How to live with a partner who does not use cannabis

It’s just after Valentine’s Day, and with it the start of new relationships and the strengthening of old ones. That’s why today we look at how to live with a partner who does not use cannabis.

Cannabis consensus
Cannabis consensus

How do you deal with conflicting cannabis use in a relationship? There is always the option of dating only cannabis users, and dating apps like High There make it much easier to find like-minded potential partners.

However, if you are in a relationship with a non-user and want to continue it, or have met someone who is a good match for you in most ways other than cannabis use, here are some suggestions how to live with a partner who does not use cannabis.

Advice for the cannabis users

Do not shame or pressure your partner

Whatever you do, don’t pressure your partner into trying cannabis. Your decision to abstain from cannabis is just as valid as your decision to use it. They don’t need to have reasons or convince you that abstaining is the right decision for them. Even if you think they would enjoy it or they just haven’t tried the right variety/method/circumstances yet, hear and respect their NO just as you need them to hear and respect your YES.

partner who does not use cannabis

Be aware of when to stay away from cannabis

There may be certain times when your partner would prefer you to abstain from using cannabis. Part of your ongoing negotiation will be to listen and respond to your partner’s needs. If there always seems to be a reason why your current use is a problem for your partner, then your use may be more of a problem than he is telling you. However, if he relies on you to restrain yourself from visiting his parents etc. you minimalize the posibility of a problem.

Advice for the abstaining partner

Setting boundaries without shaming

Shame and vulnerability researcher BrenĂŠ Brown wrote:

“You can’t shame or belittle people into changing their behaviour.” If cannabis use is a barrier for you, it is important to say so as soon as you recognise that it is a factor. If it is not a hard boundary, but perhaps something you just don’t want to be around, take time to identify your boundary needs and communicate these to your partner.

Be prepared to test and discuss your limits

Maybe you have a job that requires you to be tested regularly for drugs. Maybe you are uncomfortable with the idea of having cannabis or similar paraphernalia in your home. Maybe you just don’t like the smell. These are all valid reasons for not using (and this list is by no means exhaustive). It can be helpful to explain the context to your partner so that they can better empathise with your point of view.

Advice for Both


partner who does not use cannabis

Compromise is the key. Find the compromises you can make, apart from whether you consume or not, e.g. where, when and how. My partner doesn’t like me smoking in the house, but he has no problem with me consuming edibles or vaping. There may be more room for compromise than either of you think. Explore the discomfort and share where it is coming from to see what can be done to make everyone feel comfortable and safe.


partner who does not use cannabis

Treat the cannabis conversations and agreements you make about use as you would treat anything else in your relationship. Think about all the things you have discussed together: Safe sex practices, monogamy (or not!), finances, housework. It doesn’t have to be any different. If you’re having trouble starting or keeping the conversation going, read Reid Mihalko’s Formula for Difficult Conversations.

Be on the same page

Make sure you are clear about your expectations and boundaries before taking any major steps, such as living together, getting married or having children. You don’t want any surprises when you take these important steps in life. So start having these conversations now before you continue on your journey together.

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Published by Sakul


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