You meet a cute guy in at a party and start talking. Wow, you’re really hitting it off! You start going on dates and you’re having a good time, but in the midst of pillow talk, he tells you that he’s bisexual.
You’re totally into him, but you may be wondering: Is dating a bisexual guy different from dating a heterosexual guy? Is there anything you need to be aware of when it comes to dating bisexual guys? Luckily, Her Campus is here to help you figure it out with a few things you need to know about dating a bisexual guy!
1. Everyone Defines Bisexuality Differently
Joyce Smith, a sexual health awareness advocate at Wesleyan University, says that sexual orientation is a spectrum, and it’s extremely important to understand this concept when heading into a relationship with a bisexual guy.
“Everyone defines their sexual orientation differently, and bisexuality can be a lot more complicated than just, ‘I like boys and girls,’” she explains.
Being bisexual also doesn’t mean that your boyfriend identifies as a different gender. “It is crucial to also realize that gender and sexual orientation are two separate concepts that intersect,” Smith says.
Smith’s advice? Going into your relationship, make sure you throw all preconceived notions of what it means to be bisexual out the window. Your guy might define it differently than you, and you don’t want your own biases to hinder what he’s trying to tell you. In addition, his level and depth of attraction to both sexes could differ greatly, so it’s important not to make any assumptions about it!
Jane*, a junior at Wesleyan University who has previously dated two bisexual guys, found that both guys viewed their bisexuality completely differently. “My first boyfriend who was bisexual told me that he had dated more women than men, and that was important to him when defining his sexuality,” she says. “In contrast, my second bisexual boyfriend was attracted to both guys and girls equally, and he thought that was an important part of being bisexual.”
Smith also reminds collegiettes that being bisexual says nothing about a person’s promiscuity. “Unfortunately, our culture sometimes associates bisexuality with being heavily sexual or unable to be monogamous, which is of course not the case!” she says. “It’s a common misconception, and it’s an important one to think about!”
2. You Should Be Respectful and Open-Minded
You might feel a little weird approaching a beau (or potential beau) about his sexuality; after all, sexuality is an extremely personal thing, and you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings!
Smith urges collegiettes to talk to their bisexual guy at the very beginning of the relationship instead of later on. “Before you talk, make sure you are both aware that you are having a serious conversation about sexual orientation and your relationship status, and make sure that it’s at an appropriate time,” she says. “Trying to discuss your boyfriend’s bisexuality while intoxicated at a loud party doesn’t make for a very thoughtful discussion. Make sure you are both ready and present to talk about sexuality, comfort and boundaries.”
In addition, Smith also advises thinking about what you are going to say before you head into the conversation. “Write down some questions you have beforehand. It’ll get you thinking about what you want to say and how you want to say it,” she says. “A lot of the time, conversations about sexuality and relationships turn sour when people don’t think before they speak!”
Even though your level of openness and honesty might differ depending on your relationship, there are a couple of sexual-orientation-conversation no-nos. “Definitely don’t ask him if he’s ‘sure’ he’s bisexual,” Jane says. “Sexual orientation is already a sensitive subject, and questioning a part of your boyfriend’s identity can feel insulting and could even turn him off to a conversation altogether.”
Jane recommends not talking about past sexual encounters during this first conversation. “It may come across as really inappropriate to ask your bisexual boyfriend how many guys and girls he’s slept with, so keep the sexual partner count off-limits for now!” she says. “Instead, talk about boundaries like you would in any other relationship. Are you two exclusive or able to see other people? This is something that’s important regardless of whom your partner is attracted to, and it could prevent issues with jealously or insecurity later on.”