• WhatNextEmails' Avatar

    I am in remission, a single mother, and trying to start dating again.

    Asked by WhatNextEmails on Monday, February 18, 2013

    I am in remission, a single mother, and trying to start dating again.

    How in the world will I make this work? I don’t need the added stress. Do I have to give up the dating part of my life just so I can live my daily life stress-free?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Well, the choice is yours. If you find dating too stressful then don't do. If you want to date, then do so. Either way, if not dating makes your life stress free then your are doing better than most of us, and if dating is your only source of stress, then, once again, it is totally your choice.

      over 5 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      Don't close the door on an important part on your life. However, you can take a break and start dating when you feel positive about it.

      over 5 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I have also asked this question. I recently started dating again after completing my treatment for breast cancer. The first experience I had was not good, as the guy freaked out and said "I can't do this" when he saw my recontrsucted breasts. I am so used to them, it is no big deal to me, but after that, I felt deformed. My cancer can't be hidden, obviously. Not that I would ever lie about it or not tell someone, but I wonder when to tell them. I have talked to some people and they agreed that first or second date is usually good, if you think it may go somewhere. This way, you have not become too attached and if the guy wants to bail because of your cancer then you won't be too hurt by it. If you wait til a few dates and you are really starting to like him, then he bails it would be more hurtful.
      I have found most guys to be understanding and they were fine with it, but I didn't like them so it didn't go any further.
      If you feel that dating is too stressful, wait til the time is right. But when it is, just remember that you are not your cancer. It doesn't define you and it is just another facet of your life.

      over 5 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar

      I wouldn't head out to date per se, go out with the girls, or do something you enjoy, someone may come along who fits into your life. If the right person comes along, it won't be stressful at all!

      over 5 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      HeidiJo took the words right out of my mouth. I wouldn't make efforts specifically geared toward meeting people to date. That sounds stressful. Participate in hobbies and activities that you truly enjoy. If you meet someone you are interested in dating then it will be an added bonus.

      over 5 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      What an excellent question!! I've been a single mother for 24 years (since my daughter was 2 [she's a 26 yo Paramedic becoming a Nurse now]) and I got engaged last year about 4 months before they found my breast cancer. My fiance is wonderful and has stuck with me (he's a widower). My cancer postponed our Wedding. We're trying to figure out when to get married.

      Back to your question. What would I do if I were in your situation? My reconstruction's scheduled for April. I think I'd probably want to take a 6 month break and go out with friends to get comfortable with myself and going out with people in a group again. Btw, dating is never (or rarely stress free [even sans breast cancer in the background {a good thing to keep in mind-take a break whenever you need one! You're not (underline not) a failure when you need to take a break!!}])

      When I'd be ready to date, I'd say keep things slow (s-l-o-w) and make sure no guy rushes you! Keep your first meeting to a cup of coffee or a Sunday brunch (I love brunches-they're nice because you get to spend time together to see if there's compatibility, but it's completely platonic and there's absolutely no pressure about spending an evening together...;)).

      Make your 2nd date a lunch date, dress nicely (not too sexy, but high heels if you can wear them, maybe jeans and enough makeup to look really pretty and wear good perfume). See if you can agree on a romantic Italian, Middle Eastern or Indian restaurant (a place that has good food and ambience). Don't drink too much wine or encourage him in doing so. Make small talk for a little while to see how much common ground you really have and see how much eye contact there is. Order your meal. Watch him carefully-his body language, see if he touches your hand. If things are going in a good direction (and you'll know if they are) then it's is a good time to bring this up, touch his hand (if you sense he's receptive) and say "I'd really enjoy getting to know you better. I had a rough time last year and had breast cancer. I'm doing very well-I'm in remission and I had a breast reconstruction with implants and I wanted to be upfront with you about that." I hope you're not uncomfortable but I understand if this is a bit different than what you might have expected." Smile gently and encouragingly (you may want to rehearse this with a girlfriend first). If the guy is a mentsch (i.e., an adult), he won't miss a beat and he should smile at you sympathetically and tell you "let's see where this goes" or something along those lines. Do not (on this date) sleep with the guy (no matter what!!) Order dessert and coffee. Let him call you. Do not (underline not) call him!! It's hard for any of us women not to, especially single moms. The temptation for a single mom with breast cancer will run very high. My best advice to you while you are trying to get back to the dating world is to not let this become your only preoccupation - join a book group, take a class - learn photography, learn to speak a foreign language, go out with friends, etc. There's an online bookgroup called goodreads.com. Your girlfriends are indispensible here. Do not abandon them for a man. Men come and go (usually...;)). Friends are often forever. So is a pet!...;) So are your children and family...;) Have fun dating. When it's not fun, don't do it. Btw, I consulted with my fiance re how to bring this up so you have the male perspective as well.

      You'll have successes and you'll have failures. It may take time to have a success. You're not a failure because of that. Don't punish yourself. Read "Bad Things Happen to Good People" if you need to. I'm a Librarian who's a trained Medical Librarian. If you have any questions about anything here, please feel free to get in touch with me.

      Wishing you lots of happiness and continuing good health,

      over 5 years ago

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