Non-Smoking (Dating) Matches
September 22, 2022 11:14 AM   Subscribe

For health reasons, I only want to date non-smokers, which for me means not using cigarettes, cigars, vape pens, or cannabis, but I'm having trouble making that clear in my dating profiles. It looks like vaping and cannabis use fall outside the definition of smoking right now. How do I more effectively communicate this in my profile so I don't have to confirm after I match with someone?
posted by The Adventure Begins to Human Relations (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
"For health reasons I'm unable to date smokers or anyone who uses (even occasionally) cigarettes, cigars, vape pens, or cannabis."

[In writing that, one thing that's unclear to me is whether you're not interested in a cannabis consumer (e.g., edibles etc.) or only someone who would smoke cannabis].
posted by lafemma at 11:20 AM on September 22 [7 favorites]

The short answer is you can't. Many people (especially men) do not read profiles / don't read them closely. And many people will think "well, surely I'm an exception."

Additionally, anything negative in a profile risks putting some of the people off who are reading your profile. Because Best Practices are do not put anything negative in your profile.

Sadly the best thing to do, is to bring this up early on in conversation before setting a date.
posted by nobeagle at 11:22 AM on September 22 [13 favorites]

Response by poster: It would be both for me, which I'm also not sure how to communicate without it being a buzzkill 😬
posted by The Adventure Begins at 11:22 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]

I think your exact wording used at the beginning of this question (up to the word “cannabis”) communicates this clearly.

As you’ve experienced, “smoking” means different things to different people, so you need to be explicit.

Including the “for health reasons” part isn’t strictly necessary, but I think it’s helpful for 2 reasons:

1) It helps make clear that this is a serious dealbreaker for you, and

2) It makes clear that this is not a moral judgement on your part, which might otherwise turn some people off.

But yeah, also seconding what other posters have said, some people just don’t read profiles or don’t take them seriously, so even if your wording is clear, this won’t be 100% effective at filtering people out.
posted by mekily at 11:23 AM on September 22

Best answer: It will be a buzzkill for the men whose buzz you want to kill. That's okay!
posted by panhopticon at 11:24 AM on September 22 [44 favorites]

Best answer: If even edibles are out, does that extend to use of harder drugs, as well?

If so, I would suggest "For my own health, I prefer to date people who are tobacco and drug-free."

You might come across a bit like a buzzkill, but, I mean, you want to ward off people for whom this is their buzz.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:29 AM on September 22 [35 favorites]

it could be a buzzkill for weed users and smokers, but it's accurate. You might want to clarify genuine medical use from edibles for sleep to chronic pain and chemo relief. It's absolutely up to you to choose dating partners, but a lot of people use weed for real medical issues, and might not consider that to fall under your health concerns.
posted by theora55 at 11:31 AM on September 22 [4 favorites]

Since no one reads profiles, wear a funny-but-pointed "smokers need not apply" type t-shirt in one of your photos?
The [probably-customized] shirt is an optimistic pre-screen. You'd still need to bring up your deal breaker early.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:03 PM on September 22

I see a lot of stuff on apps that's like "I don't smoke, and you don't either," or "I'm sober and looking for someone else who is, too," so you could frame it that way, too. "I'm pretty gung-ho about not smoking — no cigs, vapes, nada — and I hope you are, too" or something. (I'm a smoker, but these kinds of caveats seem super normal, necessary and good to me! It's ok to be weeded out!)
posted by Charity Garfein at 12:32 PM on September 22 [6 favorites]

A dating profile also isn’t a static thing, if you put it in there and you don’t feel like it’s helping, you can take it out.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 12:44 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]

"For health reasons" makes it sound like it's for your own health (not wanting to be around secondhand smoke/vape), but that doesn't make much sense to me with your comment mentioning that you include edibles in this — someone else having edibles won't have a effect on your health.

If it is just that you don't want to date someone who smokes, vapes, or does drugs, then just saying that is probably the best you can do. This won't help people who don't read profiles, or read profiles but ignore things like this, but I don't think there's anything you can do about those people anyways.
posted by wesleyac at 12:51 PM on September 22 [12 favorites]

I mean there are certainly people out there who don’t use any smokeables or cannabis (I’m one!) and your preferences don’t say buzzkill to me.

In general I think it’s a good practice to own your preferences. All preferences are totally fine as long as you work within them in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone else (so if your preference is not to date a certain body type or race that’s acceptable as long as you don’t go around telling people that since it harms people of that body type or race to be positioned as undesirable).

For a preference that’s related to a choice someone is making like smoking or vaping, there is no shame or harm in preferring not to be around that action since it’s a choice they voluntarily make.

The one thing I would wonder in a dating context is how you would react if we went to a party and someone started smoking weed. If my date graciously and subtly distanced themselves from the area that would of course be fine by me; but abrupt or judgemental voluntary reactions would make me feel uncomfortable.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 1:23 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]

someone else having edibles won't have a effect on your health.

It might if the poster's health issue is susceptibility to backsliding on addictions rather than, say, asthma.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:53 PM on September 22 [13 favorites]

I had to read this a few times to realize you didn't mean smoking specifically but the use of tobacco and marijuana. Yes, keep your profile positive, but maybe add one line about this. Don't call it smoking, though. "No tobacco or marijuana users, please!" would be fine. And then, yeah, in early messaging, you can clarify this, like with the line you used above, with some editing. I think the problem is that "smoking" doesn't include marijuana broadly (since you can consume it in many ways and people often think you only mean cigarettes.

Here's something you could say early on:
"Hey there! I just want to be upfront that I only want to date people who don't use tobacco or marijuana - that's a deal breaker for me. I don't judge it but it's not for me."
posted by bluedaisy at 1:58 PM on September 22 [6 favorites]

Would "no drug users please, including nicotine and cannabis" meet your needs?

(But unfortunately, as others have said, this is something that you'll still need to vet individually. Online dating is frustratingly inefficient.)
posted by metasarah at 2:10 PM on September 22

Response by poster: I think, "Please no smokers or recreational cannabis/drug users," most accurately represents what I want to communicate to others. I use CBD oil topically for pain during sex, so I fall under the medical use category myself. But I don't enjoy being around people who are high, which makes the "recreational" verbiage suggested by many of you a good fit.

Open to other ideas as well so I can, for lack of a better phrase, A/B test options.
posted by The Adventure Begins at 4:21 PM on September 22

Not sure if it'll help you, but when I was using a dating profile, I specified no smokers, and I worded the other part: "also, I am NOT 420 friendly, for personal reasons." I was happy to meet someone who felt likewise.
posted by annieb at 4:43 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]

How about, “I don’t use tobacco or cannabis, and am looking for the same in anyone I date.”
posted by theotherdurassister at 7:39 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]

Hinge lets you indicate on your profile if you use alcohol / cigarettes / cannabis / drugs or not (or sometimes). This way you can indicate on your profile that you don't partake, and you can like people who indicate they don't do those things and X the ones that do. At least it gives you a little idea of what you're getting into. I find Hinge had more people I'm interested in too. Better algorithm maybe? I suggest trying it, as the filtering you want to do is one of the features of the app.
posted by DEiBnL13 at 8:56 PM on September 22

really doesn't have to be complicated, some variation of "non-smoker + drug-free, seeking the same" is incredibly common on profiles. i swipe left because I think smoking weed is cool as hell and we wouldn't be a good match, not because I think they are negative buzzkills or whatever (and even if they did think you were a "buzzkill"...who gives a shit??)
posted by windbox at 8:57 PM on September 22 [7 favorites]

"People don't read dating profiles" is overstated. A plurality of your matches will be people who operate like spammers and message everyone with "hey" without having read profiles, but I'm guessing you weren't going to respond or go on a date with that type of person anyway. Putting something brief and focused on your preferences will help a lot.
posted by umwelt at 12:30 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've decided to try, "Best matched with people who don't smoke or use recreational drugs/cannabis" on platforms that don't let me filter possible matches by lifestyle (*cough* Tinder *cough*) Thanks, all. :)
posted by The Adventure Begins at 12:41 PM on September 23

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