Some women today have chosen a single lifestyle and are comfortable with that; others have concerns about how breast cancer will effect their ability to find a partner. Every woman has to find her own level of comfort in exploring a new relationship. Here are a few things to think about:

* Many single women worry about how and when to reveal their breast cancer diagnosis to a new potential partner. Think about your diagnosis as you would other very personal information. You probably don’t reveal everything on a first date, but wait until you have some trust in this new person, a sense of mutual care and concern. If you anticipate a sexual encounter, you may wish to bring the subject up before sexual contact is imminent.

* Breast cancer is receiving a lot of attention and people are having experiences where friends, daughters and mothers are talking about it openly. Greater numbers of men are more supportive than you think. Women partners may especially understand however may also have their own anxieties about breast cancer.

* Breast cancer is not who you are. Don’t let it define you. Accept the possibility that you may be rejected, but understand the problem is with the other person, not you.

* Setting realistic standards for partners will always help no matter what the circumstances. For example, a partner who does not show support and understanding for your diagnosis may not be a person you would find much happiness with. Look to friends you trust to connect you with someone new.

* If you had relationship problems before, breast cancer may not be the reason for problems now. Exploring these issues with a counselor will help you move ahead.