The dating world can be pretty harsh - especially for busy people who barely have enough time to balance work, family and social time, let alone find someone hot who also loves Netflix marathons, weekend deep-sea spearfishing excursions, and the occasional bong rip.
Molly Peckler of Highly Devoted Coaching has been helping modern cannabis consumers find true love since May 2015, when she launched the world's first dating/life coaching service specifically toward cannabis consumers. With a psychology degree and experience as a professional matchmaker, she's also been "madly in love with my husband [who is a cannabis consumer] for 11 years. We'll have been married 5 years next month." As a result, Peckler says, "I really understand what it takes to be in a truly compatible partnership."
We asked Peckler about her top dating tips for people who make cannabis part of their lifestyle.
1. Know thyself
Under prohibition, cannabis has been an illicit, secretive activity - and the resulting sense of shame isn't a great vibe to bring into the dating world. To combat this, Peckler says, it's key to first come to terms with the fact that you love weed.
"Understand why cannabis is an important part of your life: what is it that helps you grow, or enhances your experience," she advises. "Once you have that under control, it's a lot easier to share that with someone else."
It all comes down to confidence: "accepting yourself for who you are and not focusing on what other people think, but on what your needs are, and what makes you happy," says Peckler. Just as "insecurities can get in the way of you being able to lead the life you really want," being embarrassed or sneaky about smoking pot, can cause more problems than the drug itself.
2. Be upfront
If you're limiting yourself to fellow cannabis consumers, aren't your odds of finding the right match even slimmer, statistically speaking? Peckler says no - adding that, at the end of the day, one shouldn't have to settle.
"If it's an important part of your life, it should be part of your search, and your relationship. You shouldn't should just give up and go to the mainstream," she says.
When creating a dating profile, Peckler recommends being as transparent about your cannabis use as possible, whether that means describing yourself as "420-friendly," or less-explicitly as "more open-minded", having "wide perspective," or "focused more on experiences or relationships rather than material things."
"Those are the values that cannabis consumers tend to share," says Peckler.
3. Ask the right questions
The most nerve-wracking part of dating can be broaching the big issues - which can include cannabis - for the first time. What's the best way to start the conversation?
"A really great way to break the ice," Peckler says, "is to talk about medical cannabis. I know it's not very sexy subject, like 'hey, kids with epilepsy aren't having seizures anymore! It's killing cancer cells!' But it will help you gauge someone's response. If they say, 'Oh my god, that's so amazing, I totally agree,' then you know that you can open up to them. If they're like, 'All drugs are bad, and marijuana is illegal and it should stay illegal,' then that's a pretty big red flag."
Casually broaching the subject, and asking them what they think, can save you a lot of hassle down the line.
4. Look in the right places
In 2016, you're unlikely to find true love simply by throwing together an online dating profile, then sitting back with your arms crossed waiting for the responses to roll in (unless you're a jet-setting, photogenic lawyer with 10/10 good looks).
Instead of relying solely on algorithms to get your profile in front of the right people, Peckler says, forge real-world bonds. "Get involved with different local organizations, volunteer with different groups, or go to specific events where you know you'll meet other cannabis consumers," she advises, all of which can help bring the right connections into your life.
5. Cultivate acceptance
One of the great things about cannabis is that it teaches us to be patient and open-minded: if someone decides they don't want to date you anymore just because you smoke pot, you can process your disappointment, then be happy that you're free to find someone who is truly compatible.
"There's still going to be some part of it that's counter-culture even if it is completely, truly legalized, just because of the bucket-loads of propaganda we've all been fed," she says.
Peckler emphasizes the importance of realizing not everyone has to accept what you do: but if you approach dating correctly, you'll eventually find someone who does.
Banner image: Found of Highly Devoted Coaching, Molly Peckler. ( highlydevotedcoaching.com )