Dating a girl with breast cancer
Skip navigation! Story from It's Not You. As much as I love sharing my dating stories, there are a lot of experiences that I haven't had. This week, I spoke with Stef , a year-old breast cancer survivor living in Washington, D. Tell me about yourself.
"My Dating Profile Says I'm a Breast Cancer Survivor"
What should you know about dating after cancer? When is the right time to share your diagnosis, and how should you do this? Let's face it: It's full of unnerving decisions, from figuring out how long to wait before calling, to choosing the right time to meet the parents. But when you throw a cancer diagnosis and treatment into the dating dynamics, it can be even more stressful.
The decision to reveal your cancer to a new love interest may not be an easy one to make. What will their reaction be? Will you scare them off? Will they think of you differently? Who you choose to tell about your cancer is a personal decision. Some people are selective in who they confide in, while others are much more open with their cancer journey. It's important to know that you don't have to tell everyone you date that you have cancer.
Cancer might be a big part of your life, but it doesn't define who you are. With that being said, however, you should tell those who are becoming serious, possibly permanent fixtures in your life. The question then becomes, when is the right time to tell them? Here are a few tips that will help you decide when and how to tell the new person in your life about your cancer:.
Some people may feel they cannot handle being in a relationship with a person with cancer and may dismiss having a romantic relationship with you. This reaction is usually fueled by fear, but some people really can't handle being around a sick person. Personality flaw or not, you may not be able to change their opinion about your cancer, which is okay.
You need people around you that are going to support you and lift you up, not bring you down. If you're feeling terribly frightened about sharing your diagnosis, because you are concerned you might receive this type of reaction, you may want to reframe by looking at your situation from another angle. Telling someone who you just recently started dating or have become serious with that you have cancer is a surefire way to weed out the bad apples from your bunch.
Those who can handle your diagnosis while dating will most certainly be able to better handle the multitude of other concerns that come up when a couple is together for a lengthy period of time. You don't want them to overlook and ignore your cancer, but to understand, accept and know that it may affect the relationship. Be sure to give them a realistic idea of how cancer may affect their life as your significant other.
If they can embrace you, cancer and all, then you have probably found a good match that will hopefully last throughout treatment and beyond. If you've truly shared your diagnosis with the right person, he or she will eventually see that not only can people date and love again after cancer, but the person who has had cancer may be a gem. Studies are telling us that cancer changes people in good ways , not just bad.
These studies, which look at what has been termed "post-traumatic growth," have found that many people come out of the far side of cancer treatment with better priorities, much more compassion for others, and an endearing combination of strength and humility. If it doesn't work the first time, don't give up. You may have to kiss a few frogs, but a true prince or princess will recognize how the fire of cancer can result in beautiful things.
If you happen to be the partner of someone who just told you they have cancer, you may be trying to come to grips with what this really means. Keep in mind that as you cope with your feelings, it was likely extremely hard for your new significant other to share his or her diagnosis. Check out a few tips on what to say and what not to say to someone with cancer as you move forward in whichever direction is best for both of you.
You may also want to check out these thoughts on what it's really like to live with cancer to gain insight that can help you understand each other. Limiting processed foods and red meats can help ward off cancer risk. These recipes focus on antioxidant-rich foods to better protect you and your loved ones. Sign up and get your guide!
There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. Cormio, C. Posttraumatic Growth and Cancer: Supportive Care in Cancer. More in Cancer. Here are a few tips that will help you decide when and how to tell the new person in your life about your cancer: Listen to your intuition. You'll probably intuitively know when the time is right to tell your love interest that you have cancer. It could be over a romantic dinner or during a long walk. It might be a spontaneous decision or it could require planning.
Keep in mind that if you're nonchalant about your cancer, that does not mean your partner will have the same feeling about it. The word "cancer" makes people nervous. Tell them during a time that allows them to adequately process what you have brought out into the open. Don't wait too long. If you've waited until the wedding rehearsal dinner to reveal your secret, then you've delayed it far too long. Yes, there is a right time to share such important information, but it's not something that you should put off.
If you wait too long your partner might feel angry, hurt or betrayed. Healthy relationships thrive on trust, and if you aren't being honest, then your partner may take it as a sign that you may be deceitful in other things. Be honest and forthcoming. When you do decide to talk about your diagnosis and treatment, it's important to do so with honesty. By now you have realized that your cancer has not solely affected you, but also those around you.
Your partner has a right to know how serious your disease is and how it may potentially affect their life by being in a relationship with you. Be prepared to answer questions. Your boyfriend or girlfriend will probably have a lot of questions to ask you about your type of cancer and how it affects you. Your partner may want to know about your prognosis, your treatment, or if you're dying. Some questions may seem extreme, but remember that they are valid concerns and should be addressed.
Be prepared to continue answering questions. Keep in mind that you have had much longer to come to terms with your diagnosis and all that it might mean. The questions might not come all at once. Time will help them process everything. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Email Address Sign Up There was an error. What are your concerns? Article Sources Cormio, C. Kolokotroni, P. A Review. Women Health. Continue Reading.
single women with breast cancer. Here are some suggestions on how to ease into the dating world again after your diagnosis and treatment. Seven women share their stories of dating after a breast cancer diagnosis.
Tia Jones dated and eventually met her husband after being diagnosed with cancer. In dating after cancer, Doug Dallman has found it helpful to be open about sexual function and fertility. Cancer Type Breast Cancer. Gastrointestinal Cancer. Email Sign Up.
My answers: The first guy I had sex with after cancer was a beautiful, tattooed philosopher.
The dating scene can be daunting for any single woman, but for a single woman dealing with breast cancer, it can be downright intimidating. Is the first date too soon to bring up the subject of breast cancer?
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The explosion of dating sites and apps may have revolutionised the way potential partners can meet nowadays. Clair was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of , aged Having ended her eight-year relationship shortly after finishing surgery, she decided to try internet dating in February I chatted to one man I had a lot in common with and we got on really well. I told him and was shocked by his response. He normally wrote long messages but his response was:
Daring to date again
I was dating my boyfriend Rob for six months when something big happened: I was diagnosed on July 28, , with stage two breast cancer and found out I had to start chemotherapy immediately. I also learned that I had approximately 14 days until I would be bald from the chemotherapy, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was a healthy, fit, year-old, with no trace of any cancer in my family. As I ventured into the world of chemotherapy, oncologist appointments and uncertainty about the future, I also unwittingly stepped into a new realm of dating and relationships—or, in some cases, the lack thereof. I was terrified of a double mastectomy, mostly of the idea of someone cutting off my nipples. The day I was scheduled to meet the surgeon and discuss my surgical options, my boyfriend was supposed to come with me. It felt like he was leaving me when I needed someone most.
What should you know about dating after cancer?
Share Hutch News. Susan, a stage 4 breast cancer patient, and her brand new husband Jeff, shortly after their wedding in July
6 Things I’ve Learned on Dating After Breast Cancer
To understand my dating journey after breast cancer, you need to understand my back story. In , my year-old daughter was diagnosed with Locked-in Syndrome; a condition of complete body paralysis. The lump had a triangular-rectangular shape, and surely all cancerous lumps are circular — right? I was wrong. To my shock and dismay, I later found out I had a unique subset of breast cancer called invasive pleomorphic lobular carcinoma. As I was occupied with taking care of my daughter, my dating life took a back seat. The idea of dating after breast cancer and a mastectomy can be scary. It can leave you feeling insecure, and uninterested. There were lots of questions and concerns going through my mind, like: As a woman who has experienced these emotions, and dated various partners throughout her breast cancer journey, here are five things I learned about navigating the dating jungle after breast cancer:. The more I talked about breast cancer with my dating partners, the more comfortable I felt.
True Love After Breast Cancer
When I began writing this blog post, I thought I could encompass most of the things I wanted to say about dating and breast cancer. It became apparent very quickly that more than one post is necessary. This entry will focus on the early days of dating after cancer. I was 28 and single when I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. I looked upon people who were going through treatment and had partners with such envy. A friend tried to set me up with someone during chemo. I remember her saying, you deserve someone great.
You might also like to check out our information on sex after breast cancer. Your partner on the other hand may feel, that after treatment, everything will go back to the way it once was. Try to share your new feelings with your partner. Explain to them how things have changed for you and what that means for your relationship. You might like to visit a counsellor together to discuss some of these issues in more detail.
The thought of dating after breast cancer diagnosis and treatment might make you nervous, exhilarated, cautious or curious. And you may feel all those at the same time! The physical and emotional changes you may have experienced can leave you wondering:. These are very common worries. Although each person and each situation is unique, we offer some ideas to help you explore your concerns. Breast cancer therapies can affect your body and your feelings about it. Here are some tips that may help you recapture positive feelings about your body:. The thought of dating may reawaken or increase emotional responses you had at diagnosis or during treatment.
Picture this: You're in a bar, and a guy a few seats over starts flirting. Soon, you're sharing personal details—the last movie you've seen, music you like. Then, if you happen to be in a high-powered city like Los Angeles, where I live, one of you inevitably asks what the other does for a living. For me, that's when things get uncomfortable, especially when all his friends are standing around listening.
Qualitative studies indicated that cancer survivors may be worried about finding a partner in the future, but whether this concern is warranted is unknown. Correlations were used to investigate relationships between interest in a date and assessment of traits. However, widowed respondents were much less interested in a date with a cancer survivor, and women showed less interest in a cancer survivor during active follow-up relative to survivors beyond follow-up. Cancer survivors do not have to expect any more problems in finding a date than people without a cancer history, and can wait a few dates before disclosing. Survivors dating widowed people and survivors in active follow-up could expect more hesitant reactions and should disclose earlier. Finding a romantic partner is a central goal in life for most people and essential for well-being [ 1 , 2 ].Special Breast Cancer Awareness Edition: Dating After a Double Mastectomy