Dating After Breast Cancer

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By Aubrey Kyung 

Haaay gurrrlll heeeeyy! My name is Aubrey, I’m 36 years old and learning to love my body after breast cancer –– which ended with a bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Before breast cancer, my dating life was pretty active.  I was talking to a handful of different guys via dating apps, but none of them interested me enough to warrant my time or effort.


I had a biopsy and mammogram on January 11, 2019 and confirmed my fears three days later. A guy who I thought would be part of my support system turned out to be another ‘f*ckboy’ who only cared about himself. Looking back makes me sad –– he was the first person I told my news to and he is no longer in my life. But, you live and you learn –– am I right? It was like everything the Universe was trying to tell me had FINALLY sunk in. He didn’t care about me; he cared about how I made him feel. 


Being a single woman battling breast cancer taught me that I was living life for others –– always taking care of everyone around me. I found myself chasing guys who were emotionally unavailable, but needed to check that “hot-Asian chick” off their dating list. I equated codependency with love. I didn’t have boundaries in place, and I didn’t have the tools I currently have to work through: The separation of my ego and authentic self. It wasn’t until I dove DEEP down to my darkest secrets and healed past traumas that I realized I am worthy of love and to be loved by a man who is ready to LOVE. REAL F*CKING LOVE. The freeing kind of love. They need to know that in order to love me, you need to love you. All of you. I need you to know who you are as a person. I’m not chasing; I'm ATTRACTING the love I know I deserve.  I will go off of your actions, not your words. As a Virgo, you have to stimulate my mind and keep me interested. Do you know what your top three love languages are? What are you grateful for? How do you treat others? These are the things we should all think about.


I was told that if you don’t heal the pain from your past relationship, you bring that energy into the next relationship. After reflecting on my past, this advice explained SO much. I still had work to do to fully heal myself after a toxic relationship that ended in divorce. I had a lot of pent up anger and resentment that I needed to feel, and then I finally let that shit go. Now don’t get it twisted… I’m not proud of the things I’ve done, but I have come to appreciate the lessons I have learned in my 36 years on this planet. Everything I’ve experienced up to this point has taught me to really love myself and if I can battle f*cking breast cancer, I can LOVE all the scars and all the lessons learned so far on this journey. Some of my old videos days after chemo are hard to watch, because I’m not ready to relive that shitty feeling. I feel good right now and I want to continue building on that feeling. So, I’m working from the inside out. I look at it as a rebirth. Who do I want to be? Who was I before breast cancer? Who am I in the now? What do I want to do? How can I help inspire other breast cancer survivors?


As I write this, I think about COVID-19 and how this has turned the world upside down. But I also see the silver lining: Being able to connect with breast cancer survivors from all over the globe through the Oregon Breasties Chapter. I believe the Universe will always bring me the people I need, in the places I’m meant to be, and at the right time. But my job isn’t to question; my job is to do the work and always have gratitude. I mean I’m here writing for MAKEMERRY! I try to bring the type of energy in a person I want to meet. The BEST compliment in my opinion is the energy you bring into a room and that’s what I work on every day. I try to live life each day with more intention. From the foods I eat, to the books I read, the way I move my body, the way I engage on social media and the news I consume. It all connects eventually and until it does, I plan on living a life for ME in the NOW. 


So, the big question: When will I start dating? Put it this way, I am never opposed to meeting someone and connecting in some type of way, but I am not chasing it. It hasn’t even been a year since my mastectomy with reconstructive surgery, so I will continue to date ME. I want to be living a life that I love before I seek someone out and jump back into online dating.


For anyone who is reading this, I don’t care how old you are –– you deserve to be loved for who you are. You should never have to convince someone to love you. Things do not define you. Be aware of yourself and if something feels off, it usually is. Most importantly, love will ALWAYS prevail!

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