Life Coach - Dr. John Arnaldi - Land O Lakes FL

 

Dating After Cancer

  1. It’s normal to be nervous about dating. Unless you’ve had lots of experience with dating, the whole process of dating may feel scary. Most likely, when you first start dating you will feel anxious and awkward, and make mistakes. This is normal for everyone trying to learn any new skill. As you get more experience, you will become better at it. Before you start dating, do lots of socializing—just enjoy yourself with other people.

  2. Date yourself first. Before you try to date other people, give yourself time to have dates with yourself. Focus on yourself—do things to care for yourself and love yourself. Spend quality time alone with your focus on yourself. Be curious about who you are—explore your own thoughts and feelings and get to know yourself inside and out. Explore your interests—what you like and dislike. Involve yourself in life: try new activities and pursue the ones that seem the most interesting to you. Do what you enjoy and what makes you feel more alive.

  3. Love your body. Survivors may feel alienated from their body—like they are living in a body they no longer recognize or accept. They may have a negative body image and feel unattractive, undesirable, and unlovable. Such feelings will make successful dating and relationships impossible. Your job is to get to know and accept your body as it is now and begin developing a positive body image. If you have visible scars, look at them, touch them, grieve them, and then love them. Any activities that get you moving and breathing can help you connect with your body. Yoga, swimming, Tai Chi, martial arts, dance, and any physical exercise will help. Massage and physical therapy can help. Get enough rest and learn to eat healthy foods. Pamper yourself—find creative ways to enjoy your body.

  4. Be your own best lover! Let go of judgments about sex and your body. Learn more about sex and expand your understanding of sex. Be curious and explore your erotic fantasies, desires, and feelings. Let go of your old beliefs about sex. Spend time exploring every inch of your body. Learn what kind of touch feels pleasant, comforting, sensual, and sexual to you. Make time to practice self-pleasuring. As you discover how attractive, desirable, and loveable you are, others will see you that way, too.

  5. Dating is an experiment. Before you get too far into a new relationship, bring up your history of cancer. Wait until you’ve had a couple of dates, but don’t wait until serious feelings start developing. Give an overview—don’t describe every detail or feel obligated to answer every question. Keep it simple and stick to what feels right to you. You will get rejections, but that’s because they were not good matches for you. Don’t give up—dating is a series of experiments that will help you find your ideal life partner.

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More Resources
Articles and Booklets on Relationshsips After Cancer
Websites for Information and Support

 


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