Tips and Stories

Interested in writing a Tips and Stories post? Contact us HERE with your ideas!

Navigating Love: Dating During Cancer Treatment


Dating is an exciting and often nerve-wracking part of life, especially for young people. It's an opportunity to connect with someone on a deeper level, build meaningful relationships, and share life's joys and challenges. When you or your potential partner have experienced cancer, the dating landscape can become more complex. However, with the right mindset, communication, and support, you can embark on a fulfilling dating journey during and after cancer.  

Here are some things to consider if you are looking to date when your partner has cancer or when you have experienced cancer yourself…

Self-Care Comes First

Before diving into the dating world, remember that self-care should be your top priority. Whether you're currently undergoing treatment or in remission, managing your physical and emotional health is essential. Ensure you're comfortable with your own body and emotions before seeking a partner. Talk to your healthcare team about any concerns or questions you have regarding your dating journey.

Be Open and Honest 

Honesty is the foundation of any successful relationship, and this holds even truer when dating during and after cancer. When you feel ready to disclose your cancer history to a potential partner, choose a time that feels comfortable for you. Share your experiences, treatment details, and any potential long-term effects it may have on your life. This transparency can help build trust and create a safe space for open communication. 

Understand Your Needs 

Cancer can bring profound changes to your life, affecting your physical and emotional well-being. Take the time to understand your needs and boundaries in a relationship. Be clear about what you can and cannot do, and don't hesitate to express your needs to your partner. A supportive partner will appreciate your honesty and work with you to create a balanced and fulfilling relationship. 

Choose the Right Time to Date 

When to start dating during or after cancer treatment is a personal decision. There's no right or wrong time, but it's crucial to prioritize your well-being. Some people find solace in companionship during treatment, while others prefer to wait until they're in remission or have a better understanding of their health. Trust your instincts and make the choice that feels right for you. 

Embrace Supportive Networks 

Your journey through cancer and dating can be emotionally challenging, so it's essential to have a strong support system. Lean on friends, family, or cancer support groups for guidance and emotional support. They can provide valuable advice and help you navigate the complexities of dating while dealing with cancer-related issues. 

Enjoy Life Beyond Cancer 

While cancer is a significant part of your life, it doesn't define you entirely. Remember to enjoy life beyond your diagnosis. Pursue your passions, engage in activities you love, and focus on personal growth. This will not only make you a more attractive partner but also enhance your overall well-being. 

Communication is Key 

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. Share your feelings, concerns, and aspirations with your partner openly. Be patient with one another and listen actively. Encourage your partner to express their thoughts and feelings as well. Together, you can navigate the challenges of dating while dealing with cancer. 


Discuss your concerns and feelings about intimacy with your partner. Some cancer treatments may affect your libido or sexual function. Open communication can help you both navigate this aspect of your relationship.

Time Together

Plan quality time together when you're feeling well. Enjoying activities you both love can provide a sense of normality and joy during treatment.

 You may also want to share this video with your partner:  

Dating during cancer can be a rewarding experience, filled with love and connection. It's essential to prioritize self-care, honesty, and open communication. Seek like-minded partners who understand and support your journey, and remember that you are more than your cancer diagnosis. With the right mindset and support system, you can create meaningful and fulfilling relationships that enrich your life beyond measure. 

By Mona H, Online Counsellor, Canteen Australia