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Do we settle in a relationship because we got cancer???

Irishgypsie's picture
Posts: 333
Joined: May 2010

Hello, I am almost 2 years out from my Tonsil cancer diagnosis. It was HPV+ so the survival rate is suppose to be about 85%, especially after the 2 year mark. As you can imagine like most I was severely depressed. Not only was I sad about the cancer; but I was still getting over a failed relationship from my ex-fiance. I had all these thoughts about never finding a women who would want to be with me as a cancer survivor, never having kids; let alone would I be alive in 2 years!! Anyway, about 4 months after treatment I decided to go on Match.com; (I know I should have waited till I was further out from my depression). :( Anyway, I met someone and she has been really loving and supportive of me, however I've been feeling that there just doesn't seem to be anything there, spark wise. I've told myself and her that I think it's the depression and I need time to figure things out and find out who this post cancer person is. I don't know if it's because I'm still depressed and am stuck in the past or if it's just that there is no spark? I feel guilty for hurting her when she has supported me so much!! I seem to be unable to move forward, like I'm stuck mourning the old healthy person I was!!! I am seeing a counselor and trying to work through my depression and possible relationship barriers?? I don't want to hurt her, she has been so kind to me; but I don't want to waste her time she deserves happiness!! :( As do I!!!! Maybe it was just to soon for me to start dating; I need more time to heal??? I have to learn to love myself again and let go of the past!! :(


Posts: 24
Joined: Apr 2012

hello I am a care giver but I would say you have to be honest and tell her there is no spark. Maybe you can be friends and move on from there. If she truely cares about you she will respect you and appreciate your honesty. I was on that site but left since I am busy dealing with taking care of my dad and myself.I also didnt want to date people just so that I wasn't alone. It is scary to wonder if I will ever find anyone since I have been around so much cancer. I have been trying to work on myself and trust that when the time is right that God will put the person in my life. I have learned that people come and go for different reasons. Good luck with things. Relationships are hard. I think your posting about this shows how wonderful and caring you are as a person and that you want to grow and be the best that you can be.
Take care of yourself one day at a time.
Keep smiling :)

jimwins's picture
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

Congratulations on your survival!

This is a good topic - emotion filled and difficult.
First, forgive yourself for being human. Reaching out to someone
in time(s) of crisis is very normal and human. I'm glad you're
seeing a counselor - you will probably find that invaluable in the days
to come.

I realize there is a certain "safety" in what you have (and you realize that too)
but "settling" in a relationship is generally destined for failure. I agree with
bearsmile that you and this person should try to develop/nourish a friendship.
It may be that you have to spend some time apart to get to that level which
I'm sure is frightening for you both. You are listening to your heart and it's
telling you this isn't the right person for that kind of relationship.

I'm no expert at relationships but I do understand loneliness and the cancer journey :).
I've been single for longer than I'd like to admit but I know my head isn't quite on straight since my cancer journey began. Before that, I was very focused on things that cancer has taught me aren't really important anymore. I'm re-learning (admittedly slowly :)) where I am and where I fit into life - no easy task.

Something you said rings of truth:
"Maybe it was just too soon for me to start dating; I need more time to heal??? I have to learn to love myself again and let go of the past...".

I have learned to "let go" of many things - that in and of itself brings some grief
and I'm still working on that. I think you're in that stage too - re-learning the
"new you" and dealing with everything. Try not to beat yourself up too much and make
this an opportunity for YOU - to grow and learn and become a better, happier person.
If you're not happy with yourself, how can you be happy and a positive part of a

I know I've rambled a bit here (normally I'm a better writer) and apologize - I just
have days like that ;). I wish you and your good friend the best. You both do deserve
to be happy.

Hugs and positive thoughts,

DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)

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