In the wake of Aaron Carter’s girlfriend breaking up with him after coming out as bisexual, I’ve been thinking a lot more about different-gender or "straight" relationships. More specifically, when a bisexual man dates a cisgender, straight woman. It’s not at all surprising to me that Aaron Carter’s girlfriend broke up with him for being bi. In fact, in Dr. Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli’s recently-published book, Women in Relationships with Bisexual Men: Bi Men by Women, she notes that roughly a third of women immediately break up with their (male) partner when they find out he’s bisexual.
Since I’ve come out as bisexual publicly, a little over three years ago, I haven’t actually dated a straight, cisgender woman seriously. Every woman I’ve dated more than casually has been bisexual, queer, or/and trans. This is partly due to to the fact I’m not meeting a lot of straight/cis women in my day-to-day life. I choose to exist in primarily gay or queer male-dominated spaces. I feel more comfortable in those spaces as opposed to straight ones. I also prefer to date queer/bi women because they’re less likely to believe negative stereotypes about bi guys because they too, are attracted to more than one gender. This makes the relationship a little easier to navigate.
But I know I’m not in the majority of men. In fact, most bi men do date straight women. Additionally, many bi men are also closeted to the straight women they date.
Nevertheless, I would imagine it would be a lot healthier, and these men would have a more fulfilling relationship, if they were truthful to their female partners about their sexual orientation.
So here are some tips to help you come out to your straight girlfriend/wife.
1. Be direct
Don’t beat around the bush, and don’t seem unsure of yourself. Say it point-blank. “I have something to tell you. I’m bisexual. I’m also attracted to men.” If you seem confused or unsure of yourself, she may use that as an opportunity to question your sexuality. You may receive responses like, “Oh my god, you’re actually just gay!” or “No, you’re just confused.”
2. Let them know why you’re telling them
I think this is crucial, and often something guys forget to do. If you still want to be together with your girlfriend, then tell her something along the lines of, “I’m telling you this because I care for you, and want to be with you. But I think it’s important not to keep secrets. I want you to like all of me, and I don’t want to hide who I am. I don’t want to date anyone else. I still want to date you.” Or, if you feel like you need to explore your sexuality with other men, then let her know you want to do that. She may say “Absolutely not,” because she wants a monogamous relationship. Of course, that’s completely fine and her prerogative. But you know yourself. If you won't feel satisfied unless you explore those attractions to men, then yes, you should be breaking up (or asking for a non-monogamous relationship). Don’t be a coward and go around cheating on her with guys. That’s far, far worse than telling the truth.
3. Be clear that you still love her and this has nothing to do with her
Make sure she realizes that you still love her. It’s actually because you love and respect her that you’re telling her the truth. She may think she did something wrong, which is not the case at all. So make sure she understands that your sexuality has to do with you and not her.
She may still break up with you. It’s highly likely. But you want her to love and accept you for who you are, including your sexual identity. If she doesn’t, it’s important for your own happiness and well-being that you find someone who does.