What It’s Like To Be Bisexual In A Hetero Relationship

I’m a bisexual girl in a relationship with a straight guy. This isn’t really a big deal—I date both men and women, so having a boyfriend is par for the course—but I’ve actually run into a bunch of weird issues with it.

  1. I feel like my sexuality is hidden. As I’m walking through the mall holding my male partner’s hand, I look straight. People can’t tell that I’m bisexual because all they see is me with a man, so they assume that I’m straight and my queer identity is hidden away. You can’t really tell from looking at someone that they’re LGBTQ unless they’re like holding someone’s hand of the same gender. Since this isn’t the case, my sexuality is blotted out. Some people wouldn’t be bothered by this but I am.
  2. I feel a little less connected to the LGBTQ+ community. In the times that I’ve dated women, I’ve felt significantly connected to the LGBTQ+ community. I’ve felt a real sense of being tapped into my fellows. I feel a little less so when I’m in a hetero relationship. It almost feels as if I don’t deserve to be part of the community because I have the privileges that come with being in a straight relationship. I know this isn’t true and that I’m always a part of my community regardless of who I’m dating, but I can’t help how I feel.
  3. My partner has his own reactions. Being with a straight man as a bisexual woman means that my partner has his own reactions to my sexuality. A response that I’ve gotten in the past was that making out with a girl while I’m drinking is cheating whereas if I was straight, it wouldn’t be. This is perfectly rational. He might also be more jealous of my male exes than the women I’ve been with. I can’t control anyone else’s reactions and it’s hard to accept that at times.
  4. I miss things about dating women. Even if I’m super happy with my boyfriend, I still have feelings of missing dating women. I have these same feelings about men when I’m with women too. I’ll miss simple things like the softness of a woman’s skin and bigger things like our seemingly larger capacity for empathy. This longing isn’t enough to ruin my relationship, but it’s there.
  5. It’s assumed that I want to have a threesome. OK, I don’t date men who assume this, so it isn’t my boyfriend that’s making the assumption. Rather, it’s people outside like his friends or random people we meet. It’s the wink my boyfriend receives when another guy finds out I’m bisexual. This is all totally gross. I’m not a piece of meat and I’m not up for group sex just because I like more than one gender.
  6. Sometimes I question my sexuality. Sexuality is fluid; it’s something that can shift regularly or over time. I’ve wondered at points if I’m just straight because I date far more men than I do women. Other times I’ve wondered if I’m totally gay and I’m fighting it. Who knows? I guess I’ve gotten to a point where it doesn’t really matter, but I do still think about it from time to time.
  7. Some people think I’m twice as likely to cheatI don’t date anyone that has this mindset either because I don’t date total idiots. Rather, this comment usually comes from a guy’s friend or some random person who doesn’t know anything about me. They make the assumption that I’m more likely to cheat because I’m attracted to more people. This is just totally outrageous, my loyalty has nothing to do with my sexuality.
  8. I have people tell me they thought I was a lesbian. Apparently, if I date a woman, people just think I’m a lesbian so they totally erase my bisexuality. Because of this, when I later find myself dating a man, I have people tell me that they thought I was a lesbian. When I ask why, they usually won’t tell me, but I can guess it’s the fact that I’ve dated a woman in the past. It shocks people that I actually date women, men, and non-binary folk.
  9. People ask me why I like men more. I’ve had people ask me while I’m in a hetero relationship why I like men more than I like women. They don’t know that I do, they’re just making the assumption based on me being with a dude. It’s pretty annoying because I wouldn’t say that I like men more at all.
  10. People assume I’m “returning to men” when I date one. When I’ve dated a woman and then soon after dated a guy, I’ve had people make comments about me “returning to men.” They’ll ask if there’s a reason or they’ll just make their own assumptions. There’s no going back or forth to any gender. I just date whoever comes onto my path regardless of their gender.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.