The Most Stupid Decision I Ever Made

Photo by Irina Iriser on Unsplash

We have all been there. Well, maybe just those of us that are born people-pleasers. If you know, you know. I’ve made a lot of stupid decisions in my life but the most stupid decision I ever made by far was when I picked up the habit of smoking cigarettes in order to get someone to date me.

Yeah. I was that kind of stupid.

I was young and impressionable at just twenty-two years old. I’d been flirting for months with a guy I’d met via a Flickr message board and had fallen head over heels for. Not only was he a hottie, but he had the suave and charisma to sweep me off my feet through the hundreds of messages we’d exchange per day. He also had enough life experience on me with our eight year age gap that, at the time, I never put a second thought to. Eventually he flew all the way from the east coast of the United States for what would be the first of many visits of us travelling back and forth.

Months passed after that first trip and I decided that it was my turn to fly down for a visit to his home town. At one point during that trip he casually mentioned that he’d never date a non-smoker. He didn’t want to be pressured into quitting or be made to feel bad for the habit he’d had for well over 15 years. Fair enough.

That trip had made one thing certain for me – I wanted him to be my boyfriend and I would do anything I could to make sure that happened. Naivety would be my downfall for this whole relationship and the cigarettes were just the start of it.

The Most Stupid Decision Wasn’t the Cigarettes

I still remember the first pack of cigarettes I bought. “Export A Green”, which if you’ve ever smoked cigarettes, I’m sure you’ll know that those are not at all what you’d want to pick up as a first time smoker. Writing this, I retch at the thought. They were intense and their nickname “Green Death” was well-earned. I’d never bought cigarettes before. So, I didn’t know any better. I was too embarrassed to ask the store clerk to help me out with my selection.

What I really wanted were menthol cigarettes. That’s what he smoked. The one single cigarette I’d tried on that first trip to the coast was a Parliament menthol. A brand that wasn’t available to me in Canada. That one single cigarette turned into a years long nicotine habit that lasted well past the expiration of our relationship. I’m thankful that habit is a thing of the past, now, but I still regret every cigarette I ever smoked to this day.

The Real Stupid Decision

While the cigarette habit wasn’t the smartest decision I’d ever made by far, the most stupid decision I made wasn’t actually the cigarettes themselves. It was allowing someone else to manipulate me into changing my mind about something I’d fully decided on. Up until that point, I had no intention of ever smoking a cigarette. I knew better (but don’t we all?).

I allowed myself to be manipulated, and that just opened the door to much more manipulation down the road. The relationship I found myself in after smoking that cigarette wasn’t healthy. I suppose you could say that the relationship itself was another stupid decision. That wasn’t because of the cigarettes, either. I allowed my mind to be swayed on something so important to me. By doing so, it showed him that I could be swayed in other ways. Manipulated, moulded like putty, into the “ideal partner”, in his eyes.

Looking Back with Kinder Eyes

Almost fifteen years later I’m finally able to look back on that part of my life with kinder eyes. The girl I was back then was just hurt and confused and looking for love in all the wrong places. Coming out on the other side of that relationship required years of therapy. Now I’m able to see why it seemed so effortless to pressure me into doing things that I didn’t actually want to do.

So, learn from my stupid mistakes. If someone wants you to change something about yourself in order to date them, run. On the flip side, if you think someone needs to change something about themselves in order to date you… they’re not the right person for you. Full stop. You can’t get into a relationship with someone with the expectation that they’ll change. People can change, yes, but it’s often in ways that you’ll least expect.

If you love my writing, please support me on Ko-fi! Supporters get early access to upcoming blog posts, updates on my memoir, and more. Head to my ko-fi page to tip me once, or support me monthly with a recurring membership. Thank you so much for your support!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: