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8 Amazing Things You Can Do To Support Your Bisexual Partner

8 Amazing Things You Can Do To Support Your Bisexual Partner

8 Amazing Things You Can Do To Support Your Bisexual Partner

No, we're not going to cheat on you. Promise.

Having a bisexual partner for the first time can feel daunting. In a world where bisexuality is so stigmatized and misunderstood, it's natural that you may wonder how exactly if and how the relationship dynamic could be affected by your differing sexualities. Supporting a bi partner isn't just about your understanding, either - it goes further than that. It's about helping your partner to teach others exactly what it does and doesn't mean to be bisexual, too. Anyway, here's how to be the best partner you can be to your bi girlfriend...

(RELATED: 10 Reasons This Lesbian Is Thankful for Bisexual Women)

8. Let us talk about previous relationships.


People mention exes in conversation. They're part of our history, it's normal. You do it, we do it. We get that it might feel weird for you to imagine us with a guy. You might compare yourself unfavorably, wondering if you're "enough" for us. Or, conversely, you might feel insulted that we've dated icky MEN before you. But you've no more reason to be jealous or dismissive of our ex-boyfriends than we have to be jealous or dismissive of your ex-girlfriends. We have the capacity to be attracted to more than one gender, you don't. Right now, we're with you and that's it. And if we're having an open relationship? Then accepting that we see "hearts not parts" applies even more.

7. Don't KEEP asking us which we prefer (once is enough).

OK, it's alright to ask us once, but... We prefer YOU right now, hon, and that's all that matters! True, many bisexuals do have a gender-preference, but it's generally more about quantity than quality of attraction. If you have the hots for three women and seven men in one year, it doesn't mean the crushes on the women were any less intense.

6. Trust us.

Bisexual does not automatically = huge risk of clandestine affair with a man. We can live without a man. It's amazing, but we can. Right now you are enough for us. Please believe us when we say it. If you want to step into the bedroom so you can double-check, we're up for that. Bisexuality does not mean reducing people to their gender identities and requiring a taste of everything. It just means the gender of an individual is less of an issue for us than it is for you.

5. Don't be afraid to ask us questions though.

It's OK to ask us things, however dumb they might seem (unless it's "Which do you prefer?" 200 times, of course - see number 7). We'd rather you did that than sat and stewed on a big pile of misconceptions and let them sabotage the relationship. If you want to ask us exactly how men and women have sex and what it feels like, go ahead (we'll only laugh a little bit, honest). If you want to ask us when we first realized we were bi, go ahead. If you want to ask us if we miss men, we'll tell you for the 200th time that we don't. Please, actually, don't ask us 200 times.

4. Watch and read.

There are some excellent bisexual films out there which we'll happily curl up and check out with you and some rad books we'll gladly lend you. They are in turn romantic, heartwarming, messy, tragic and everything in between - just like their straight and gay counterparts. Sometimes a protagonist's bisexuality is a focal point; at other times it's just accepted and not dwelt upon. Moviewise, maybe kick off with Appropriate Behavior, Margarita with a Straw, Frida and Chasing Amy. Novelwise, try Orlando by Virginia Woolf, Gut Symmetries by Jeanette Winterson and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. And in the non-fiction category, I recommend Shiri Eisner's Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution and Bi Lives: Bisexual Women Tell Their Stories for starters.

3. Educate your friends.

If your friends ask you awkward questions, don't just ignore them or brush them off for the sake of a quiet life. Use the chance to make them think a little more deeply about what they're saying. This especially goes for any time they decide to actively tease you about your girlfriend's bisexuality, however "lighthearted" it might seem. Who knows - with a little help they might be the next one to have their mind opened to the possibility of happiness with a bi partner.

2. Join us behind the Bi Pride banner sometimes.

(Photo by Peter Salanki. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

We could use some allies, seriously. It's not fun having people laughing at you and shouting "Breeders!" Trust me, I speak from bitter experience. Helping build bridges between bi people and the rest of the LGBT community is one of the best things you could do for us. You don't have to be bisexual to be a bisexual activist, anymore than you have to be an animal to be an animal rights activist.

1. Allow us to use the 'B' word to describe ourselves whenever we need to.

That's what we are. We don't become lesbians just because we date you. Calling ourselves bisexual is not a sign that we're not in it for the long haul with you, anymore than you calling yourself a lesbian rather than [our name]-sexual is a sign that you'll be hopping on to the next woman soon. It's an honest acknowledgement of our identities.

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Charlotte Dingle