My girlfriend smokes, but then lies about it. She says she isn’t a smoker, though she admits to the “occasional” cigarette when she’s being social. Only thing is, she’s social pretty much every day with either her colleagues, friends or family! I told her early on that I couldn’t be with a smoker in the long term and she promised me she would quit. We never put a time on it, but it’s been three years. How do I get her to butt out permanently or should I just quit her? — SMOKING MAD BEAU
The real question is whether smoking is a deal-breaker for you or not. She may not quit. Can you accept that? Quitting will be very difficult and may take a long time. Are you willing to invest in this time? The challenge is that you have sent mixed messages by sticking with her for three years. That makes it also very difficult for you to leave her because presumably you are in love enough to stay with her, smoke and all.
The Rules of Connection state:
- Connection with a partner starts with connection to ones self
- Trust, Honesty, and Communication are cornerstones to long-term relationships
- Do all you can to support someone you love, but know when it is time to let go
First, communicate your major concerns here, but also admit your own fault for allowing your relationship to go this far. Ask for the lying to stop and to commit to quitting. Second, come up with a strategic quitting plan that works for her and then support her as much as possible to succeed. You both have to set a deadline that is reasonable.
Once the deadline hits, you need to make the tough decision. You should take into account if there is any other compromise that will work for you. You should consider how this will affect your relationship. Lastly, consider what your true feelings for her are as a whole person. You have made it this far and smoking is only one part of her.
At the very least, tell her to stop the lies. She is a smoker. A non-smoker’s nose always knows.
– Bobby Umar is a motivational speaker and coach who specializes in maximizing the power of connection. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two wonderful kids. See Bobby’s TEDx talk on the 5 C’s of Connection here. Do you have a relationship question for Bobby? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Twitter @amillionmatches, @
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