The bisexual community has an inside joke that describes what it’s like to date as a bi person: People think it means double the options or double the fun, but it really just means double the rejection.
Self-deprecating jokes like this one are at the core of the Single People Club regardless of sexuality, but bisexual people do face extra roadblocks in the dating world.
Yes, online dating sucks for everyone, but the fact that there’s only a single dating site that technically caters specifically to bi people (and even then, we have mixed feelings about it) means that many are frequently swiping on people who don’t take bisexuality seriously.
The unique dating challenges that bi people face boil down to one rigid concept: being too gay for some and too straight for others.
The “B” in LGBTQ+ makes up 50 percent of the queer community(Opens in a new tab), but it’s one of the least-acknowledged letters in the acronym. What makes the bi dating landscape — especially the online one — so tricky to maneuver?
Bisexuality is hyper-sexualized on heteronormative apps
A frequent bisexual experience is one that all women face online, now heightened by the mere mention of “bi” in a dating app bio: men being creepy. Too many straight men have yet to grasp the concept that bisexuality is not a green light to ask a stranger how many girls they’ve been with or if she likes men or women better.
How to flirt when you’ve just come out as bi
23-year-old Megan from Virginia told us via Facebook that she couldn’t even count the number of gross (slash ignorant) messages she’d received from men in reference to writing “bi” in her Tinder bio. “There were times when they would be like ‘Oh, you never seemed gay in high school’ or whatever, because gay is obviously a personality trait 🙃,” she said. “Like my sexuality wasn’t a real thing or it was just a fetish to these people.”
Even on Bicupid(Opens in a new tab), the aforementioned singular dating site made specifically for bi people, there are a lot of couples looking for bi-women to hook up with — it’s not necessarily wrong, but it plays into the assumption that a bi person’s dream is to have a threesome.
Catfishing is also an issue. Some men have such a rabid obsession with queer women that they’ll sign up for a dating site as a woman just to see an all-women swiping field. It’s a total privacy breach at the least, and certainly doesn’t boost your willingness to meet up with someone in real life. Many dating sites require some form of Facebook or ID verification these days, and in the case of Tinder, have built-in background checks as a feature of the app.
Queer dating apps aren’t always inviting, either
Does “gold star lesbian(Opens in a new tab)” ring a bell? The delineation is given to lesbians who have never slept with a man. Countless bisexual women have reported being ghosted after disclosing that they have been with a guy before, and profiles with “gold stars only” in the bio have popped up, too.
Then there’s the issue of bi people feeling invisible when they’re deemed too “straight passing,” which can often happen in queer spaces. This kind of invalidation contributes to many bisexual folks’ struggles of not feeling queer enough.
Why people think you should still put “bi” in your dating app bio
Adding those two simple letters to your bio will draw some unwanted attention, and it’s going to be a pain in the ass. But in the long run, it’ll also act like an asshole filter(Opens in a new tab) to weed out people who try to put sexual orientation into a box.
The idea that being bisexual is just a pit stop to being “fully-blown gay” — or that it means that you’re attracted to everyone you see — probably aren’t thoughts you’d prefer a partner to have. The easiest way to ensure that you won’t be left heartbroken over someone not accepting your sexuality? Let them know from the jump.
One writer for Tinder’s blog(Opens in a new tab) mentions that, despite his number of matches dropping once he put “bi” in his profile, he found more meaningful connections with open-minded men and women and had a more positive experience in general: “For the first time in my life, women wanted to date me for something that others ostracized. I felt empowered and optimistic about my romantic future.”
“Coming out” over and over again is unfair. But doing so right off the bat also acts as an early screening for people who identify as bi but say they wouldn’t date another bi person(Opens in a new tab) — something that a lot of bi men experience from bi women.