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Dating

I think there should be a Match.com like section of Stupidcancer.com dedicated to singles who had/ have cancer and are searching for relationships. I might be the only one who thinks this , but I find it pretty harder to approach women who hasn't been through a tramatic experience like cancer, etc and ask her out.
In my case I had brain cancer when I was 14. I had brain surgery, a harsh regime of chemo thearpy, and a month and a half of radiation. The reprecussions of that can/ and did have a significant impact on my self-confidence. I am 26 now. Hopefully, I'm not the only one who feels like this or I'll feel really weird putting this out.
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  • 55 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You're okay. We aren't hideous creatures. We have to keep looking for the right one, even when we are going to be turned down. I have faith. I may not be fast but I'm not going to let my cancer get in the way of love.
  • I was diagnosed stage 4 last year and am still in the midst of treatment. However, I made a decision to actively keep living my life & am doing and feeling good....so I joined Bumble. I've met a great guy who I look forward to getting to know. Timing was tough, as I was scheduled for a major surgery (which I described as a medical procedure) and had family in town, so it took awhile for us to meet. He acknowledged that he generally wouldn't have let it go so long before we met, but was incredibly understanding and we had a fun night out last week. We have a 2nd date scheduled this week and it's clear we're both interested. --- This is the first man I've dated since being diagnosed, and while I'm generally a very confident woman, I'm super aware and nervous about my multiple scars, wig, and now radiation markups (I start that next week). During our 1st date, he talked about losing his mother to cancer. I felt like it was too soon to share with him - and I don't want to be defined by this disease....but I'm lost as to how to handle this, whether with him or someone else, especially in terms of intimacy. For example, what if he touches my "hair" before I tell him...and, though I'm surprisingly ok with my scars, how do I handle intimacy while marked up all over with a sharpie? I mean, I laugh at myself in the mirror....not a very romantic image for the first time together --- let alone, how do you handle sex and sweating in a wig??? Someone has got to have gone through this. I'm totally open to advice. :wink:
  • Ajh9113Ajh9113 Community Member
    I told the guy I was dating on our first date about my cancer when I felt it was gonna go further than one date. He kept complimenting my hair and asking how I kept it so nicely curled and highlighted...which was obviously my wig so I ended up telling him. So once we got intimate down the line I would take my wig off to sleep and have sex and he was okay with it.

    Unfortunately after dating four months he flipped when I told him my hair was long enough to no longer have to wear wigs and that's when he broke it off when he realized I wasn't going to wear my wig in public. It made me realize he was superficial and not someone I wanted to be with in the end.

    So honestly if he's the guy for you he will understand and once you mention you have cancer I am sure he will probably realize your hair may be a wig.
  • I'm single and looking, too. But I don't know if for me, personally (and obviously you feel differently) that I need a cancer specific dating forum. I feel like there are plenty of people who can understand, empathize, and sympathize out there. I'm more interested in finding some who shares my same religious beliefs. haha But, I DID start seeing a guy 3 months after my surgery and end of treatment. I was very nervous about bringing it up. He knew I had been in the hospital recently and eventually it just came out that it was for cancer. Turns out his mom had lung cancer some years previous and so he definitely understood and didn't judge me for anything. It was a huge relief. Getting back out in the dating scene after being focused on cancer for so long can be daunting, but just keep working at it. It will all come together eventually. I just found other things to occupy my time since I"m having absolutely ZERO dating opportunities. (I'm 27, don't have kids, never been married.. I should be just what guys want!) But I am getting ready for grad school, investing a lot of time into my jobs, keeping a healthy social life, filling my time with exercise and hobbies. It will come. Focus on your progress as a person and then the rest will take care of itself.
  • I can relate to this. It is definitely hard to approach someone and know you have to tell them such a personal thing. I had to tell a guy I was interested that I was unable to have kids, and that was a deal breaker for him. It sucks, and it is a big deal. It might be easier to relate to someone who gets the survivor/cancer/life altering aspect.
  • I also feel like someone who has been through cancer or another major medical issue would be able to relate to me maybe a bit better. My self confidence has really taken a hit. I do try to get out when I can but if I go somewhere by myself I tend to sit more in a corner. I get a lot of looks due to my appearance which sucks sometimes but I'm pretty used to it. You don't want to be "that person" but we are. I think I need to make a shirt that says oral cancer and a big arrow that points up to my face. LOL It's kind of hard to think about dating when most of the things you do on a date I would not do. My journey isn't over either as I am still in the LONG process of reconstruction.
  • I think that's a great idea!
  • Hilly I have had that same problem of telling a guy I can't have kids and it being a deal breaker. I find any time I tell a guy I have cancer its a deal breaker!
  • yea ots so hard cause when you are strong person and girls would only judge you on your apperience 
  • That is a great idea! I put my OK Cupid profile on hold the day I found out I had breast cancer. I have been in treatment for a few months and been feeling pretty good most of the time. I would like to be dating, but activating my OKC profile and updating my profile photo to one of me with my bald head is probably not that way to go right now. I'm 37 years old and I ain't getting any younger.
  • I agree totally. Dating is hard, especially if you're not able to get out much and even harder with the triviality of online dating sites. Honestly I'd like to meet someone on here. ;)
  • I am having the same problem.
  • GingerAmyGingerAmy Community Member
    I feel the same way, Before cancer I had a high self esteem and "danced like no one was watching" so to speak. Not that I got asked out a lot or even noticed by guys but I didn't care. But now I fell like damaged goods, Dating was hard enough with out the emotional imprints that cancer leaves behind. Even with working out and eating better I just feel so undesirable. I don't know that's because I'm a woman. Worried about what a male partner would think, I like your online dating idea as well. But even normal online dating has its issues. I'm hoping to find a kind, understanding partner. But your not alone in feeling this way.
  • pfoleypfoley Community Member
    Cancer + other health issues just as serious, followed by divorce for a woman in mid-40's -- I'm absolutely who all the fellas wish they could find...said in snarky, sarcastic voice...

    I piddled around on a couple of those sites -- they did me more harm than good by helping me realize what guys are looking for & that I'm none of those things, plus the sites allowed me to see the complete deceptions used to trick others' feelings.
    I'm much safer staying away from any of that.
    Step #1 -- learn how to identify the marrieds who are pretending to be single -- less chance of them tricking you if you see them coming.
    Step #2 -- have a list of your requirements and deal breakers prepared -- make it a rule you've placed on yourself to follow those guidelines -- this will make it easier to stay away from those scenarios.
    Step #3 -- remember, you don't have to fully disclose anything about your health status & certainly not in early conversations -- Do you think the one you're talking with is telling anyone/everyone about their medical history? Narrow down the field so you don't have to discuss it too much.
    Best of luck,
    p
  • I agree 100%! Even though I'm now in remission I still have all the scars from the battle. As a 32 year old who beat breast cancer, cancer kept the boobs I was born with and am now replaced with 'new' one.. They look like shit, feel like shit and the aches that come with it all, I don't think someone who's never had cancer would understand not want too....
  • ncarlinncarlin Community Member
    Yes I agree! It seems like every time I meet new people my cancer somehow gets mentioned or comes up in the conversation.  That's usually the end of it...
  • deashe40deashe40 Community Member
    I'm in same boat...I have been in remission for almost 3 yrs, but had some really bad side effects from chemo n radiation. Men hear the word cancer and that's it, their gone. I may be a little different but I'm still me. So frustrating
  • I agree. I have been dating awhile post cancer and even got married. However, now I am divorced. I feel cancer has made me guarded in some ways. I sometimes wish I could find a survivor to date because then they get it. I have no chosen to start disclosing pretty close to the beginning of a relationship that I had cancer because I have had people turn around and walk away down the road when it was disclosed. I figure if I tell them upfront, less pain. It sucks that I have to do that. I don't feel I should have to, but experience has taught be otherwise. It's really hard to date and find that person from my perspective. That is a world that is apart me everyday that I have to feel comfortable letting someone into who wasn't there in the beginning.
  • SlattsSlatts Community Member
    You're not alone. I had brain surgery done at the age of 17.
    When I was in High School, I was a class clown and very comfortable in my own skin. After my surgery when I came back to school and started going out again, things actually weren't that bad.
    But even and high school and then eventually onto college, I never brought up my surgery because I didnt want to be judged for it. 4 years of college went by and I made some good friends, but I was always nervous about going out to parties or any situation where I would feel uninvited and then try to meet new people and make a good impression.

    Here I am 7 years later at 24 and my anxiety and depression are worse than ever and I think I'm finally seeing why. It's because I ran away from friends and family, the people who would actually love me not matter what I looked or felt like. Instead I ran off to another state to take a job after college and essentially become a recluse. I go out on occasion maybe to a bar or to see a concert, but I when in public I cant help but know that everyone doesn't like me or that I'm just being "awkward" (boy do I hate that term). I'm essentially not nearly as confident as I was and I'm trying to get back to my old self who was cool, funny, and always making new friends. But the thing is, physically and mentally I'm unable to do it. I'm very self-conscious about the looks someone gives me when I make eye contact with them.

    One of the most depressing things for me is say walking down a sidewalk and nice young lady my age is walking towards me and either they make a face of disgust at me or completely avoid any eye contact with me. Meanwhile, I feel I'm 24, usually dressed nice when I go out, yet I feel like everyone thinks I'm an awkward creep. I have a very hard time going out knowing people won't friendly or have any respect for me. This lack of confidence has me being pushed around all the time at work or when I go out. I might make eye contact with someone and they almost immediately address me, "what are you looking at....."

    I'm trying to get over this but having a real hard time being who I was, the fun guy every back home knew me as growing up. The reason I moved away is because I came home from college and only really had a small crew of friends and anytime we met other people from high school I would know that I wasn't my old self and always make things really weird.

    I'm starting to find that I should probably move back home, leave the job I have now and just be with people who I don't feel I have to impress or make a good first impression.

    Just so you reading don't feel alone...I have a really hard time acting casual and like everyone else. I have a hard time waiting on lines, especially because I have all these nervous twitches that I know people see. I just wish people smiled more when they looked at me and not give the stink eye. People look at me like I'm a junkie but I'm just someone who has been though alot, I do tend to talk to myself, but that's nothing I'm ashamed of, I often just feel like I should just move away from society and live the rest of my life alone...

    Sorry if this wasn't appropriate to the thread, but I can totally relate to where you're coming from about having a hard time being yourself and hoping to find someone who likes you back.

    I'm still in denial of having my tumour rmeoved and have refused to go back for testing because to be honest, getting the surgery done is the biggest regret of my life so far. I feel like half the man I used to be and that the longer I go on with this attitude and lack of self-esteem the worse it's going to get. Also, to be honest I've let myself go abit.. in terms of buying new clothes, exercising, eating well. I think buying new clothes and starting to exercise could help me get my confidence back. But it's deeper than just having a good day and being in a good mood. It's like my anxiety to so bad, it's physical rather than mental with all the twitches I get and feeling like everyone is watching me like I'm some insane-junkie.

    Good luck with the dating everyone.

  • SlattsSlatts Community Member
    Sorry for the lengthy post, I am new to the site and not used to being open about these problems I've faced since surgery.

    Someone recently gave me the advice to really be proud of what I experienced and the fact I still graduated college in four years and didn't let this stop me from doing so. I plan to try and take this mentality further and feel stronger and more confident in what I can accomplish. Even it is something like me trying to be friendly with other people my age who I'm afraid won't like me, I shouldn't fear being rejected because faced worse before ;)

    It's easy for me to say, just don't think too much into it, but that's my biggest problem sometimes. I have found sometimes that just purposely acting weird and not caring, like just letting your mouth run and being comical can often help you break that original "wall" when you enter a room. Small-talk is better than silence IMO.
    Quick example, I often will small talk with a stranger in an elevator and if they dont seem to be in a good mood, I'll just keep talking outloud to myself. :)
  • ChrisWhatChrisWhat Community Member
    As others have mentioned after a brief skimming of the comments, the dating scene for me has been a bit of a wash.  It can be really tricky trying to get over some life threatening stuff and try to act 'normal'.  The cancer treatment, which ended for me six years ago, still has effects on me that people just don't see.  I was 18 when diagnosed, and it really changed the course of my life.  

    Just trying to do as much stuff I find enjoyable as possible and keep up with friends.  Even though dating is kind of non existent right now, I hope to find some good employment here soon.  The timing of the cancer was kind of bad in some ways in that I was a persistent bugger just starting in university and thought I had to finish my schooling despite the cancer.  Now have loans to pay and the schooling didn't lead to employment and so am now going back for more.  

    In all honesty, this is not too far from others' situations, but it is somewhat rough and I don't know too many other people personally in the same boat as me, so it can be a bit difficult at times.  I wish more people could understand what it's like.  If I do make money, I'll buy new clothes so I don't have to wear the same t-shirts I've had for more than 5 years.  I was a top student in my high school and worked rather hard, so I guess I let jealousy get hold of me.  Now, I try to focus that stress into my work.  So far it's alright.  I'm at a good school and am working a nice co-op job.  Just want to keep moving in this direction, make some good money, buy some better clothes, feel better about myself and my confidence and just get out there and be suave and cool.  

    That computer science field is nice to those willing to learn.  Just throwing that out there.  There are also cool areas of research with cs and biology.  Sorry to be going off on this tangent, but I think there is a bit of a connection with one being able to work and support oneself (or have a good support network), and having the confidence and ability to go out there and have fun possible sexy times or find someone to have fun, sexy times with.  
  • it would be nice if they had like a cancer meet or something because i am single and it would be nice to have a trelationship with a someone who know what your going through 
  • jessi85jessi85 Community Member
    I agree with this
    Smart idea
    There should be meet ups with people close
  • n_tropyn_tropy Community Member
    I would like this to happen, what's stopping us? Lots of love to give btw  :-*
  • Haha I second that n_tropy!
  • CatchMeYesCatchMeYes Community Member
    edited April 2016 Vote Up0Vote Down
  • I think this is a really good idea, I lost all of my confidence after my treatment in regards to dating. I am shy when I really like someone and haven't been on a date since I broke up with my long term boyfriend 3months after we broke up. I think I'm too scared to put myself out there and deal with some one that doesn't understand cancer because I think it had a lot to do with why we broke up in the first place.
  • I think this is a GREAT idea. I'd love to meet someone who knows my struggle first hand. I find once men find out I had cancer they become uninterested. We are so strong how can that be a turn off to people?