Dating is exciting — but having cancer or having had cancer in the past can make the search for a relationship seem daunting. “Dating was hard and scary even before you had cancer, and all of those fears are probably still there after the cancer,” says Memorial Sloan Kettering clinical social worker Barbara Golby.
You may wonder: Am I ready to put myself out there again? “Only now you’re dealing with the fears and insecurities that come up as a result of cancer.”Those worries may look like a fear of rejection because of your history with the disease, body image hang-ups, and a more general struggle to regain your equilibrium after a frightening and draining experience.
Though many cancer patients have the same questions and concerns, no two relationships are the same.
A younger person with goals of marriage and children — and potential mates who may have had little experience with serious illness — probably has different dating concerns than an older person, whose potential partners might very well be dealing with their own health issues.
Having spoken to many other women in my situation, it is met with mixed feelings.