This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for the UK audience.
The bisexual community has an inside joke that describes what it’s like to date as a bi person: People think it means double the options or double the fun, but it really just means double the rejection.
Self-deprecating jokes like this one are at the core of the Single People Club regardless of sexuality, but bisexual people do face extra roadblocks in the dating world.
Yes, online dating sucks for everyone. Horny jerks disguise themselves as relationship seekers, your DMs are constantly filled with bad pickup lines and overly persistent creeps, and many times, the site’s algorithm ignores the filters that you’ve set. But the fact that there are no dating sites that cater specifically to bi people means that they’re frequently swiping on people who don’t take bisexuality seriously.
The “B” in LGBTQ+ makes up 50 percent of the queer community, but it’s one of the least-acknowledged letters in the acronym. There are dating sites for lesbians and dating sites for gay men, but nothing specifically for those who identify as bisexual. What makes the bi dating landscape — especially the online one — so tricky to manoeuvre?
What is unicorn hunting?
One of the most antiquated stereotypes about bisexual people is that they’re always down to get physical and down for polyamory. “Unicorn” is a term used to describe a bisexual person (usually a woman) who sleeps with heterosexual couples. In online dating, unicorn hunting is when a straight, taken female user toggles that she’s “looking for women” — not genuinely looking for a girl to get to know romantically, but rather for a girl interested in a threesome with her and her boyfriend or husband or whoever. Of course, they don’t mention this until later.
The best dating sites and apps for women
No one is saying that threesomes are bad. Reddit users who have experienced this mention that they don’t have a problem with “ethical non-monogamy.” They have a problem with being tricked into it.
Are bisexuals welcome on heteronormative apps?
Another frequent bisexual experience is one that all women face online, now heightened by the mere mention of “bi” in a dating app bio: men being creepy. Too many straight men have yet to grasp the concept that bisexuality is not a green light to ask a stranger how many girls they’ve been with or if she likes men or women better.
Catfishing is also an issue. Some men have such a rabid obsession with queer women that they’ll sign up for a dating site as a woman just to see an all-women swiping field. It’s a total privacy breach at the least, and certainly doesn’t boost your willingness to meet up with someone in real life. Many dating sites are working to increase transparency about first name and age by requiring Facebook verification during sign-up.
Are queer dating apps inviting to bisexual users?
Does “gold star lesbian” ring a bell? The delineation is given to lesbians who have never slept with a man. Countless bisexual women have reported being ghosted after disclosing that they have been with a guy before, and profiles with “gold stars only” in the bio have popped up, too.
This crowd of Reddit users explain the ways they’ve experienced biphobia on gay or lesbian dating sites. They’ve been told that they’re not “actually bisexual” if they haven’t been with anyone of the same gender before or that they’re “basically straight” if their most recent relationship was a heterosexual one. Summed up: if you’re not monosexually gay, it’s a cop-out. Invalidating someone’s sexual experiences is the opposite of the supportive sex-positivity that you’d expect from inside the queer community, and it contributes to many bisexual folks’ struggles of not feeling queer enough.
Should you put “bi” in your dating app bio?
Adding those two simple letters to your bio will draw some unwanted attention, and it’s going to be a pain in the ass. But in the long run, it’ll also act like a filter to weed out people who try to put sexual orientation into a box.
The idea that being bisexual is just a pit stop to being “fully-blown gay” — or that it means that you’re attracted to everyone you see — probably aren’t thoughts you’d prefer a partner to have. They’re especially not opinions you’d like to hear about months down the road from someone you thought you knew well. The easiest way to ensure that you won’t be left heartbroken over someone not accepting your sexuality? Let them know from the jump.
“Coming out” over and over again is unfair. But doing so right off the bat also acts as an early screening for people who identify as bi but say they wouldn’t date another bi person — something that a lot of bi men experience from bi women.
Can you actually find a relationship online?
Do bisexual people get dealt a tough hand on dating apps? Yes. Does that mean meeting someone special online is impossible? Absolutely not. A 2017 study cited in the MIT Technology Review found that people who meet online are more likely to be compatible and have a higher chance of a healthy marriage if they decide to get hitched. Further, a 2019 study done at Stanford found that nearly two-thirds of modern same-sex couples meet online.
It sucks that there’s no legit dating app specifically devoted to bi individuals and other singles who respect what it means to be bi — yet. However, this also means that a good portion of other single bi folks are probably on those popular dating apps that you’ve considered. At least you know the user base is there.
What is the best dating app for bisexual people?
There are a lot of dating apps out there, each offering a different set of features that will suit some daters better than others. To help you find something that suits you and your lifestyle, we have lined up a selection of standout options that should suit just about everyone.
These are the best dating apps for bisexual people in 2024.