Dating After Diagnosis: Tips for AYA Patients

Life shouldn't stop with a cancer diagnosis – especially your love life. Although disclosure of a life-threatening illness can put a damper on dating, it shouldn't halt your social pursuits. I know that dealing with intimacy and body image issues are standalone struggles without the stress of cancer and the physical changes that sometimes come with treatment. But there are ways around these less than desirable feelings. The key? Find like-minded individuals coping with similar struggles. After all, the best relationships are built on mutual interests, respect and trust. Camaraderie is a powerful tool in life and love – especially for cancer patients.

Check out these online dating sites dedicated to helping cancer patients and survivors find everything from support and friendship to love and marriage.

Cancerpatientmingle was founded to help cancer patients, survivors and others find happiness at a crucial time in their lives through meaningful, real-life relationships or companionship. Like other social networking sites, the member profile allows you to display your photos, videos, interests and location. There are also several features that allow members to communicate with one another including private chat, email and public forums.

Cancermatch is a powerful networking site that allows you to meet people with cancer from all over the world. It’s a great way to build a circle of friends who share your diagnosis. You can then utilize built-in communication services to live chat with a person or group, post an event or promote other members' events, create and lead your own live chat support group, or write your own blog.

2date4love was founded by a cervical cancer survivor on August 1, 2011. Since then, the site has accumulated over 1,500 members and enables people who cannot engage in intercourse, due to disease, illness or injury, meet and experience love, companionship and intimacy.

C is for Cupid is an online dating service for people whose lives have been affected by cancer. Founded by survivors, their goal is to provide a comfortable and fun environment for members to connect with compatible singles and friends. 

When is the best time to tell your partner about a cancer diagnosis?

One of the most challenging issues is deciding when and how to tell a person you are dating about your cancer diagnosis. It’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between people who are interested in a casual affair and those who enjoy your company because of who you are. But once you’ve established trust and friendship, tell your new partner about your cancer and treatment so your relationship can be based upon honesty, confidence and acceptance. It is normal to fear rejection. However, If a partner rejects you because of your diagnosis, they are probably not the type of person you want in your life. A healthy, quality relationship should be formed with someone who accepts you as you are. Cancer doesn't define you.