Relationships and sexuality
Communication plays a big part in any relationship. Talking is one way to communicate, but facial expressions, body language, gestures and tone all contribute to how we express our thoughts, feelings and ideas.
If you're in a relationship
Back to top
If you’re in a relationship, talking about cancer and the impact it has could be an important way to help you both cope.
If the person you’re speaking with is your sexual partner, it’s best not to ignore talking about this side of your relationship. If you had an active sex life before the illness,
it will probably be affected by the diagnosis or its treatment. This can be caused by many factors, such as the physical effects of the cancer or its treatment, and the emotional impact of living with cancer.
If you feel your partner is distant from you, try telling them as gently as you can. You may need to focus more on sensuality than sexuality at this time. Using touch can be an important way of telling someone how you feel and help you communicate emotions that are not easily expressed in words. Try to explain your needs and discuss what can be done by either or both of you. A simple discussion can make a big difference and will help both of you to understand how the other is feeling.
You may find our section on cancer, you and your partner helpful.
Linda and Ron talk about the impact that Ron's cancer diagnosis had on their relationship.
If you’re single, you may or may not feel like this is the right time to start a new relationship. If you do want to start a new relationship, it may be difficult to decide what to tell a new partner about your cancer, and also when to tell them. It’s best to be open with the other person and make time to discuss your situation.
If you think that you need some help, you can find support from friends and others who love you. You can also contact our cancer support specialists.
You may find our section on sexuality and cancer helpful.