There are many couples who have bonded over psychedelic use. Psychonauts tend to find each other; they are drawn to one another’s sense of adventure, spirituality, and openness. For many couples, tripping together can be one of the most profound, loving, and bonding experiences, enhancing their intimate connection, and even helping to resolve any realtionship issues they may be having. However, if your potential partner doesn’t use psychedelics, it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. 

When we first start getting to know someone, we tend to want to show the most ‘normal’ and agreeable version of ourselves. We play up our good traits, and turn the volume down on the bad. And, although psychedelics (like magic mushrooms) are growing in popularity and acceptance, not everyone is onboard quite yet. They may have grown up being told they are dangerous, degenerate, and frightening. This means that unless you already know your date has dabbled, you may want to broach the subject with some sensitivity when getting to know them.

In this guide, we will delve into broaching the topic of psychedelic use in relationships, be it in person, or on one of the many dating apps (which we won’t name here!). We will also explore how to navigate a relationship with someone who has not experienced psychedelics, or has no interest or desire to try them. Everyone is on their own journey, and it is key to treat each individual point of view with respect, whether you are hoping for romance or not. 

How to Introduce the Topic of Psychedelics 

In current popular discourse, the subject of psychedelics is never that far away. The psychedelic renaissance has renewed interest in their therapeutic potential, campaigns for legalization are growing everyday, and you can’t move for celebrities ‘fessing up that they actually love shrooms. This means that it’s not out of the realm of possibility that this topic, or something related, could come up naturally. Despite this, for some people it may still be a sticky subject of conversation. 

If someone has not had access to, or the freedom to try, psychedelics for themselves, they may hold negative attitudes towards their use. Depending on their upbringing or experiences, they may associate them with irresponsibility, self-destruction, or a lack of respect for the law. They may not know the benefits of psychedelics, and thus, lump them in with other illegal drugs that are actually harmful. You can’t know before you introduce the subject how someone will react to it. However, if using psychedelics is an important part of your lifestyle, at some point it will inevitably come up. So how do you broach it?

Sewing the Spores of Psychedelic Chat

As we mentioned above, sometimes the subject may rise organically. If not, there are still casual ways you can bring it into the conversation, without shoehorning it in. For example, when chatting about media, such as your favorite TV shows, films, books, podcasts, etc. you could throw in something psychedelic related — Fear and Loathing or Fantastic Fungi for example. Your date’s reaction, and the conversations that flow from it, may give a clue about their attitude towards psychedelics. 

Whether or not your date has experiences with psychedelics is not as important as how they feel about your psychedelic usage. There is no official ‘correct’ way to use psychedelics — whether you use them for therapeutic or recreational reasons, whatever you enjoy is valid. Nonetheless, if someone is a bit unsure, you might want to start by discussing what you’ve gained, and learned, from your psychedelic use. You don’t have to go too deep, especially early on in a relationship. Some psychedelic experiences come with intense personal and spiritual revelations that you may only want to share further down the line. 

Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

When is the Right Time to Bring Up Psychedelics?

Some people wear their psychonaut badge loud and proud on dating apps, by mentioning it in their bio. This is an easy way to let people know from the get-go that this is one of your passions. It also immediately filters out anyone swiping who is not into psychedelics. 

However, for some people, it might not be something you want to reveal this early on. Psychedelics could be incredibly important to you, but you may not wish to be defined by, them or go in head-first in this manner. Both approaches are totally valid. The latter does mean that you will have to bring it up yourself at some point. It’s best to try and do this before you start to ‘catch feelings’, or a serious relationship forms. You want to find out before things get too deep that your lifestyles are compatible, going forward. 

What if Your Date Isn’t ‘Into’ Psychedelics? 

A successful relationship shouldn’t hinge on you having the exact same interests. Your date not being ‘into’ psychedelics shouldn’t, on its own, be a dealbreaker. It is perfectly likely that even if you dated another psychonaut you might  be incompatible for innumerable other reasons. 

How to Respect Differing Views and Establish Boundaries

Respecting boundaries is essential when navigating a relationship with someone you care about. They may have tried psychedelics in the past and had a challenging experience, and for whatever reason may not want to go back. They may have tried them before, but have no further interest. Some people avoid them due to past or current mental health issues. Others may fear ‘losing control’. There is also nothing wrong with simply feeling no desire to experiment with psychedelics. This doesn’t mean a person is not opened-minded, or spiritual. There are many other ways to explore consciousness. Potentially, with open and honest conversations, you could learn from each other.  

However, as a psychonaut, it is not your job to try and persuade your partner to try psychedelics for themselves. Sure, they might be curious and in time may want to experiment; but if they do not, it is not your job to change their mind. It is fine for your romantic partner, and your tripping buddies to be different people. 

This means that you must agree on boundaries around psychedelic use in your relationship. Would your partner be fine with you tripping in their company? Would they be comfortable taking on a trip sitter role? If so, and this concept is new to them, they must learn about what it will entail. Would they prefer it if you went elsewhere to trip, such as a friend’s house? All of these things need to be discussed to establish boundaries you are both happy with. 

How to Meet Fellow Psychonauts for Friendship or Romance

Attending events and talks based around psychedelics is a key way to meet like-minded individuals. By signing up to the mailing lists of various international and local psychedelic societies you can keep an eye on what is occurring near you. Likewise with festivals, retreats, and conferences. These don’t have to be explicitly psychedelic related — there are many adjacent subjects that would attract psychedelic fans, such as spirituality, yoga and meditation, psychedelic music, mycology, etc. Joining facebook groups, and other online societies is also an easy way to find yourself a pool of kindred spirits. 

Of course, you can make it a little simpler by announcing your psychedelic-leanings on your dating-app bio, and searching out others who do too. There is certainly an audience for psychedelic dating. The Psychedelic Society in the UK has, in the past, organized dating events, such as Slow Dating Online: Intimate Connection for Psychedelic Singles. Some people have even advocated for a dating app specifically for single psychonauts, so watch this space…

In the end, whether you find love with a fellow psychonaut, someone psychedelically curious, or at least supportive of your own psychedelic pursuits, honesty, kindness, and an open mind are the most important qualities of all.