opportunity to learn how to be really sweet to each other. They don’t use cannabis but they know that you like it. Give them an opportunity to engage with you in their own way. I had an ex-boyfriend that didn’t use cannabis at all but, I was constantly stoned. He used to surprise me with tasty treats sometimes instead of flowers. We dated eight years.

Use this as an opportunity to try edibles

date

If you haven’t tried using cannabis edibles with calculated planning and routine dosing, now might be the time. Supplementing inhalation with edibles works for a lot of people, especially once you fine-tune what works for you. Until you know exactly how your body will react, pay attention to dosing by starting off with less than you usually would. The last thing you want to do is green yourself out right before a date night. 

dating
From Seattle Opera’s 2016 production of The Marriage of Figaro

True story – My friend dated an Opera singer who landed a leading role in Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro”. The whole production was four hours long, with a single fifteen-minute intermission. Wanting to be supportive, he made pot cookies. They were so strong, he fell into a coma sleep and had to be shaken awake when it was over. He was visibly baked beyond belief and everyone could tell. She took one look at him and dumped him on the spot. He told me that he was too baked to even protest.

Approaching the In-laws

Of all the positive and negative factors that can affect your relationship, few are more complicated than dealing with the inlaws. Bringing up cannabis when your partner doesn’t use it can be a bit nerve-wracking, but it can be done easily and effectively.

When it comes to sussing out the in-law’s situation, do some research. Find out if any of them have ever smoked weed before and ask why they stopped. If it happened organically or because college ended, this person might be your ally and you can approach with confidence. If they quit because of the law, health or addiction, proceed carefully but proceed nonetheless. Be respectful but be true to yourself. Remember, you might be introducing them to the medicine that will save their life one day. Think wise guide, not a pushy chauvinist.

When it comes to you using cannabis when your partner doesn’t, there is no reason why you can’t find common ground. It all comes down to communication, knowing what you really want and honoring each other.

For more tips on cannabis, sex, dating, and relationships, check out Julia’s other articles here.