When you’ve gone through breast cancer, you might be faced with questions and concerns about dating that you didn’t have to think about before.
Cancer and dating
Women might also feel nervous and unsure about becoming physical with a new partner.
When it comes to breast cancer and dating, here are some common questions that women have, and some helpful tips for getting back into the game.
The first step typically involves disclosing that one has had breast cancer. In any new sexual relationship, it is important to know and respect to your own comfort levels and boundaries.
From there, the relationship can progress with a series of disclosures including treatment, the impact that breast cancer has had on you and your body, and how you envision yourself moving forward in a new relationship. Deciding when to have sex with a new partner is a personal decision.
Knowing when you are ready to date is a personal decision.
Some women actively date while still in treatment, others start dating as soon as they are done treatment, while others prefer to take some time to focus on themselves before they even consider the idea of dating.
Getting physical can occur in stages, and what these stages look like is entirely up to you. Get reacquainted with your body and what feels good. This likely new territory for your partner as well, and he or she may need (and would likely welcome) some direction and feedback.
Maybe this means not having intercourse right away and enjoying other sensual and sexual activities first. It is important to talk about expectations, including comfort levels, pain, and any limitations. Kim Cullen is a Ph D candidate in Clinical Psychology whose research and clinical work has been dedicated to enhancing the sexual health and wellbeing of women with cancer.
It’ll be love at first sight, confirmed by a mumbled joke about the band we’re seeing or the bag of carrots one of us just dropped.
We’ll swap numbers and hit it off on a seamless first date that involves bread baskets, dim lighting, and stories about our families and jobs and hopes and dreams.
Maybe you prefer not to be seen or touched in certain areas. Through her work and public appearances, she hopes to empower women to openly discuss the impact of breast cancer on their sexual quality of life and is an advocate for the development of available resources to address these issues.