During one of our day dates, I had to tell Kevin that I would be cutting out bit early to meet up with friends for dinner. During this weekly dinner, my friends and I get high, play Wii, cook, eat, drink and be merry. In order to not make the same mistake I made with Lawrence, I told Kevin I could meet back up with him, but I chose not to partake in the smoking or drinking.

When I arrived at my friend’s house, a bottle of white was already slowly disappearing. I declined the first three offers and once my homegirl asked if I’d joined AA, I decided the buzz from a glass of wine or two would surely subside by the time I met up with Kevin that night. So, I sipped along with them. And once the joint started making its rotation, I said, “no thanks” until I couldn’t anymore.

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“Two puffs won’t hurt,” I smiled, taking the small joint in my thumb and pointer finger. I exhaled. I thought about Kevin and I didn’t want him to be disappointed in me or worse, leave me standing on the sidewalk with my mouth open like Lawrence did. I passed what was left of the joint and went to the bathroom to wash my hands, swish my mouth in Listerine and squeeze Clear Eyes into my pupils. There I was again, covering up something I enjoy, but something the man that I like, hates. I looked myself directly in the eye, “This isn’t going to work.”

My phone lit up with Kevin’s name and I knew he was downstairs. I had no plans of ending it with Kevin, but I knew we wouldn’t work out. We kissed. He pulled away and I thought, “Uh oh.” He smiled, “I missed you.” I prepared to hear him accuse me of smoking and tell me it’s over. Instead, he grabbed my hand and we continued walking.

“I know you drank and smoke. I can’t control that. I asked you not to do it around me and you haven’t, but I know when you’re not with me, you’re doing one of the things I hate the most.” Keith stated out-of-the-blue, without even looking at me.

He’d been thinking about my bad habits too. And he was right. I decided the easiest way to date him and still keep my independent life was to do the things he hated when he wasn’t around. That meant that I wouldn’t be able get White-boy-wasted with Kevin and share a night of reckless abandon. I also wouldn’t be able to share a joint with him and discuss our philosophies of life. Personally, these are things that I enjoy when I am dating someone.

“I’ve been thinking about that too. I like you. I want to be around you, but my vices are parts of my life that I am not quitting, at least not now…” I was starting to feel the words escaping my lips were going to end up being tied up in bullsh*t, so I stopped short. Here I was, dating someone who I had strong feelings for, but not strong enough for me to give up my vices. The bottom line that kept scrolling through my mind like a marquee was: Are you willing to give up on love before you give up your vices?

There’s a million arguments I could make to continue dating Kevin or to break up with him. I realize my vices are an addiction, wrapped up in a fancy and concise word, but they’re mine. I hate creating  a weight of guilt to sit on my shoulders when I think about quitting my vices. I shouldn’t feel guilty for indulging in something that alters my mind. I could quit and I have before. I don’t get the shakes or cold sweats if I stay away from weed or drinking. But I don’t want to be policed if I decide on a Saturday morning that I want to wake and bake, go to brunch and drink mimosas until I can’t feel my face.

Have you ever broken up with someone because they don’t share your vices? Let’s talk about it @Rhapsodani.

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