I enjoy exploring the unknown and the boundaries of love and life.
What Does It Mean to Be Bisexual Anyway?
Many people push the ongoing stigma around bisexuality. The stigma of having double the selection when it comes to dating is pretty unfair. What it really means when it comes to being bisexual is that you probably are going to face double the rejection. Most of the dating sites today don't really accommodate individuals who are of this orientation. In addition, the LGBTQ+ community tends to overlook this identity...you're either too much of this or that or people assume you are polyamorous or really just straight, which isn't the case. On some sites, people even refer to seeking out bi women as "unicorn hunting", which is the act of n identifying male/female couple seeking out a bisexual woman for pure interest.
Why so Many Stigmas?
You've come to dating sites to find a partner and you are truly looking for love. How do you find love with so much to navigate? Many bisexual woman who sign up on Tinder or OkCupid and put "bi" in their profile report get inundated with messages from disingenuous men. What a headache to deal with!
We know you aren't just available for anyone, but the ignorant messages can be numerous. It's not uncommon for bi individuals to get fetishized or passed on if they've never actually experimented with the same gender (they often get overlooked and labeled as straight). Biphobia is real!
What Are the Best Bi-Friendly Dating Apps?
The good news is that there are some bi-friendly dating apps. Some sites or apps you will want to avoid and others you might enjoy. We will also talk about ways you can filter through the creepy messages and really put yourself out there without worry.
Best Bi-Friendly Apps
- OkCupid: It's free and attracts left-leaning individuals who are often passionate about social issues.
- HER: Queer-only app for "girls" and also free.
- Tinder: Tinder welcomes the LGBTQ+ community and user base. It is all about community and free. (Offers 37 orientations to identify with).
- Hinge: Hinge is targeted towards millennials and is all about personality and is also free.
- Grindr: Grindr is a great place to meet men.
Apps to avoid include Match and EHarmony as they tend to be less inclusive.
Why You Should Put "Bi" on Your Profile
You will want to put bi on your profile for your dating app bio. You will definitely have to pick through the creepy messages and people, but it's better to be authentic than to deal with heartache down the line. Here are some tips on how to find love below.
- Be authentic: Put "bi" on your bio, even if you are still new to understanding your orientation.
- Be clear: Let those who you are engaging with know early on about your orientation.
- Be bold: Don't be afraid to filter out the creeps! Stand up for yourself!
- Rule out ignorance: You will need to put on your investigative cap and rule out people who aren't worth your time. This includes fetishization.
- Seek connection: Be your authentic self and seek out someone who accepts you for you, no expectations attached.
- Expect a challenge: There is a true lack of decent apps for bisexual individuals. Understanding that this is the case and seek out left-leaning apps like OkCupid and platforms that are big on social issues. Tinder, for example, offers 37 sexual orientations.
How Is Bisexuality Different From Pansexuality?
It shouldn't surprise anyone that dating preference and a person's sexual behavior can be different from how they identify when it comes to sexual orientation. There is still great pressure in this society to align with heterosexual norms. Identity often changes with age and life experience. Studies actually state that people who identify as bisexual are less likely to come out about it than those who identify as homosexual (men and women).
Biphobia is the root of prejudice which creates fear around the bisexual identity and community. Stigmas like "you haven't picked a side" and "it's just a phase" are terribly damaging. It's not about making up one's mind. If you identify as bisexual, you don't have to accept either straight or homosexual...there is no such thing as picking a side (unless you want to pick a side)!
If you are bisexual, you can be romantically or physically attracted to more than one gender, and this can all fall on a spectrum. Let's take the example of romantic attraction. Healthline breaks it down.
- Aromantic = no attraction to any gender
- Biromantic = attraction to two or more genders
- Panromantic = attraction to all genders
- Heteroromantic = attraction to different gender
- Homoromantic = attraction to same gender
- Polyromantic = attraction to many genders
Bisexuality means attraction to both genders, but this statement isn't quite correct. It actually means attraction to nonbinary individuals too (not man or woman), so people who are bigender, agender, and genderfluid. It is important to state that nonbinary people are members of this community. You can certainly be attracted to more than two genders if you are bisexual. This is where the term "pansexual" comes in.
Pansexual really means "all" and means you are attracted to people of all genders (also including bigender, agender, and genderfluid). Pansexuality is the definition of attraction to all gender categories. Bisexual refers to multiple only (more than one but not all). Nonbinary people do identify as bisexual. This is all ok!
What If I'm Attracted to One Gender More than Others?
You can still identify as bisexual or pansexual if you find one gender more attractive than others. This is simply personal preference. It's natural to have a preference, and don't let anyone make you feel otherwise. Your attraction can present in different ways. As shown above, you can be homoromantic (attracted to someone of the same gender for romantic reasons) and also be heterosexual. Orientation is a spectrum!
Love Is Respect and Acceptance
As defined, navigating the dating scene is rough. It is especially challenging for millennials and gen Zers, who have been dealing with all kinds of historical anomalies in addition to the challenges of digital dating. The most important aspect of compatibility is unconditional acceptance. There is no point in hiding your authentic self when it comes to love. Love is acceptance. Be careful not to be taken advantage of in the dating scene.
Identifying as bisexual is not something to be fetishized. Because of the true ignorance around this orientation, the stigmas, and the biphobia, it is especially important that you draw the line. Just as someone should not make you feel bad for lack of experience, they should not see you as a novelty. Always dig into the dating scene with respect for self. You are important and your identity is for you to determine, no one else. Love is beautiful and so are you.
© 2020 Brynn B Lewis
Alice Sullivan from Prague, Czech Republic on October 10, 2020:
As a fellow bisexual, I totally agree it can be a struggle! I have learned to just be completely open and honest about it now (even if it does mean dealing with mainly threesome requests on tinder!!).