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When Dating Through Cancer, The Only Constant is Change

I’m in the first year of a new relationship and I find out I have a lump the doctor says might be cancer. How do I even start a conversation with my partner about this? I’m 20 years old. 20-year-olds don’t have to tell their partners they might have cancer. This conversation is for older people who have lived more of their life and are a bit more settled into their relationships.

Yet here I am, and I need to tell him.

Our first year is full of a variety of dates, spontaneity, passion. It still feels new and nerve-wracking as we share more about ourselves, start to open up a bit more, and learn each other deeper and more intimately. It takes me a while to trust someone in this way, and so much work and time has been built into doing so.

I fear this is all about to change.

One year into a relationship that exists one way has to adapt or it has to end.

I have the conversation. My mind goes fuzzy as I have it (and even as I write this I have to ask my partner to help me remember exactly what happened). But the relationship doesn’t end. He tells me not to panic (yet) because we weren’t entirely sure that cancer is the conclusion at this time.

And things do change.

First, it starts with him. Our relationship is long-distance and I’m not talking a few hours away. We live on opposite sides of the country. He’s living in Washington while I’m in school in New York. It’s the day after he accepts a dream job, one that will keep him rooted and remote. He resigns before it even starts. A big action that sets the tone of our relationship moving forward.

Before this time, the little details while dating didn’t matter as much. Yes, I’ll spend eight hours overnight on a video call. Yes, when we do see each other we’ll spend the entire

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I’m in the first year of a new relationship and I find out I have a lump the doctor says might be cancer. How do I even start a conversation with my partner about this? I’m 20 years old. 20-year-olds don’t have to tell their partners they might have cancer. This conversation is for older people who have lived more of their life and are a bit more settled into their relationships.
ADVERTISEMENT A little constructive criticism is good in many relationships, whether romantic, platonic, or otherwise. But there’s a point where that becomes one of the breakup signs that the relationship has run its course. In fact, it becomes toxic.Most relationships are filled with genuine compliments.

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