Dating After Prostate Cancer
In this article, I want to discuss dating and prostate cancer. There are many men who are not in long-term relationships who want to be with someone. They’ve made the conscious choice not to let prostate cancer stand in their way. At the same time, these men may be a bit hesitant and unsure of when or even if they should bring up the topic of prostate cancer. So, in this quick article, I’d like to discuss returning to the ‘dating scene’ and if or when should you broach the topic of prostate cancer with your partner. Fair warning, I may decide to turn this topic into a series of 3 or 4 articles. Let's go...
Prostate cancer's invisible scars
While I was researching this, one of the most important issues you may be dealing with is the invisible scars. People passing you in the street may not know what physical, visible scars you are carrying underneath your clothes. You may have just been told your prostate cancer is undetectable with surgical scars in your genital region. Now one else knows about the scars, only you. The invisible scars are different though.
The invisible scars are more related to one's self-esteem. You may wonder who would want to be with a person who went through prostate cancer? What happens if I get into a relationship and the cancer returns? How is my partner going to react if/when its time for physical intimacy and I cannot respond as I did before cancer? All valid questions.
Becoming a father...
When exploring this topic, the American Cancer Society says, “Concerns about having children can also affect your new relationships. You might not be able to father children because of cancer treatment. Or maybe you can still have children but are afraid that you won’t live to see your child grow up.”1 Again, these are all valid concerns.
What can I do to put myself back out there?
The easy answer for this is you’ll never know unless you try. When you are feeling ready to get back out there, get back into the dating pool. There are plenty of places on the internet where you can put your profile out there and see how it goes. On these dating site, there can be plenty of creeps out there so, be safe and take it slow.
Take it slow
Yes, I have to say it again...take it slow. Please do not rush into any relationships. While it may feel nice to get attention in that way, take your time and get to know the person. Speaking personally, I can remember when I got a few likes on a dating site I used. My brain went into overdrive and I was like wow, this actually feels great. It feels great to be wanted. Please remember to take it slow.
Additionally, please let your body heal. Remember, being in a relationship is a lot of work. There are things you have to do and everything takes energy. If your body is not ready to be in a relationship, it will let you know. Please listen to it and once again, take it slow.
Talk about it
Finally, when you feel the time is right to start a relationship with someone, be upfront with them. The American Cancer Society feels “...silence is not the best plan. Before you and your partner decide to make a strong commitment, you should talk about the cancer. This is especially true if the length of your life or your fertility has been affected. Otherwise, cancer may become a secret that’s very hard to keep.”1
What about dating do you want to know?
In the near future, I’m going to expand this topic a bit and look at some of the other issues that go along with dating and prostate cancer. Thank you.
How much do you worry about prostate cancer coming back after treatment?