5 Dating Tips for Bi Men

1/13/2017

Amber Rose

You’ve probably heard how actress and model, Amber Rose, in her recent Loveline Podcast, mentioned that she wouldn’t feel comfortable dating a bi guy, even though she, herself, dates and is sexually/emotionally attracted to more than one gender.

Rose isn’t alone in her unwillingness to date bi men. An early 2016 study by Glamour, which polled 1,015 women ages 18-44, revealed that even though 47 percent of women said they had been attracted to another woman, 63 percent said they “wouldn’t date a man who has had sex with another man.”

The reason why women (and men) refuse to date us bi folks is because they believe several harmful stereotypes. They believe that we can’t be monogamous, that we’ll inevitably leave them for a person of another gender, that we’re confused, or that we’re closeted and gay. The list goes on and on, as I’m sure you know.

There is an assumption that there are always additional challenges to dating a bi person.

I remember when I first came out, I thought the world was going to be my oyster. I thought I had DOUBLE the chances of securing a date on a Friday night. I thought I would seamlessly transition between the gay and straight worlds, welcomed by both communities, and all folks would want to date me.

I was so naïve.

But now that I’ve been out for a few years and have successfully (and unsuccessfully) dated people of multiple genders and sexual orientations, I can safely say I’ve learned a few things about dating. Here’s what I wish I knew before dating as an out bi man:

1. You’re not obligated to put “bi” on your dating profiles (but it might help).

You’re not obligated to tell someone you’re bi prior to going on a date with them. It would also be bizarre if someone asked you on a date, and then you said, “Oh, by the way, I’m bi, so if you don’t want to date me that’s okay.” You really don’t need to do that.

That said, it can be nerve-wracking when you’re on a date with someone and they don’t know that you’re bi. Because you’re nervous about telling them, you can’t enjoy the date. You’re so worried about how to come out and about whether they’re still going to like you afterward that you can’t focus on whether or not you actually like them.

Thus in the beginning, until you feel more comfortable about coming out as bi, it’s nice to have it stated on your dating profile. That way, you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’re okay with it. If it’s on your profile, they definitely are okay with it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have agreed to a date with you.

2. Don’t come out like you have a severe illness.

When you do come out, don’t make it a big deal. You don’t need to preface it by saying “I have something super important to tell you.” You do not have pancreatic cancer. You are not sick, and there’s literally nothing wrong with you. If you act like it’s this huge secret or something of which to be ashamed, then the person with whom you’re on a date will think that too. Say it more coolly. Perhaps you can casually drop how you’ve previously dated someone of another gender before. Remember, it’s no big deal.

3. Date other bi people.

I’m not saying you ONLY have to date other bi folks, but I will say it’s easier. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the two long term relationships I’ve had since coming out were with other bi people. Things are just easier when you’re dating another bi person. They get the struggle, and they know the stereotypes are ridiculous. Again, you don’t need to limit yourself by only dating bi folks, but I think it’s smart to go to queer and bi+ spaces to meet other bi folks.

4. Never feel as if you need to justify your (bi)sexuality.

Often times, people want “proof” that you’re bisexual. And proof for them means that you’re equally attracted to men and women, and have dated/slept with an equal number of men and women. This is absolutely ridiculous and not a “qualification” for being bi. Don’t feel as if you need to prove you’re bi or over-share simply because people are challenging your bisexuality with interrogative questions. There is no one way to be bi. You know you’re bi, and that’s enough.

5. Some people won’t ever want to date you, and that’s okay.

Let me rephrase that: it’s not really okay. You, though, will be okay. Some people simply drank too much of the kool-aid and have very closed minded ideas about what a man and woman should be and how the two should be dating. Don’t waste your time trying to convince people to date you. Besides, these aren’t the people you really want to date anyway, right? Would you want to date someone who’s so hopelessly clueless about something as simple as sexuality and relationships? It’s good you know from the beginning that they’re not interested rather of three dates in. It saves both you and them time.

There will definitely be times when dating feels unbearable (regardless of orientation), but do your best to keep your chin up. I truly believe that there is a man, woman, or genderqueer person out there who would love to date your sexy bi self.

Zachary Zane
Zachary Zane a Brooklyn-based freelance writer, speaker, YouTuber, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, identity politics, relationships, and culture. He's a contributing editor at The Advocate Magazine, a columnist at Bi.org, and currently writes for The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Out Magazine, and PRIDE.