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Dating After A Mastectomy – How to Feel Confident in Your Skin

Dating After A Mastectomy - How to Feel Confident in your Skin

It’s hard to feel normal when you’ve just experienced a massive change both physically and mentally. There are a lot of things to deal with after surgery, like how to physically recover, how to handle it mentally, and how to put your life back in order. One thing not often thought about is dating after a mastectomy and how to feel confident in your skin.

While women often don’t have to worry quite so much about a future diagnosis after a mastectomy, it can be difficult to come to terms with new breasts. Implants can feel like foreign objects – lumpy, scarred objects that don’t contort with upper body movement. However, it’s time to celebrate your new breast(s) for what they really are: proof of survival. It’s important to realize that moments of doubt are universal, as well as feelings about our bodies that change with age, weight fluctuation, and even mood.

Embracing The New You

You don’t have to wear a sign that says “I’ve had breast cancer”. Don’t allow breast cancer to define who you are. Some suggestions on how to ease into the dating world again with your new eyes (and boobs!) are:

  • Practice. If you find it difficult to tell a potential partner about your cancer, practice in the mirror or to a trusted friend ahead of time. The more you talk about this part of your life to a trusted friend will help to make you feel like it’s not a big reveal any more.
  • Be honest. When you’re ready, it’s important to let a potential partner know what to expect. In addition to revealing your diagnosis, share what was done, how you’re doing now, and how you feel. Keep in mind this is not a rare disorder. Most people know someone close to them who has been diagnosed with cancer.
  • Put yourself in your potential partner’s place. How would you feel if he/she revealed they had prostate cancer or another form of cancer? Would you still want him or her as a potential dating partner? Would you be willing to manage a problem in your sex life together?
  • Move on from a person who can’t cope with your cancer. You deserve better.

It’s important to think about dating after a mastectomy and how to feel confident in your skin regardless. Remember that confidence is sexy, and barbie didn’t have nipples either. Once you accept your scars and didn’t approach them with shame, people don’t really care about them. But you have to accept your body and your life first.

Making A Connection

Finding a suitable, available companion is always a challenge. However, one can’t let breast reconstructive surgery, not having nipples, or having scars get in the way of the dating life. There are enough success stories to keep up hope, take action, and make things happen. There are quality single people out there looking for relationships.

Most couples are introduced to each other by family, friends, coworkers, classmates, or neighbors. So, take advantage of your resources. Look to the people you know and let them know you are interested in dating – seriously – and don’t be shy. Keep up your connections and expectations.

Other ways to meet a potential partner include

  • Join a gym
  • Spend time at your favorite book store or coffee shop
  • Take a course on a subject you’ve always wanted to explore (art, cooking, language)
  • Plan group activities with friends and ask them to invite their friends
  • If you feel comfortable, sign up with a dating service

Dating After A Mastectomy – How to Feel Confident in Your Skin

Ironic as it is, sometimes being at a low point when being diagnosed can allow you to feel like you truly have nothing to lose. Truth be told, you will most likely continue to have those moments when you feel overly critical of your body. Passing thoughts about what someone will think of your scars may come and go, but this is your new normal. You will learn as you go. Feel excited to be you again. Or, rather, a new and improved version of yourself.

Dating after a mastectomy is challenging and learning how to feel confident in your skin isn’t any easier. Simply being upfront with your needs and fears, even if this doesn’t end up being your last relationship, you will soon find yourself reaching a point where you can be comfortable with yourself, mutated genes, and all.