(Thanks to First Descents for publishing my dating blog on their site. To read the entire thing, click here.)
Dating after cancer is the same as everything after cancer. It’s fun, confusing, depressing, memorable, inspiring and torturous among many other emotions that I cannot explain. Lately, dating has been fucking hilarious. I came across a guy on Bumble who had about 15 clothespins stuck to his face. In a past life, I would have swiped right out of sheer curiosity, but if cancer has done one thing, it’s made me sit up and listen. It’s made me rethink the choices I make, particularly in terms of romantic relationships.
Writers often lead fairly experimental lives, myself included. Over the years, I’ve had some real relationship doozies. I once had to financially support a travel partner during a month-long backpacking trip in the far reaches of South America because he blew his $100 budget on cocaine on the first night. Another one of my husbands left me stranded in a Scottish village because he was in the middle of a mental health crisis as a result of his bipolar disorder. Most recently, my ex-partner and father of my children stood me up on the eve of my double mastectomy so he could go out drinking. There’s a theme here, one that I’m determined to change.
These days, I date mostly through Bumble although I’m also kind of seeing someone in person. The fact that a person can use data and technology to both increase the size of their dating pool and the quality of it blows my mind. But I don’t understand it, so I move onto more tangible things such as how online dating is an incredible invitation in the psyche of a stranger. The way people position themselves, their needs, their flaws, their excuses and their sadness is mind boggling. It’s both an incredibly shallow experience and an incredibly vulnerable one.
(To read the rest of this piece, click here.)