How to Date a ‘Stoner’

With the growing trend of medicinal and recreational marijuana use across the United States,[1]you might one day fall in love with a stoner. As long as your partner’s habit isn’t an addiction however, you may find that dating a stoner isn’t all that different from any other relationship. With some patience, understanding, and knowledge, you can have a healthy and fulfilling relationship with that special stoner in your life.



Getting to Know Each Other

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    Get to know yourself. Cultivating a healthy relationship with anyone involves a certain degree of self-awareness. Not only will you bring less emotional baggage and strain into a relationship, but you will have a better idea of what you are looking for in another person.

    • Identify what your values are. You can do this by taking some time to reflect on what is important to your life and what you envision for your future. Writing down a list may be helpful. Some questions you could ask yourself are: “What is most important to me in a relationship?” “What are some deal breakers?” and “What is my communication style?” [2]
    • Decide what kind of relationship you are looking for. Are you attracted to someone as a potential fling or are you looking for a long term, committed relationship? Will that person’s habitual marijuana use be difficult or impossible for you to accept? If that is the case, it may be better to let go of that person early on in the dating stages.[3]
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    Consider your compatibility with your date. In the beginning stages of dating, people tend to idealize their date and wonder how to best impress them when they should be focusing on compatibility.[4]

    • For example, instead of thinking about how the date is going, consider what you two have in common. Do you share interests and goals? Does the conversation flow easily or is there lots of awkward silence?
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    Ask lots of questions. Don’t interrogate your date but you do want to get a good sense of who they are. Regardless of how attracted you are to them, you should be aware of potential red flags, such as shows of aggression, allusions to unstable relationships, or addiction problems. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is not a “gateway drug” to other, more addictive substances[5] but this is still something you should watch out for in any relationship.

    • Don’t be too alarmed if your date brings up their marijuana use fairly early in the dating process. After all, 49% of Americans say they have tried marijuana and it is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.[6]
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    Don’t stereotype your date for being a stoner. The stigma of smoking weed is fading as time goes on (at least in the United States)[7], but many people still assume stoners are lazy, have bad personal hygiene, or only care about getting high.[8] However, these generalizations simply do not apply to all stoners and going into a relationship with one having preconceived notions about them just because they smoke weed is only going to prevent you from seeing and appreciating them for the unique person they are.



Creating a Healthy Foundation

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    Be patient. Every relationship takes patience but this is especially true of stoners as it is widely known that marijuana temporarily disrupts short-term memory.[9]

    • For example, if your partner asks you to repeat yourself, understand that they are under the influence of a drug that impedes their ability to form new memories in the moment and don’t take it too personally.
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    Understand why your partner uses marijuana. Many people use marijuana recreationally but others use it for medicinal reasons as well. Talk to your partner about their reasons for using marijuana.

    • There are a vast array of medical conditions that cannabis can treat or help alleviate the negative symptoms of such as skin disorders, various forms of cancer, anorexia, chronic pain, sleep disorders, eye diseases, and others. While it is possible that your partner simply enjoys the sensation of being high, they may also have an underlying medical condition you should be aware of.[10]
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    Educate yourself about marijuana and its effects. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner and do your own research to better understand the effects of marijuana. Doing so can strengthen the bond between you two by helping you understand your partner’s perspective.

    • Marijuana often creates a feeling of euphoria and relaxation, due to a release of dopamine in the brain, but other changes can also occur including: paranoia, heightened sensitivity to noise and lights, increased appetite, anxiety, increased heart rate, difficulty concentrating, decreased coordination, and a shorter attention span. There is also a “come down effect” after the effects of the drug fade which can result in the user feeling tired or sad.[11] It’s useful to know about these common effects of marijuana, but every person is different so talk to your partner to find out how it personally affects them.
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    Learn about the laws regarding marijuana. Marijuana laws vary by state and knowing the specific laws will help you protect both your partner and yourself. After all, if you are living in a state where one can carry up to a certain amount of marijuana on them, you should ensure your partner never carries more than that amount.

    • So far, four states (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska) have passed new legislature legalizing marijuana, while 14 more states have decriminalized marijuana possession. In fact, 23 states (including Washington DC) now allow medical marijuana.[12] That being said, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.[13]



Maintaining the Relationship

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    Set boundaries. Have a conversation with your partner to let them know exactly what you are and are not comfortable with. Doing so will help maintain the balance of the relationship and prevent resentment from building up.

    • For example, if you do not want to be exposed to smoke, let them know! If they respect your wishes (as any good partner should), they can smoke before or after spending time with you or find other methods of ingesting marijuana (such as consuming edibles).
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    Compromise. Since you have made the decision to continue dating a stoner, you must also respect your partner’s choice to smoke.[14] However, if you find that their weed habit is negatively impacting your relationship, find ways of compromising.

    • Compromise takes effort from both sides but you can initiate by asking to have a conversation about what changes you would like to see in the relationship. Don’t start an argument or harshly criticize your partner. Instead, come up with constructive suggestions for what you and your partner could do better and be prepared to listen to their perspective with an open mind.
    • For example, if you feel like you don’t get to see your partner in their sober state often enough, suggest going on sober dates every so often. Unless your partner must be high (due to a medical condition), spending time together that is free of substance use is a great way to strengthen a bond and also allow two people to get to know each other more fully.
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    Know the difference between compromise and giving in. Never allow your partner to do anything that goes against your values, especially regarding their drug use.

    • For example, if they are pressuring you to ingest marijuana with them or asking you if they can store drugs at your home, it may be time to seriously rethink whether this stoner is someone you really want to be with.
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    Have fun with your partner. An upside of dating a stoner is that many of them tend to be relaxed and enjoy having a good time.

    • For example, indulge their munchies by checking out a new bakery together or surprising them with some home baked goods!

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