Dear Wendy: “I’m Stressed That My Boyfriend Smokes Pot”

I met a wonderful guy a little over a year ago and we started dating casually and taking things very slow. During that time I discovered that he occasionally smokes pot. I didn’t catch him doing it nor have I ever seen any paraphernalia anywhere — I just heard some stories through a mutual friend. When I found this out, I sat down with him and told him that our relationship would never get any more serious than what it was because I can’t be with someone who does illegal drugs (even occasionally) not only because of my job but because of my own values. This is not something I want to be part of my lifestyle and is pretty much a dealbreaker for me. I’m not trying to change anyone — I’m just acknowledging that our lifestyles are different and won’t work together. He took the news surprisingly well and told me that he was thinking about quitting anyway and didn’t want to lose a chance at something serious with me because of something he shouldn’t be doing anyway. I was and still am extremely skeptical, but we continued to date casually and take things very slow. Now our relationship is starting to progress into something more serious and I’m getting more paranoid. I can’t help but feel that he is still smoking pot when I’m not around even though he has given me absolutely no reason to feel this way. I’m starting to feel like I’m waiting for him or one of his friends to slip up rather than just trusting him and enjoying our relationship. Should I express my feelings about this to him or should I just trust him and wait it out? — Weed Killer

Well, what is it exactly that you’d be “waiting out”? When you word it like that, it sounds like you’re pretty sure it’s just a matter of time before you “catch” him, either in the act or with enough damaging evidence to pin him. And, come on, waiting for the other shoe to drop is no way to be in a relationship. So, you’ve got a choice: you either decide the risk of him smoking pot is too great for you to chance getting more serious with him, or you decide you trust him and leave it at that. I mean, if you don’t trust him, what’s the point of continuing a relationship with him anyway? Since he only ever told you he was “thinking about quitting,” and never made it official, I’d sit down and have a heart-to-heart with him and let him know that you are at a point in your relationship with him where you cannot go any further if he’s still smoking pot. Remind him again that it isn’t a judgment call and you aren’t trying to change him, but that it’s a lifestyle difference you aren’t interested in crossing. He’s known for awhile your stance on the issue and if, at this point, it’s not something he can wholeheartedly embrace, you deserve to know so you can move on and find someone who can. If he tells you he’s that person, you either trust him or you don’t. If you truly trust him, you’ll quit worrying about him smoking when you’re not around or worrying about him slipping up. If you aren’t able to do that, you don’t really trust the guy and need to MOA, for both your sakes.

All of my past relationships were during college and started out the typical college way — met at a party, hooked up, continued hooking up, started dating. I am now out of college and recently met a great guy. From the start, we were completely comfortable with each other and really hit it off. Within a few weeks (after about six dates) we were “official.” I adore the guy and we have a lot of fun together, however, I only see him about once a week. That just isn’t enough for me. I feel as if I’m sitting at home, prohibited from seeing anyone else, yet not being able to see my boyfriend. I am definitely not full of myself or anything like that, so I hope it doesn’t come across that way, but I am just used to the guys I date being “all about me,” (as in, I call and they come running). I have been the dumper in all of my past relationships because I get bored with the guy being so much more into me than I am into him. I have come to learn that that type of relationship doesn’t work, but this once-a-week deal isn’t working either. So, my question is: How often do two people typically see each other in the beginning? Keep in mind we already committed to each other in that we aren’t seeing anyone else. — Lonely in a Relationship

Here’s what I don’t understand: why on earth would you commit to someone if the relationship isn’t what you want? Maybe the guy is what you want, but the relationship, as it is now, “isn’t enough for you.” Those are your words! So why would you agree to be exclusive with him if, up to this point, you have been unsatisfied with things? And why, oh why, does being exclusive with someone mean you have to sit at home, “prohibited from seeing anyone else”? I sincerely hope you mean only in the romantic sense and aren’t actually skipping out of seeing friends and, you know, having a social life, just because you’ve got a boyfriend.

Forget how often other couples typically see each other in the beginning and focus on what feels right to you. If seeing your “boyfriend” once a week isn’t enough, for God’s sake, tell him that. Tell him if you’re going to be exclusive and not see anyone else, you want to spend more time together — twice a week, or three times or whatever seems appropriate for you. If that’s not what he wants or isn’t able to be that available to you, you have a choice: deal with it and quit complaining, or MOA (I’d suggest the latter).

And regardless of whether this relationship continues or not, you need to fill your life with more than just boyfriends. There’s no reason you should be sitting at home simply because you aren’t out with some guy. Make some friends! If you already have them, go out with them or they aren’t going to stick around much longer. Get some hobbies, develop some interests. Maybe if you had a fuller life, you: a) wouldn’t be in such a hurry to become exclusive with someone after six dates, and b) your relationships wouldn’t crumble under the weight of your neediness or boredom.

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