Julie Crouch has never smoked a cigarette in her life and, like many women in the dating pool, had sworn off dating smokers. But just last week, she opened the door to a potential relationship with a nicotine enthusiast when she realized the need to broaden her search for a mate.
“I’m 35 and I might want kids someday,” says Crouch, who is actually 37. “Smokers are people too, right?”
According to friends, Julie has had a long string of non-committal non-smoking boyfriends since college. “She’s starting to think the two things are related,” says Julie’s former co-worker, Gretchen Oolong. “Who am I to say they’re not? Men who can commit to such an unhealthy and unattractive habit, day after day, just might have what it takes to stick by Julie. ”
Julie, who used to grimace and wave a hand across her face whenever a smoker passed through her range of vision, now grows animated when talking about the types of smokers she might date. “Maybe he’s a cloves guy, or a rugged non-filtered type. This is the first time I’ve felt optimistic in a while—I feel like I’m opening a whole new chapter here.”
When asked about the known health risks of smoking, Julie waves a hand dismissively. “Sure, there’s a risk to my health. But what about the risk to my heart if I end up alone?” she explains. “If filling up my lungs with tar is the only way to fill up my heart up with love, then let my lungs be black and my heart be full.” She adds, “And all the science behind secondhand smoke is probably bogus, according to this guy I just met.”
At the time of publication, Crouch has been messaging with two smokers on OKCupid, both of them named Scott.
“They both asked me what kinds of activities I was into. I said I liked smoking. So this is off to a great start!”