Beating cancer is no small feat—you went through a grueling experience and came out on top! If you can beat cancer, you can do anything, including getting back into the dating scene.
As a single person, you may be nervous about dating after cancer. It’s possible you’ve experienced emotional and physical changes as a result of your illness and treatment. You may not be sure when to share your experience with other people, or you may worry about what effect it may have on your intimate relationships.
These are common concerns for people who’ve been through what you’ve been through. But it shouldn’t stop you from meeting new people and enjoying your life to the fullest. With a little self-love, you can reclaim your body, feel comfortable in your own skin, and develop positive, fulfilling relationships with dating partners.
Recognize Changes to Your Body
First, it’s important to keep in mind that not all cancers or treatments cause noticeable changes to your body. You may, however, have scars from surgery, hair loss, skin changes, or weight fluctuations as a result of treatment. As well, dealing with cancer opens you up to a range of experiences you wouldn’t have otherwise, and it’s normal for there to be some emotional shifts as a result. It’s all about accepting and growing with these experiences.
For many women, changes in intimacy are also a part of the cancer ordeal. Some women lose interest in intimacy, find it uncomfortable or painful, or even undergo premature menopause as a result of cancer treatment. These are all normal, but they can make dating after cancer a challenge.
Cancer May Affect Your Body Image
With those changes may come a drop in confidence. Even if there aren’t any noticeable changes, you may still think of your body as weak or flawed. You may also be self-conscious about certain issues, even if no one else notices them.
Though it’s difficult, it’s important you feel comfortable with yourself before becoming involved in an intimate relationship. If body image and self-confidence is a serious, continuing problem for you, consider joining a support group to meet with other women who know what you’re going through. It can help to talk with others to learn tips on accepting your new body and moving forward with your life. You should talk to your doctor about scar removal or weight loss if you think it would help as well.
Getting Back into the Dating Scene
Forming positive, intimate relationships with others can help you move forward with your life. While it may be easy to meet people by exploring new activities or joining a club, you may not know how to approach the cancer part of the conversation.
You may be concerned your diagnosis will turn potential dates away. It’s a very personal experience, so it’s OK to wait to talk about it. What matters is your comfort. To help, here are some tips to help build confidence and prepare you for dating after cancer:
- Practice positive self-talk. Positive self-talk boosts your self-image and confidence and may make dating easier
- Ask other cancer survivors how they started dating and what their experiences were
- Talk with family and friends about your willingness to date
- Decide how you feel most comfortable sharing your cancer experience. The choice is up to you!
Addressing Intimacy Issues
Intimacy issues are a real challenge if you’re dating after cancer. Some side effects linger after treatment is complete. These types of side effects can cause intimacy to be uncomfortable or even painful, and they may prevent you from feeling sure enough to date again.
If intimacy issues are a problem after your treatment, talk with your doctor about possible options to reclaim your body. Your doctor may recommend treatment with MonaLisa Touch®. This revolutionary new treatment can help you feel like yourself again and find the confidence you may have lost. While MonaLisa Touch® isn’t for everyone, over 30 published clinical studies have shown the benefits of this laser treatment for women.
If intimacy issues arise, talking with your doctor about possible treatments is the first step in getting back out there. Whatever you choose, remember it’s OK to learn as you go. You already conquered cancer—now, you deserve to feel like yourself again.