Posted by: Shar & Mare | August 1, 2011

Yes, I Actually DO Mind If You Smoke.

No smoking please.I got an email at my online dating account from a man who said, “Weren’t you on here a few years back too? I remember seeing you. I’ve always wanted to meet you. Let me know if there’s any interest.”

Always wanted to meet me? How could I resist that. I checked out his profile and he seemed friendly, smart, basically very interesting. How did I ever miss seeing him before in my searches? Then I saw it. Under “smoking” he replied: Trying to quit. There it was…as a militant former smoker, my one complete deal-breaker in my search for online love is smoking. After 10 years as a non-smoker I can’t even stand to be around the slightest whiff of cigarette smoke. But…he said he was trying to quit. How far along was he to that goal? After all, I was once a smoker too. I replied, “Well, hey there – how can I resist a line like I’ve always wanted to meet you…LOL. I guess the question is: can you get through a dinner date without having a cigarette?”

He wrote back within 15 minutes.

Sure, no problem, he said and sent along his phone number. We talked and had a great conversation. He was articulate, smart, no first conversation awkwardness. We made plans to meet for dinner in a local town which was known for it’s cozy bistros and outdoor cafes and we planned to meet at the train station in the center of town.

So, at the appointed day and time I found myself sitting on a bench, texting Mr. Quitter to let him know I’d arrived when a shadow fell over me…along with a scent of tobacco. I looked up, to find Mr. Quitter who said “Hi Sharon. You are soooo cute,” as he flashed a smile which displayed a mouthful of yellow, slightly crooked and rotting teeth. Yikes…would it be impolite to mention the joys and benefits of cosmetic dental work on a first date?

I decided to let the date continue, particularly since I was starving. So we walked to a nearby Indian cafe which had a lovely outdoor dining patio. I have to say, the conversation was great. He was successful in his career and seemed generally happy with life. He was well-read and well-traveled. Basically, bad teeth notwithstanding, It was a nice date. Until he leaned back after the appetizer course and pantomimed taking a drag on a cig. I gave him a look. He flashed a yellow grin.

“So, you used to smoke? Don’t you ever get an urge to take a drag?”

“No” I replied, “Never. I actually had the most stressful year of my life about 2 years after I quit and even then didn’t pick up a cigarette. That’s when I knew I’d never smoke again.”

“Come on….reeeeeaaaallly?”.

He teased and cajoled me about “backsliding” a bit more. Could he be feeling me out to see if he could get me to revert back to my smoking days?? Ha, I had to turn the tables and give him a friendly lecture on the benefits of quitting, coupled with some advice on how to quit.

Eventually the “smoking gun” topic of tobacco gave way to other conversation. I couldn’t help but notice that throughout the rest of dinner he was becoming increasingly antsy. Squirming like a five year old subjected to a family dinner, when all he really wanted to do was go outside and play.

Later, as we were getting up to leave the restaurant he asked if I would mind if he had a cigarette while we were walking back to the train station.

“I really would prefer it if you didn’t smoke at all.”

“Oh, OK.” he replied, and we made our way back to my car.

I thanked him for dinner. He thanked me for meeting him. I got in my car and immediately glanced in my rearview mirror…yup, he had already pulled a cigarette out and was lighting it. There will be no second date.

Lesson learned: Trying to quit is not acceptable. If you want to meet me sir, you’ll need to be totally off the weed, thank you very much.

Some immmediate “deal breakers” in a profile are frivolous and silly but some are there for a reason. The smoking thing is a lifestyle choice that I’m not ever willing to compromise on.

So…do you have any serious deal-breakers? Would you ever compromise on them?




  1. To me the worst is what I learn about him from this story. 1. He wasn’t totally honest (he can BARELY make it through a meal without a cigarette) and 2. He is pushy about something that is so not good for you?

    I’m sorry for being so judgemental. I mean, maybe this really is just his one weakness. But it just sounds like he wasn’t very nice about it.

  2. I’m with Deena.

    As for me, smoking was a dealbreaker for me too… and then I married a smoker. I sometimes wonder what the hell I was thinking, but he doesn’t smoke in the house, cars, or garage, even in blizzards and monsoons. He also walks away from me or behind me when he’s smoking so it doesn’t blow back in my face and sits away from me until he “airs out” when he goes out for a cigarette. So it’s better than it could be. Then again, I’ve never had a single cigarette, so I don’t have that added aversion, and *never* would he try to push anyone else into smoking. That’s just obnoxious.

    A more hard-and-fast dealbreaker for me would be drugs. When I was dating, I wouldn’t even date a pot smoker. Nothing. Nada. If a joint is pulled out at a party, I leave the party. I don’t want to be around it; I certainly don’t want it in my house or car.

  3. I agree Deena, he certainly made it sound as if he were making an effort…which he was not. Although he was “teasing” when he was questioning me about possibly backsliding, I did get the sense that he was feeling me out to see if he could get away with having a cig.

    Oh well…I won’t be meeting any more “trying to quit” dates again after this!

    • I have to say that I hesitate agreeing with your conclusion. For sure, if you don’t want to be around smoking/smokers, it won’t do you any good to date anyone that smokes (maybe more than once in a very blue moon). But if you were to find 10 profiles where the people wrote “trying to quit” and asked them all what they mean by that (really), chances are there are differences between them.

      So is it fair to decide about everyone based on the fact that one person wrote “trying to quit” but didn’t really mean it?

  4. Interesting point Deena. Basically I can see what you’re saying “never say never”….I met someone once who had no profile pix posted (something I said I’d never do) and we dated for a few years! But without fail everytime I’ve met someone who smoked or was trying to quit…they smelled like an ashtray. For me this is something that I find really intolerable.

    of course…”never say never”…LOL

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