Hi, Bi Guy: Dating Guys For The First Time
If you’re a bisexual guy and you haven’t been with other guys yet, the idea might seem a little daunting, for a number of reasons. The reality doesn’t have to be so tricky, however, despite the worries you might have.
Maybe you haven't even talked about it before
There’s not a lot of info out there for men about dating other guys - particularly when compared to the wealth of advice available for men about dating women.
Likewise, discussions around dating with family and friends are also likely to be heteronormative in nature, so it’s not uncommon for bi guys to feel a little lost, or as if it’s tricky to know where to begin.
Unless, that is, you have a network of fellow bi guys to talk to. There’s no time like the present to get started, and there are some valuable resources online, when you know where to look. There’s plenty of advice on the main Scarleteen website, Scarleteen boards, the Scarleteen subreddit, and there’s also the r/Bisexual subreddit too.
Maybe you're scared about The Great Unknown
Of course, in many ways dating somebody will be the same regardless of their gender or yours, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel slightly more apprehensive about dating another guy. Moving into dating guys can feel like a big step, but it’s not one to be scared of, as I’ll explain below.
The reality is that dating guys isn’t too different from dating people of other genders, and as you know, all men are different. Your experience with one guy could be entirely different to your experience with another, so it makes sense to view every guy you date as their own person outside of their identity as male.
Maybe it makes your identity feel more real (and that makes you feel anxious)
It’s only natural that you might feel a little nervous. You might be wondering whether it’s best to be upfront about your bisexuality or not. While that’s your choice, honesty is probably the best policy - as long as you feel safe in coming out.
Dating a man for the first time might cause different feelings to arise in yourself too, or maybe you’re wondering how to mention it to other people in your life. According to Lewis Oakley, bisexual activist, “You don’t need to tell everyone everything if you don’t want to. If you would prefer to take time before sharing that you are dating a man, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re going back into the closet. It just means that you want to be alone with your thoughts on the subject before other people share theirs.”
You’re allowed to take time to work out what you want, and who you want to be. If you’re not comfortable talking about things with people in your life, you don’t have to, and likewise if you don’t feel ready to actually date other guys right now, that’s cool too.
Maybe you're worried you'll encounter more biphobia now
Unfortunately, biphobia, bias against bisexual people or the very idea of bisexuality, exists in both gay and straight communities, and it’s something that you might encounter when dating other guys. We can’t promise that you’ll never experience biphobia, but it’s important to remember that somebody else’s biphobia is their problem - it’s not a reflection on you.
Your sexuality is part of who you are - is it worth hiding it away for a partner who may or may not be accepting? If somebody is biased against bisexual people and you're a bisexual person, they’re not going to be right for you. Yes, dealing with rejection rooted in biphobia sucks. However, it’s ultimately their loss, and you’ll be better off without them.
Maybe you're afraid of rejection
Of course, rejection won’t always be down to biphobia. When dating, dealing with rejection is inevitable, and if you’re dating guys for the first time it’s going to be no different. If you get rejected, it’s best to handle it in much the same way as you would if you were rejected by a female partner.
Nobody likes being rejected, but if you can handle it with grace and civility that’s ideal. As obvious as it sounds, nobody is obliged to date you, no matter how much we might disagree with their reasoning. It’s one of those things that takes time to get over, but you will get there.
Maybe you're worried about being inexperienced
It’s the same with being inexperienced. Okay, so your inexperience might not be something you bring up on the very first date, but it’s worth communicating that to your partner, and being real about any worries or anxieties you might have.
If the guy you’re seeing has more experience than you, they can help you through it (though it should be said we're all newbies with a new partner), while if they’re also inexperienced - perhaps they’re bi and new to dating men too - you can figure it out together. Again, if somebody wants to date you, they must like you - therefore, they should be understanding. If not, you can dodge that bullet sooner rather than later and work on finding someone better.
If you’ve dated or been in relationships with women before, were there times where you were more inexperienced than them? Yes, it might feel awkward, but it’s almost definitely a bigger deal for you than it is for them.
It might sound trite, but you can consider your new experiences to be part of your journey. Lewis Oakley, bisexual activist, describes “cultural differences” between dating men and women: “Expectations might be different; the image of ‘happily ever after’ might look different,” he explains. “Trust that you’re on a learning curve, have fun, laugh, explore, think. The worst thing you could do is turn this into a negative experience.”
Have you got any gay or bi friends who might be willing to help? There’s no shame in asking others in your life for advice - if they have a little more experience than you in the ‘dating men’ department, they could really help.
Lewis adds: “One thing I would say is embrace your journey and accept that your ‘dating maturity’ with women might be different to when you dated a woman. If you have ten years of experience dating women and suddenly go to dating a man, it can feel as if you’re clueless and back to the beginning. But that’s okay.”
It might take you back to an earlier time in your life when you were inexperienced dating women, and in some ways it will be similar. However, you’ve got this prior experience, and as such you won’t be a complete beginner - it’ll just be something new.
Above all, remember that your identity is valid too. There’s no requirement that you need to date an equal number of each gender to identify as bi, or that you need to adhere to certain roles. If you’re bi, you’re bi, no matter how often you date men, or how experienced you might be. And, as Lewis says, “Do what makes you feel comfortable. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.”