Dating without breasts is just like dating with breasts, that is until you decide to go to second base, which ought to wait a while under any circumstances.
All dating rules apply when you begin dating. Generally, speaking about your illness or lack thereof (remission) is not necessary on the first few dates. There are plenty of interesting topics and other questions that should occupy the two of you before you reveal your health histories, unless you have a terminal illness with a few weeks or months to live, which may affect the future of the relationship. Even then, you are NOT the illness.
The same thing applies toward discussion of previous relationships and your recent dating experiences– just don’t.
Why would you NOT reveal that you had breast cancer or had lumpectomy/mastectomy? Well, because you haven’t even decided if you like each other yet. You barely know him so how would you feel if he told you right off the bat that he has small penis or a hairy back? So don’t feel like you need to disclose either. You will not be considered dishonest when you reveal your “secret” even if you wear prosthesis and he thinks that you have breasts.
Following the first cancer and breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy) I didn’t date much since my self-esteem was pretty low and so I chose to focus mainly on my hobbies. When I did finally date someone three years later, by then my radiated breast had shrunk, became hard and leathery but surprisingly that didn’t seem to bother the next suitor. Just as I thought a shrunken breast was a tough sell, I had to undergo my mastectomy. Then I got dumped.
Yes, I was sad but this time I wouldn’t let the mastectomy define me. I could not have have immediate reconstruction due to the radiation damage so I had fun shopping for prosthetic breasts. I tried on different breast sizes and realised that for dating I would stay true to what G-D had given me (B cup) so that “they” wouldn’t steal the show. I was thinking that once I got married, I would buy us some different sizes just for fun; if I wanted I could be a D cup in the bedroom and a B cup in the boardroom.
Ladies, don’t jump to second base so quickly. Take your time. When you get further ahead, you can gently ask the guy to “not go there” with his hands. Tell him you don’t feel comfortable just yet. He ought to respect your wish. You still don’t have to discuss it if he asks about it. That’s for when you feel comfortable. I didn’t tell my husband until a month and a half into the relationship. When we did smooch (I couldn’t help it, he was too hot) I just kept my bra on and he couldn’t tell. I only revealed it to him once I saw we genuinely liked each other.
I never had reconstructive surgery since my risk for complication is too high. So, I now look at breasts as a bonus not a necessity. Consequently, neither are ovaries, fallopian tube, or a uterus (which I now don’t have either.) The way I think about it is that lots of women have small breasts or are flat chested and they have no problems attracting men; similarly, there are plenty of voluptuous women having trouble finding a mate. It’s all a state of mind. Think of all the confident and sexy sophisticated women out there like Sophia Lauren and do as they do. If you just don’t “feel” sexy; fake it until you do and eventually you will. Catch yourself when you think “I’m fat/ugly” or worse, when you’re about to tell him that, and say “I’m just so gorgeous” as you pout your lips and bat your eye lashes. You’ll feel very Betty Boop.
THE BIG REVEAL…
So, how do you do the big reveal? Well, after the lumpectomy I didn’t bother mentioning cancer to anyone I dated unless we became intimate and then it was just a short sentence because there was not much to it – just a funny looking breast. About the mastectomy I told one guy on our second date while we were having a deep discussion but I don’t think he minded since that was followed by an all-night smoochathon. With my husband, however, I waited since I liked him very much and I was afraid he may reject me. I had gone on a trip and we were chatting on the phone one night when he had brought it up gently, “how come you won’t let me touch you; you look perfectly proportionate.” I declined to answer, again, and instead I sent him a short and sweet email (I know, unconventional, but it worked). I wanted to downplay the disease and mastectomy since I didn’t want him to be afraid of it and at the same time boost his ego, so I commended him on his intuition. Here is the email that awaited him first thing in the morning:
Your intuition is correct – I did have surgery. Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy.
I am fine fine fine now!!! Enjoying life. It’s behind me. So, don’t worry about it.
To which he replied a couple of hours later:
Just come back here already.
I miss you.
I knew I found myself a keeper!