Dating after cancer

Dating after cancer

By Jennifer MacKenzie

It took me a very long time to be comfortable with the new me after breast cancer, double mastectomy, and chemo. I took the time to learn to love myself again. I wasn’t sure who was going to love me when I didn’t love myself. After learning to love the new me through therapy and talking with other young adults, I decided to enter the dating world with confidence. I knew I needed to love myself before I could let anyone else. I was confident. I was ready.

It isn’t easy to be vulnerable and open in normal situations, especially after your young life has been flip-flopped upside down. There’s uncertainty of your future — never mind dragging someone else into it — but I did want it, so I went for it. I’m still trying, but always learning.

Some things I have learned:

  • It is not easy
  • People lie
  • People are scared
  • Some things are only meant to last a week or a few months; enjoy the time, smiles, and memories
  • Most situations are worth it
  • I am stronger then I ever knew
  • Be open and honest
  • Know you may have some faults, but know when to see others’ as well
  • Communication is key
  • Love is worth that feeling for however short or long it lasts
  • Love or relationships do not define us or how loveable we are; single doesn’t mean we aren’t loved
  • Never stop meeting or finding new people; let people in as friends or love interests
  • Judge for yourself and keep opinions in your mind
  • Failure is an option
  • Be kind to yourself and others
  • Live in the moment
  • Heartbreak is real, but it happens to everyone, cancer or not…
  • …but be happy! Life is short the most important relationship we have is with ourselves
  • Last but not least: Take breaks, but if love is what you are looking for, do not give up!


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