When I finally embraced my bisexuality five long years after kissing my first man, I was elated, convinced that the world would now be my oyster. I thought being bisexual would double my chances of a date on any given Friday night. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Women didn’t want to date me, fearing that I was using the bi label as a stepping stone to being “full-blown” gay. Whether or not they’d openly admit it, many feared I’d inevitably leave them fetlife ekÅŸi for a man. Rather, they were unbelievably condescending. They’d say things like, “Oh, honey! I was bi too. You’ll get there.” When I reaffirmed my bisexuality, letting them know that this isn’t a pitstop, but a final destination, they’d respond, “I know you think that. I did too.”
So I stopped telling people I was bisexual, at least on the first date. It wasn’t that I was ashamed of being attracted to all genders or attempting to hide my bisexuality. I hoped that if they got to know and trust me, they would believe I was bisexual. I also figured it would be easier to then assuage any fears they might have that I’d leave them for a person of another gender.
While a good idea in theory, it didn’t work well in practice. It was challenging to erase elements of bisexuality when talking about myself. I’d end up doing things like lying and changing the gender of my exes. I’d then obsess over when I should tell them that I’m bi. So instead of getting to know the person in front of me and seeing if I actually want to date them, I instead became a ball of anxiety, wondering when I should tell them. I became transfixed on if they would want to date me.
And the thing is, when I did eventually come out as bisexual, it didn’t typically end the way I had hoped. I remember I had one woman ghost me after our second date when I told her I was bisexual. I thought our first two dates went exceptionally well. We had met through a mutual friend, so when I asked the friend why my date ghosted me, my friend told me she didn’t feel “comfortable” with my bisexuality. I was crushed. I really liked her, and she seemed to like me too!
At that moment, I decided to update my Bumble bio to include that I’m bisexual. I didn’t want to like someone and have them like me, only to dump me because they aren’t “comfortable” dating a bi man. I wanted everyone to know up front. If they chose to match with me, then I knew they were open to dating a bi man.
After adding my bisexuality to my Bumble bio, I got fewer matches, especially with cisgender women, but there was a silver lining. I was far more compatible with the matches I made. For one, I started matching with a lot of folks who were bi themselves. I also noticed that the people who were open to dating men who identified as “bisexual” in their profiles were the people I actually wanted to date. They tended to be more open-minded, less judgemental, less likely to believe in gender norms, and more secure in themselves. These are my people! So while I matched with far fewer folks, I was much more compatible with the people I matched with.
Of course, this is just my experience. I know it’s different when a woman lists that she’s bi in her bio. On dating apps, bi women are often solicited by opposite-sex couples seeking a third, for instance. That’s something I luckily don’t have to deal with. If you’re a bi woman and share your sexuality in your profile, I’d suggest adding that you’re not interested in threesomes and looking for a monogamous relationship (if that’s what you are indeed seeking) in your About Me section.
My online dating experience improved exponentially once I was open about my bisexuality from the start. For the first time ever, I feel like I can find a serious romantic partner online. Still, I know many folks attracted to multiple or all genders don’t feel comfortable claiming a bisexual, pansexual, queer, or fluid label-and that’s totally okay! You don’t have to, but if you do feel comfortable publicly embracing the label, I highly recommend you list it in your Bumble bio.