I don’t smoke and never have. But I find that many NYC women I meet are consistently smokers. For me, being born borderline-asthmatic with allergies pretty much nixed that vice before it could ever get started. From the perspective of a non-smoker, one of the biggest issues for me is I would never be able to commit to a smoker.
There can be attraction on many levels but as someone who as a kid had to put up with constant chain smoking neighbors whose smoke got through the thin walls and vents I never got used to it. It makes me physically ill, gives me chronic headaches, and is a health risk in general. (I can remember all those sick days after going out clubbing back before Bloomberg’s ban kicked in).
I’ll meet someone that says they smoke once in a while, which really means ….. I smoke a pack a day! I always state up front that smoking is a deal breaker. Most women will understand but occasionally I have met others who became visibly upset when I laid that out as a deal breaker. Other times I’ve discovered they are smokers by tasting the ash in their mouth on a kiss – which was really an unpleasant surprise.
So, I guess my question is how do I better screen for non-smokers? I am not talking about internet dating where it is easier to identify through filters. Is it rude to ask someone (say in a speed dating event or a cocktail happy hour event) if they are smokers? I’ve done that before and usually the women will respond nonchalantly yes or no. But occasionally I will meet someone who reacts negatively and becomes upset. I don’t think I was being judgmental (not consciously anyway) but hearing from co-workers who are smokers they often view the world as an us vs them mentality in terms of their habit.
I’m just wondering if there is a more discreet way of approaching this issue. Thank you.
I’m taking a short hiatus from writing responses to these letters. I have other things I need to focus on and have some personal matters I need to tend to for now. If I can fit in a response or post here and there, I will. Enjoy.