If there is a Stack site this question is better suited for, please advise. I consider it relevant to interpersonal skills because it centers on the skill of negotiating/resolving a disagreement between two people (in a committed relationship).


I am a 28 year old male college graduate with a full time job. I have a history of on-and-off drug use, but I am known among my friends as the most responsible and self-controlled user.

There were times my drug use was unhealthy, such as relying on amphetamine during undergrad to the point that it took a significant toll on my mental and physical health. There were also times drug use has benefitted me greatly, such as experiences with psychedelics giving me a greater sense of clarity and purpose during dark times.

I no longer use any form of cocaine because in a moment of weakness I became addicted to smoking crack cocaine for about two months. Freeing myself of that addiction was painful, but I did it. I was a cigarette smoker for almost 10 years, and have quit that addiction as well (just over a year nicotine-free). These last two years I smoke marijuana maybe once every other month, and use amphetamines once or twice a year. My urine is clean almost any given day, and I do not drink alcohol. I do not at this point rely on substances (other than a prescribed SSRI) to function in my life, or even for recreational enjoyment.

However, for the last several months I have been telling myself that when I get together with good friends I rarely see anymore this New Year's Eve, I will allow myself to "party" with them. I anticipate this to mean a night of recreational but not excessive amounts marijuana, alcohol, and a dose or two of methamphetamine or mdma. I feel like allowing myself this once-a-year indulgence helps me resist temptations throughout the year, and gives me something "special" to look forward to.

I find it reasonable and I do not expect it will disrupt my mental stability, other than a day or two of "hangover". I am aware of how to mitigate negative side effects and physiological consequences of various drugs, such as making sure to staying well-fed with amphetamines (to avoid muscle protein deterioration) or keeping body temperature from getting too high on mdma (and of course, hydration).

I am confident that I can use for one night and resist any continued use. I have done this many times in the past, resisting further use while still having a significant amounts left over. In fact, I am very passionate about the science and history of psychoactive substances and I keep a labeled collection of substances in vials for nostalgic purposes.

The Problem

I have been with my girlfriend for 16 months and we live together. She is not a drug user or a drinker. She has been tolerant of me occasionally smoking marijuana (though the first few times she was internally upset about it). We occasionally share a few drinks but we do not get drunk. I have casually mentioned to her my plans for New Year's Eve throughout the year, but she was never interested in discussing the issue, only stating she is against any "hard" drug use.

Over the last week, as NYE approaches, we have had several conversations covering many aspects of this issue. Each one is a bit more tense than the last, and we break them off before any resolution can be found because emotions start becoming too strong.


What are some ways I can approach the interpersonal issue of negotiating a resolution/compromise with a significant other in regards to rare special-occaision drug use?

  • 5
    When you say compromise - is the only way you see this ending is with her giving in? Because that's...not really a compromise.
    – user75
    Dec 30, 2019 at 2:26
  • 3
    Have you talked with her about your reasons why such an experience is so important to you? If she has never taken drugs and grew up mostly associating it with bad things, she will not understand. People compromise better if they understand your side and see where you are coming from. This goes both ways. Would you still do it if she had a strong argument against it? please include the motivation for both of you in your post. I think they are essential.
    – Raditz_35
    Dec 30, 2019 at 9:18
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about manipulating someone to get what you want. IPS are about interactions between persons, but the community has decided long ago that manipulation wasn't ok.
    – OldPadawan
    Dec 30, 2019 at 11:19
  • 5
    @OldPadawan I think the manipulation thing is just something you personally associate with the topic. I don't get that from the post at all. Has the community also decided that it's ok to project your own personal experiences into such postings when deciding to close them?
    – Raditz_35
    Dec 30, 2019 at 11:31
  • 4
    @OldPadawan There are many, many IPS questions that are all about "I want X from person Y, how do I negotiate that". This question doesn't seem any worse.
    – DaveG
    Dec 31, 2019 at 1:42

1 Answer 1


I think it is very important to know what exactly is your girlfriend's reason for being against 'hard' drugs. If she is personally against drugs that cause any loss of control over mental state, even if temporarily, then you will need to understand that it is very hard to justify taking such drugs even once. Have you considered that she may have already made a significant compromise in tolerating your occasional use of marijuana?

You say in a comment that a compromise could be that you do some big favor for her in exchange for her allowing you to do drugs for a day, or that you could agree on a substance less "hard" than meth or mdma. Your first option makes it sound like you want a transaction, but I don't think you really want that ultimately. You want her support, not permission. You also want shared happiness, not just your own. Your second option sounds better, but the the key is the same; she probably wants you to be safe, so if you insist on taking some drug you probably should agree on one that allows you to retain full control over yourself and know what is real and what is not.

I am concerned that it is not going to be a good idea to aim for a resolution so close to new year's eve, because it is unlikely that both of you can be completely objective and not be heavily influenced by your emotions. You admitted in a comment that if you do not get what you want then it would be very hard not to resent her. It is good that you acknowledge that danger, and hence my warning not to attempt to obtain a last-minute resolution about such a volatile issue. Note that this issue of resentment goes in both directions. If she gives in, she might resent that you pressed her to give in to something against her principles. But of course, neither of you want any resentment in any direction.

I am hopeful that you can instead find a non-drug-related way to make special occasions meaningful and memorable for the both of you. Remember, if your goal is a shared life, you should work to build it together.

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