I Talked To An Ex of Mine… She Was Still Smoking
Not too long ago, I ran into someone I used to date. We had a pretty good relationship for about 8 months or so – and during that time, I came to care about her quite a bit. We had a lot of fun together, but ended up parting ways because our lives were simply headed in different directions.
During the course of our relationship, she smoked. She had been smoking since before I knew her, but told me early-on that she actually wanted to quite. She said that she had tried several times, but that she simply hadn’t managed to be able to do so yet.
Smoking, admittedly, takes quite a bit of self-control to kick – and her life was stressful enough that cigarettes had become a pretty permanent fixture in her day-to-day routine.
I tried my best to give her moral support, and I even agreed to give up energy drinks (my bad habit at the time) if she would give up cigarettes. It would work for a few days, and then she would cave in and smoke. Each time, I would encourage her to try again. And each time, we would make it a few days – and then she would smoke again.
I actually offered to buy her an electronic cigarette, but she protested and said that she wouldn’t use it – even if I did. She said that vaping was a ‘nerdy’ habit, and that she didn’t want to be ‘one of those people’.
Of course, I tried to change her mind – but she wouldn’t hear of it. She continued to try to kick smoking. She even bought nicotine gum, which didn’t really work.
In the end, we ended up breaking up and going our separate ways.
Not too long ago, I saw her again for the first time in over a month. We met on a street curb outside of a local sushi restaurant – and she was smoking.
I said hi and we talked for a few minutes, catching up on life and asking how everything was going. We parted about five minutes later, but one thing that really stuck in my memory was the site of the half-smoked cigarette she held in her hand. I immediately remembered how much trouble I had gone to to try to help her quit – and it seemed, in that moment, to have all been for nothing.
The simple truth of the matter was that I really cared about her – and I still do. And to see her smoking again made me feel discouraged and sad. I want her to have a healthy, happy life. I hope she never develops lung cancer or heart disease from it. I hope that she never gets sick or feels badly.
But in the end, I have to acknowledge that only she can make the choice to stop smoking. Only she can find the determination within herself to quit. If she can’t (or isn’t willing to), then she’ll simply continue to smoke – and that’s that.
I really just wish that she would have given E-cigs a chance. Maybe, if she would have tried them, she could have kicked her tobacco habit for good. I realize that vaping isn’t the same, but it’s certainly not ‘nerdy’, and I would much rather her vape than smoke – because I truly do care about her health and safety.
But it’s her choice. I did my best to suggest it. The rest is really up to her.