I started dating this guy a few months ago, and everything has been going great. He's funny, sweet, and just an all-around good guy — I think I may even be falling in love with him! The only problem I see so far is that he smokes. I was always the girl who said, "I could never date a smoker," but after getting to know him, I can't just stop these feelings I have for him. I'd rather him not smoke, of course, and I'm doing my best to help him quit, but it's my family and friends who seem to have a real problem with this.
My uncle died of lung cancer five years ago, so everybody around me is sickened by the thought of me being with a guy that smokes, and my best friend even told me that she has lost respect for me! I feel so guilty, but I really do like this guy! He wants to quit, but at the same time, I know it won't happen overnight. I don't want to lose the relationships I have with the people I love, but I just can't help but think that they are being unreasonable. Where do I go from here? — Stuck in the Middle Melinda
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I'm so excited for you that you've found a guy you really like, but I'm also sorry to hear that your loved ones are not accepting him. Yes, being a smoker is not ideal, but if he wants to quit, I think it's only fair that everyone gives him the benefit of the doubt — he didn't know your uncle passed away from lung cancer!
While I'm sure this feels like a very complicated situation, it's actually really simple. If you have honest feelings for this guy, and it sounds like you do, simply tell your friends and family that this is your relationship, not theirs, and that you'd really appreciate them getting to know him for who he is instead of writing him off because he's a smoker.
You're right, things won't change overnight, but hopefully in time, everything will work itself out. Good luck!