CULTURE

Does Weed Cause False Romantic Feelings?

Does weed enhance relationships or no?
Does weed enhance relationships or no? / Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

It’s been said that the couple that smokes together stays together. There’s a legend perpetuated among the cannabis community suggesting that two people can have a more meaningful, successful relationship if they embrace a stoned union. 

Those who buy into this ethos believe that weed narrows the connectional divide, both emotionally and sexually, and helps forge an intimacy that non-users would never be able to conceptualize, not in a million years. But is the closeness that two people experience while ripped on reefer indicative of their undying bond or does being high really just dampen the realities of a relationship and cause false feelings?

Ask anyone who has ever smoked marijuana with a partner, and they’ll undoubtedly testify to its bizarre power to bring an element of togetherness to the relationship. It can make movie night more fun, dinners out a heck of a lot more interesting, and it definitely seems to help couples achieve more profound leaps in the bedroom. Rowr! 

For some, however, a reefer romance is simply a way to brave the intricacies of this wild world without allowing the soul-sucking saboteurs that exist in every relationship – money, sexual conflict, pet peeves -- to gain the upper hand.  

Connecting with Cannabis?

“My wife and I have been together for nine years and we’ve stayed high together the whole time,” Jason, a 37-year-old from Denver, Colorado, told The Bluntness. “It definitely brings peace to each of us separately and together. We are very happy when we can both get high. It strengthened our relationship!”

Some cannabis users argue that tandem toking has allowed them to resurrect from the ashes of their damaged pasts, let their guards down and move forward with healthier relationships. “My fiancé and I have come to understand that we’re just tighter when we smoke,” 32-year-old Marcus told us. “We both come from unhealthy, really toxic relationships. Marijuana connects us and helps us be more comfortable with each other than we could ever accomplish being sober.”

Now that marijuana is legal in over half the nation, it is easy for more couples to get their hands on it. This allows those seemingly bonded by bud to relish in medicated monogamy or pothead polyamory (if you’re into that sort of thing) until their high hearts are content. But for those still living in areas of prohibition, the quest to keep their relationship on a high can prove challenging. 

“We started our relationship smoking together constantly,” says Mick, a 34-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee. “But when we were out, things would get quiet, and it was frustrating because we didn’t have anything to talk about. I was starting to think we weren’t going to make it.”

Indeed, relationships are sometimes rife for ruins after one or both partners stop using. This can happen for various reasons: Individuals can be forced to put the pot behind them because of a job where cannabis is banned as part of a drug-free workplace. Marijuana-related convictions with a probationary term can also be a sobering time for a couple. It could also be that they can’t afford it anymore and need to cut back to keep food on the table. Or maybe they just decided that being high every day is no longer conducive to a productive future, and they want to quit. 

Whatever the reason, the drought of the doobie or sudden obligation to total abstinence can put a real savage strain on a relationship. 

“My husband and I had to stop smoking for our jobs,” explains Kathy, a 42-year-old factory worker from Mason, Ohio. “Things just aren’t the same as they once were. Neither of us are happy.”

Yikes!

Is Weed Really a Critical Ingredient to Healthy Relationships?

Is it possible that the happiness couples experience with marijuana can be stripped away in an instant once they get sober? 

We reached out to Dr. Aaron Weiner, licensed board-certified clinical psychologist, and master addiction counselor to get some answers. Although he admits it is unlikely that a couple’s marijuana use will produce feelings that they would not have without pot, there is always the possibility for these love affairs to hit a snag once marijuana is no longer a common denominator. So, more than anything, he says, being on the same page goes a long way. 

“The most important factor in couples' closeness related to marijuana use is that their values and habits related to cannabis are similar,” Dr. Weiner explained to The Bluntness. “Smoking marijuana itself does not necessarily have either a positive or negative impact on the relationship - it's about whether the couple is in agreement on the role cannabis has in their lives.”

When getting stoned is part of a person’s mantra, the doctor believes it is best that they partner with someone who shares in this enthusiasm. Otherwise, the relationship could be strained. 

“If one person likes to smoke but their smoking really bothers their partner, that creates tension in the relationship until either their beliefs or their behaviors become aligned again,” said Dr. Weiner. “Opposites don't really attract - we like to be similar to our friends and partners.”

That’s not to say it’s impossible for two people to make a relationship work if one smokes pot and the other doesn’t. At least according to Theresa, a 38-year-old concert promoter from St. Taunton, Massachusetts. “My husband does not smoke but I do,” she said. “We get along just fine. He is completely sober. What works for some may not work for others. I do have my medical card and had for a number of years prior to meeting my husband. It does not bother him at all.”

Nevertheless, most cannabis users agree that marijuana is better when shared with a companion. Hey, they don’t call them joints for nothing. But many refuse to credit weed for the ability to connect with a partner. “I don’t think weed has anything to do with that,” said Alicia from Houston, Texas. “If you have to smoke pot in order to feel connected, then cannabis is not the issue.”

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