Starting new relationships when you have cancer
- You may be feeling sick, exhausted and self-conscious about changes in your physical appearance and going out and meeting new people can seem daunting.
- Relationships and dating is an important part of life for many young people. Finding an opportunity to socialise and meet new people may really help your self-confidence and help you to feel like things are ‘normal’.
- You may like to try a new hobby, join a club or take a class. These activities might help you become more comfortable around new people, especially if you have physical signs of cancer such as hair loss, scars or an amputation.
- Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from dating.
- Not every new relationship will work out. Remember that not every relationship worked out before you had cancer.
When to tell a new partner
It can be difficult to tell people that you’ve had cancer or that you have had part of your body (like a breast or testicle) removed.
Deciding when to tell a new partner about your cancer experience is a personal choice.
Here are some tips:
- You may want to wait until you think the relationship could become serious before sharing the information
- Pick a time to talk to your partner when you are both relaxed
- Try practising what you want to say beforehand
- You could tell them about and show them any physical changes before any sexual activity so you can both get used to how that makes you feel
- Be honest about your concerns and encourage them to be honest about theirs
For more information on sex and intimacy, visit our fact sheet sex and cancer treatment.
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