As a newly single woman, I've quickly grown tired of the unsolicited fisting offers on OKCupid and Tinder—and as a newly single stoner, the prospect of finding a romantic partner who is not only interesting but interested in weed too makes me exhausted. Most pot fans will understand the feeling: Sometimes it feels as if you either have to awkwardly adapt your smoking to fit the lifestyle of a non-toking lover or else wind up with someone with whom all you share is a love of greens.
Molly Peckler has made it her mission to help people like me. She's a dating coach and the founder of Highly Devoted, a new service that aims to provide stoners with some much-needed love counseling. "If cannabis is an important part of your life, your relationship _must_reflect that," trumpets her website. Amen.
To learn more about her business—and to hopefully pick up some free tips—I called Peckler up.
VICE: Why'd you start Highly Devoted?
Molly Peckler: I created Highly Devoted because I know that there are millions of responsible cannabis consumers out there who need a little bit of help in the love department. They want to confide in someone who understands them and respects them. There are a lot of matchmakers and therapists who look down on weed. They don't understand how it can fit into a healthy lifestyle and a healthy relationship. Marijuana has helped my husband and me to forge a much deeper bond than we ever would without it. That's one of the reasons why we're so compatible.
Weed can be great in relationships. So how'd you come up with this idea?
I've always had a special relationship with men. I just get how they communicate, and I also have the ability to put anyone at ease that is around me. I'm very emotionally intelligent, I'm very curious, and I'm a great listener so people always come to me for advice in their relationships. I was eventually recruited by a high-end executive matchmaking firm. I spent several years matchmaking; I got tons of people married and happily in love.
How'd cannabis get involved?
I have been passionate about cannabis for a really long time. Obviously it's been an important part of [my] relationship [with my husband], but I also have a young family member who has a life-threatening illness, and his parents have fought tirelessly to get the medicine that he needs. I know that there are so many people [like him] out there, and that cannabis is far less dangerous than alcohol and many pharmaceuticals. I had the opportunity to join a cannabis consulting firm. I got the background in cannabis consulting and not long after realized I want to be able to bring my greatest talent—my ability to help people in their love lives—to cannabis consumers. I saw that there was just such a huge need in the market.
Whenever people find out I love weed, they're really surprised. Because they don't think that I look like the typical stoner. I love being able to shatter those stereotypes, because I know so many people who are responsible and well-respected and also happen to love weed. So I took all of my experiences together and I came up with Highly Devoted.
"If cannabis is important to you, that has to be reflected not only in your relationship, but in how you look for a partner."
How does a coaching session work?
The most important part of my coaching is being able to make discoveries together and being able to help you look through your past experiences and learn from them and really understand what you need in the present to have a successful future. What I really want to help my clients become is confident. That is so important because many people don't put as much thought into their specific needs. If you're not confident, you're going to make decisions for the wrong reasons. That has huge ramifications for the rest of your life. I'm just a natural cheerleader; I love making people feel good about themselves, and helping them to forget about the things that are holding them back.
So it's about taking action and actually making change in your life rather than too much rumination on the past?
You have to be able to look to the past. One of the most important things is to kind of see patterns in relationships. You're not going to be able to move forward successfully unless you've really got that under control, if there's something that's unhealthy going on. So you have to go back. It's also about being able to be ready for that right relationship. Because if the right person comes into your life and you're not ready for that, it's not going to work. So it's very important to be able to focus on yourself. The healthiest relationships are made up of two people who are independent and confident and happy in their own life.
Have you ever thought about creating a matchmaking service for stoners as well?
Potentially down the road. Right now, it's about people being able to become their own matchmaker. When someone's in a really great place and really knows what they want, I can help them overhaul their online dating profile; I can do dating role-play; I can help plan dates. It's kind of an all-purpose type coaching.
If cannabis is a big part of your life—do you feel you should be dating someone who also is into it?
Yes. If cannabis is important to you, that has to be reflected not only in your relationship, but in how you look for a partner. So many people get into a relationship and one person smokes and the other person doesn't, and then the smoker is forced to be a little bit secret about what is going on, and whenever there are secrets in a relationship that's just toxic. Nothing good can come from it. It's not like you have to be with someone who smokes, but if it's an important part of your life the person you're with has to be okay with it. And not just OK, but supportive.
In my experience, relationships are sometimes not as fun when only one person smokes.
Well, when you're at a party, and someone there pulls out a joint and starts smoking, it's kind of like there's automatically that comfort there. There's that bond there, you feel like you can open up to them. And that can be huge in a relationship. A lot of people who use cannabis—and I don't want to over-generalize—have similar senses of humor or similar perspectives. You have to be on the same page. Opposites attract, but that's not going to last in the long run.
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