Finding Stability

Dating With Cancer: How to Keep the Spark Alive

Making a priority to date during cancer can help you keep the spark alive through treatment.

Throughout your cancer treatment, your spouse or significant other is likely picking up extra chores or shifts at work to help through this difficult time. It can be hard to make that person feel special or show how much you appreciate their efforts.

It’s not uncommon for relationships to suffer during a cancer diagnosis, but if you can make dating with cancer a priority, you and your partner can maintain closeness or reconnect after difficult times. Although it may be a little challenging, you’ll both benefit from putting your illness on the back burner and enjoying each other.

Tips for Dating With Cancer

Your energy level and treatment may determine how much you’re able to do, but even small gestures can mean a lot. Consider these activities to keep the spark alive.

  • Get fixed up for a romantic dinner at home. Either while your partner is at work or while you send them out for an errand, fix up and set the table. Make it easier on yourself with a grocery delivery service to bring all the ingredients for the perfect dinner to your door or a meal delivery service to get your favorite local entrees brought to you.
  • Go out together. Make reservations at a local restaurant. Get tickets to a concert, game or show. You and your partner can keep going on dates despite your cancer diagnosis; it may just take a little more planning to find the right events that fit within your energy level and treatment restrictions.
  • Take a break. Have you both been busy and stressed out lately? Instead of planning a romantic date, make time to unplug. Turn off all devices and focus on each other. Play board games, read books, eat candy, talk. Make the most stressful subjects off limits, and focus only on each other.
  • Take a class together. Sign up to learn something new. Consider a cooking class, yoga, guided meditation, sewing, ballroom dancing or other activity you would both enjoy learning.
  • Make a scrapbook or slideshow. Scroll through old photos together and print some of your favorite memories to highlight in a scrapbook. If you prefer digital, make a slideshow of your best moments together and have it playing when they get home. Taking the time to remember the good times and show how much you care can reignite the spark.
  • Spoil them with a gift. Cancer treatment is expensive, and you may both feel like you have to cut out extra spending. But, if you can find it in the budget, splurge on a gift that would make your loved one’s day. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and if you need help, reach out to family and friends for small donations. Surprise them with a favorite book, box of chocolate, tickets to an event, or other item you know they would appreciate.
  • Be adventurous. Sometimes we all need a change of scenery to clear our minds. Take an overnight trip, camp in the backyard, visit a state park, or do a scavenger hunt in your city.
  • Get intimate. Sex and intimacy often suffer during cancer treatment, and having sex may be the furthest thing from your mind. But taking the time to at least be intimate, whether with a massage, touching or cuddling can help you both unwind and reconnect.

Cancer doesn’t have to slow your relationship. Make your loved one feel special and show them you appreciate everything they’re doing for you. Making time for each other will keep your relationship strong as you look toward the future.

If you’re concerned about how to maintain closeness with your partner during cancer treatment, speaking with a professional counselor can help.

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Patricia Chaney
Patricia Chaney