A health condition should not keep you from the benefits that come from dating such as companionship, fun, or seeking a loving relationship with a person who wants to be with you. You are a person living with a health condition. You are not the condition. The condition is only one part of who you are.
Dating can be affected by changes in your body, concerns about sex, and even the diagnosis by itself. The fear of being rejected keeps some people from seeking the social life they would like to have.
- Try not to let your health condition be an excuse for not dating or trying to meet people.
- Focus on the positive.
- Be proud of your body. It got you this farthrough treatment!
- Think of things that help you feel more attractive and confident.
- Think about dating as a learning process with the goal of having a social life you enjoy. Not every date has to be perfect. If some people reject you (which can happen with or without cancer), you have not failed. Try to remember that not all dates worked out before you had cancer.
- Find the right time to tell about your cancer and treatment. If you are axnious about what to say, practice. For more information about when to disclose and how, see: When and How To Tell A Date About Your Diagnosis. (Note: If you "Google" yourself and find references to you and your health condition, even if it is just as a volunteer for a health related non-profit, the first date is a good time to bring it up on the assumption that your date has, or likely will, "google" you.)
Do not be surprised if the type of people you want to date has changed since your diagnosis. Just think of it as part of your New Normal.
Do not assume that people will reject you just because of your diagnosis or any other reason. Dating is still about common interests, a sexual attraction, forming new social ties. However, rejection was probably part of your dating life before your diagnosis. It's part of what happens. Dating has always involved risks. If it didn't stop you before, it shouldn't stop you now.
The first steps can be the hardest.
It may be helpful to talk with other unmarried people with your condition who have faced the same situation.
If you find that you are unable to date, or that dating is more than usually stressful, seek help with a professional mental health expert or with a support group -- particularly if you feel as if you are constantly feeling depressed or isolated. Issues are likely to seem different when you talk them through with another trained or experienced person. Who knows? If you join a support group you may even meet the person you've been looking for in the safe environment of a support group.
- For information about choosing a mental health professional, click here.
- For information about the value of support groups, including the practical information you a re likely to learn, as well as how to find one that works for you in person, on the phone or on line, click here.