Dear Jazzy: Cigarettes and girlfriend don’t mix


After a long absence, the Times’ resident advice guru is back. Let’s get to it:

Yo Jazz,

How you doing? Love the advice column. I got this girlfriend. She’s hot. But she doesn’t like me smoking. I smoked before I met her. It’s what I do. We get along good. Things are cool. But I’ve got to dump her. What you think? Should I move on? She won’t give it a rest.

– RR


Dear RR,

It seems to me like you have a two-girl situation.

One girl, you guys have been tight forever. She’s cool and simple, and comes in packs of twenty. She knows everyone worth knowing, and introduces you all her homies out on the balcony at every house party.

The new girl, though, she’s sexy. She’s flesh and blood and pushes back and challenges you in ways you didn’t expect. You get along, maybe you even see a future with her.

You went into the situation thinking, hey, you can share. You got enough for both. One little smoke before you pick up your girlfriend, a quick duck out of dinner to take the edge off – she’ll never even know, right? Turns out she does; she smells it on you and won’t let it go.

Nope, you tried, but what you’re finding is that she is not the sharing type.

So yes, you can break up with your girlfriend. You’ll have your smokes, and smokes will never change. You’ll get a little wrinklier, and she’ll probably get more expensive, but you still get that same illicit rush when you light her up that you did that very first time.

And she’ll always be there for you. When you first wake up in the morning, she’ll be the first thing on your mind. Before you go to sleep, she’ll be the taste lingering on your lips. She’ll be there for every 15 minute break, lunch hour, and after-work beer for the rest of your life. To love and to cherish, ’til death do you part.

Or maybe, you break up with cigarettes and give it a try with your girlfriend.

Yeah, maybe it’s not “fair” that you were smoking first, and your girlfriend knew it when she started dating you. But relationships aren’t about fairness.

So maybe give it a try. Break up with smokes, and give being a one-woman man a real go. Maybe it will work out, and maybe it won’t, but at least you’ll be able to look back with pride, knowing you took a chance.

And hey, if it doesn’t work out, you-know-what will still be around for you to take up with again.

Best of luck,


Dear Jazzy,

I need some advice with my boyfriend. I should say boyfriends! Because he’s like two people. When we are alone, he loves me and I love him a lot. But when his friends are around, he changes. He tries to be cool all the time and gets mean to me. He makes me mad, and we get into fights. Not real fights, just yelling. I think it’s over all the time; then he comes back, and we’re cool again. I love him. I just want him to be like he is when we’re alone. He can be so sweet. What do you think? What can I do to make him stop being mean to me in front of his friends?




Hey C.,

The way your boyfriend treats you sounds really sucky.

I don’t know why he does it. Maybe his friends have teased him about getting a girlfriend, and he’s self-conscious about changing the group dynamic. Maybe that’s how his parents act, and he’s following their model for unhealthy relationships. Maybe he’s just been socialized to some wrongheaded macho ideal that says men don’t show affection.

These are all possible reasons, but reasons aren’t excuses. They don’t make it hurt any less when he gives you the two-faced treatment.

Tell him this when you’re both calm and cool, and not after another blow-up. Tell him his private sweet talk isn’t worth anything if he doesn’t back it up with his public actions. Tell him how he’s really hurt you, and you don’t deserve to be treated that way.

And if he doesn’t have a come to Jesus moment right there, and apologize for acting like a huge jerk, there’s nothing you can do to “make” him stop.

Except leave, because you deserve better than that. You deserve someone who adores you and isn’t afraid to shout it to the world.

Best of luck,


Struggling with family or friends, at work or school? Having a personal problem, and don’t know what to do? Write to “Dear Jazzy” at [email protected] to get her take on it.