Bisexual and Dating Same Sex

I gotta own something. Recently, I’ve been feeling – well – weird towards bisexuals who are in opposite sex relationships.

And, you know, I get it. I was in nearly exclusively opposite sex relationships for, like, 10 years. People questioned my bisexuality. It sucked. I felt invisible, embarrassed, not queer enough, etc.

In fact, there’s a whole list of things on this page if you want to go down that mental path:

And, I in no way want to invalidate the pain of these experiences. Again, I have been there, and I totally get it.

But, something also changed substantially when I started dating a woman. For me, dating a woman is different – very different – from dating a man. I had hooked up with women, had casually dated women, had one night stands with women (not that many, unfortunately,) had casual sex with women (not that often, unfortunately,) and had ongoing relationships with women while I was also involved with men.

All that was totally different from falling in love with a woman, and meeting someone who I could really see spending my life with.

To put it succinctly, the heterosexual fantasy vanished.

On some level, whenever I was dating men, in the back of my mind I expected “we’ll probably get married,” “we’ll probably have kids,” etc. And, there was a deep need at the bottom of this fantasy, a need that had nothing to do with kids and marriage, and everything to do with my own ego.

Sometimes, my girlfriend and I talk about having children. I told her that if she had a child, I could love it like my own, and she said she felt the same about any children I might have. What about an adopted child, we wondered, could we love that like our own? Again, we thought we could. But, we couldn’t take any of it for granted – there is no magical script that our lives can follow.

And, our love can’t stay insular the same way a straight couple’s love can. If we don’t have children, we will need to love other people instead of our children, and if we *do* have children, they will have roots from outside our family somewhere along the line, and fully loving them will be loving where they came from. For us, to be closed only to each other will never work.

Truthfully, I am grateful for it because I would never want my love to be constrained only to my own family, but this type of open love is not something you see in romance novels. It’s something you have to figure out, and it’s something I didn’t figure out in my straight relationships. Some straight people get there, but many of them don’t, and for the same reason many bisexuals in opposite sex relationships don’t get there either.

I remember dating on OK Cupid, and a woman contacted me because she and her husband were looking for a bisexual woman to “pull into their marriage.” (There’s a term for this in the poly community, it’s called “unicorn hunting“.) I did not like her request because it reinforced the “straight” couple tendency to pull all their love inward and to stay closed. And sure, some gay couples mimic this closed-ness as much as they can – perhaps lesbian couples find anonymous sperm donors, or whatever – but at some point a gay couple *has* to turn to the outside for help, either in starting their family, or in getting support as they age if they have no family. And, I think this need for help is both humbling and humanizing. Many straight couples do as well, of course, but not all.

And, it’s this closed-ness, this objectifying-ness that I feel weird about. Truthfully, I was like that myself for a while. I wanted to hook up with women to prove something about myself, to “be” someone. But, as long as the bisexual community is focused on these experiences of not being “queer enough,” the more they really making it about ego and not love. If you look at the gay community and say, “I wish I was more a part of that,” I understand how you feel, but it’s also not the way forward.

If you are willing to be honest about your feelings with every type of person you meet, if you are willing to connect with all sorts of different people romantically and otherwise, you will begin to see all sorts of things about yourself and your loved ones, things you may never have expected. You don’t have to be dating someone of the same gender to get there, but you do have to get over yourself.


Have you ever been accused of having too much ego, or being too egocentric? I certainly have! Many times.

And, you know, the people who told me that were right in a way. The times I have been the most depressed, for lack of a better word, heavily correlated with the times I spent the most energy introspecting, thinking about myself, and ruminating on everything I did wrong. Unfortunately, after being accused on being egocentric, I simply ruminated too much on how egocentric I was. To try not to be be egocentric starting with the idea “I am egocentric, and this is bad” is, unfortunately, by its very nature deeply egocentric. It is very focused on who “I” am, and who “I” want to be.

Also, accepting someone else’s evaluation of this can be dangerous. Sometimes, when people say “you are being too egocentric” what they actually mean is “you are being too inconvenient.” Often, for instance, oppressed groups of people are encouraged not to feel angry about their oppression. I took a class in non-violent communication with a black woman, who was careful about expressing frustration because she didn’t want to be another “angry black woman.” But, black women in America have plenty to feel angry about! And, it is possible to use pseudo-spiritual language to oppress people even more. “You have too much ego, you care so much for these little slights when clearly someone just made a slip of the tongue when talking to you. You will be happier if you just let go of some of this anger, and don’t stress out about every little comment someone makes.”

(On a side note, I *hate* the idea of “letting go” of anger.)

I disagree that a black woman who represses her anger is letting go of ego, however. I think a black woman who endured a racist remark, and hid her anger, would be embracing her ego. Not that that’s “bad” per se – sometimes it’s necessary – but she would not be expressing what she feels, in the effort to maintain a good image either to herself, or to others. To be or nor to be an “angry black woman” – both paths are full of ego. However, people who don’t like to face the repercussions of their own racism, or sexism, will gladly tell black women not to be “angry,” and if they can clothe it in hippie, new age-y type language to give it more credibility, so much the better.

In fact, I don’t think it is very useful for someone else to tell you you have too much ego, because to attack it directly like that is to play right into the ego. “I don’t want to be an egocentric person,” is a trap from which we cannot escape. The very desire itself stems from ego.

Perhaps a better question is, “What have you wanted to do, but been able to, because you were preoccupied with your self image?”

One answer for me is dance! I love dancing, but I care so much about what other people think of me, I will sometimes not do it. Even when I’m alone in my room, I’ll start to dance, and then sometimes stop because I am ashamed at how “badly” I dance. Even though there is no one else there, to think of myself as a “bad dancer” is so painful I will avoid thinking about it by avoiding dancing.

Another answer is meditate. Often, when I am meditating I get up with thoughts that approach something like “I can see so much!” Sometimes it’s not so much a thought, as a feeling of excitement, that stems from a sense of “this means something about me.” It throws me out of wherever I was, and starts me down a path of thinking about myself.

And, in a way, that’s ok. There is a lot of culture there, that I’m carrying. I exist in this facebook world of self promotion, and I don’t want to just cut it off or cut it out of me. It’s how I relate to my friends, it’s how I connect with the people around me. It’s part of what will enable me to understand pain other people are going through.  It’s important, but it interferes with some things I’m trying to do. I don’t really have a good solution. My current plan is to keep trying to do the things I’m trying to do (to dance, to meditate) with the hope that eventually, I’ll just get bored. I’ll stop being interested in thinking about what this means “about me,” and just do them.

Nerd Voice

I find myself getting super annoyed by nerd voice.

So – I’ll try to own it, by saying “yeah, I realize these are my own issues,” and “yeah, I’m sure I have nerd voice on a fairly regular basis myself,” and “yeah, someone probably has plenty of good reasons to talk in this way, and it is a culmination of their life experience, and etc. etc.”

But, frankly, nothing ever forces my own personal realization of how un-accepting of other people I am like a big old dose of nerd voice. And, suddenly, instead of really hearing someone, I’m awash in my own narcissism and disappointment in my lack of empathy, while simultaneously analyzing the other person and internally blasting them with my judgement.

So – this is what I hear when I hear nerd voice. I hear someone mimicking the tone of authority, but with a slightly over exaggerated intonation, because I assume deep down they don’t fully trust what they are saying. In fact, when I hear nerd voice, I immediately begin to doubt the authenticity of whatever information is being provided. If at some point I question them, and they double down with their hyper-authoritarian tone instead of softening, I immediately brand them as an insecure idiot, and take everything they say with a dose of skepticism. Also, I think this has gotten worse since I’ve tried to become a more empathetic person.

So, back in the day the exchange would usually go like this:

Nerd Voice: “Clearly, a PC is a superior economic investment to a mac, especially since you can just duel boot the mac OS”

My Internal Monolog: This person is an idiot, must disengage as soon as possible.

Me: “Yeah, I can see that. Hey, thanks for sharing your thoughts with me – I gotta run to the bathroom, but it was really great catching up with you.”

Now, it usually goes like this.

Nerd Voice: “It is impossible to lose weight on a diet of less than 1200 calories a day because you’ll just slow down your metabolism.”

My Internal Monolog: This person is an idiot – wait, no. What is it they’re really trying to coney here? Why do they feel the need to state this? Are they fat? Are they self conscious about their weight, and do they have shame about their inability to cut their calories? How do they square this with the fact that people clearly lose weight on very low calorie diets?

Me: “Oh? Well, what about the Jews in the concentration camps? They got pretty skinny, and I’m pretty sure they ate less than 1200 calories a day. I assume, anyway.”

Nerd Voice: “Well, they probably lost a lot of muscle mass. I mean, it’s impossible to lose fat on a diet of just 1200 calories a day.”

My Internal Monolog: Zomg, don’t care. Not trying to lose fat. Wait – not everything is about me. Is often about them. Ok – what to they care about?

Me: “Ah, so you’re more interested in the process of losing fat than just losing weight, per se.”

Nerd Voice: “Well, yes. Obviously. I mean, why would someone just care about losing weight?”

Me: “Well, I used to wrestle and I’d try to lose weight to make a weight class.”

Nerd Voice: “Ah, but that was a special case. And, was probably quite unhealthy to lose weight in that way.”

My Internal Monolog: Well, I was in the best shape of my life back then, but let’s just let that lie. Ok, how do I change the topic to something less irritating?

Me: “Yeah, it was an unusual case. Although, apparently sometimes it can be good to slow your metabolism – I’ve heard of some people who eat very low calorie diets to slow their metabolism in an effort to live longer.

Nerd Voice: “Ah, well yes – if the intention is to slow the metabolism, then yes, eating low calorie diets could be quite effective for that. I doubt it would help you live longer though, that just seems like pseudoscience to me.”

My Internal Voice: Zomg, can you stop acting like you know everything! I was the one who watched the National Geographic special, not you! Oh my god, I still think you’re an idiot, and now I sort of hate you for having this conversation with me as well. Fuck, I am spiritually void – incapable of seeing the inner beauty in other people. Fuck fuck fuck!

Me: “Well, I’ve never tried it since eating less than 1200 calories would totally blow – ha ha ha. Anyway, it was great catching up with you, I gotta run to the bathroom.”

Later, I’ll usually reflect over why someone may feel the need to take a very firm position on a topic with little interest in the nuance, or subtlety of it. Usually, I’ll conclude that it’s a person who has not received a lot of respect for their opinions in the past (hence, why nerds or the more socially outcast often take this tone of voice) and be able to generate a bit more empathy for them. After all, I’ve had some pretty socially-outcast type moments in my life. A lot, honestly. And I get it, I get that they’re trying to like appear more authoritative so I’ll take them seriously because they’re not used to being taken seriously. But, my god, I find it so annoying.

I guess perhaps a more interesting question would be, why does it bug me so much? I mean, at least part of it is it reminds me of my own insecure moments when I try to overcompensate. But, another part of it is that I stop believing that there’s gong to be any possibility of making any sort of interesting conversation or emotional connection. I start believing, “Ok, this person is mostly interested in impressing me, not about connecting with me.” Which, is possibly wrong – if I were able to convince them that I valued their opinion, they would likely become more open to my own point of view. But, it’s so hard all of my body language is screaming “I want out of this conversation!” Even if after the fact I can understand what happened, in the moment I find myself a lot more stuck.

Practice, I suppose?