Ask A Bi Dad: Dating a Closeted Bi Man

By Lewis Oakley

April 08, 2022

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Hi Lewis,

I’ve recently gone on a few dates with a really nice guy. It’s all going well, but I’ve started to suspect that he might be a closeted bisexual. It’s a mix of mannerisms, some hinted comments and general observations. I would be completely open to dating a bi guy but if, as I suspect, he is in the process of coming out/coming out to himself, is this the wrong time to get into a relationship?

I do have worries that I could fall in love at a time when he might come to a realisation and want to explore. I’m "on the spectrum" of sexuality myself, although I wouldn’t call myself bi — and I do think that makes me more worried as I know what it’s like to want to explore your sexuality.

Sarah

An attractive man and woman smile to eachother. The woman has her arm over his shoulder while his arms are crossed.
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Hi Sarah,

This is a tricky one. Mainly because we don’t know if the man you’re dating is bi.

My slightly unreassuring advice is that there are no guarantees in life or in relationships. Yes, he could turn out to be bi and want to explore his sexuality. He could turn out bi and be completely content with just the two of you. He could even turn out to be straight, but a really horrible guy.

We can’t predict how things will turn out. We also aren’t going to know everything before getting into a situation. It’s about taking the leap of faith.

What you really need to do is ask yourself, do you like this guy enough to take the risk? Do you want to explore this and see where the journey takes you? It might be happily ever after, it might not, but the journey should be exciting to you.

Also, talking is a great start. This is slightly tricky because you don’t want to drag someone out of the "potential" closet before they are ready, but there are other ways to have the conversation indirectly. You could always talk about "your friend" who is dating a closeted bi guy. Or have a hypothetical conversation about sexuality and about discovering more about your sexuality later in life.

Again, this could be tricky. If he is bi and in a state of denial, he simply might not be ready to ask himself some of those questions, or even give answers now that he might not stand by in a year's time.

What I do think could be an amazing opportunity is that you describe yourself as "on the spectrum" yourself. Maybe opening up about that — or even exploring sexuality together could be a rewarding experience.

Good luck with it.

Lewis

What advice would you give to this reader? Give us your take in the comments below.

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Bisexual people often have few other bi people to turn to for support or to ask questions. This means we often can’t build on the experience of other bi people and improve things for the next generation. Ask a Bi Dad is aimed at tackling this.

Lewis Oakley is one of the leading bi advocates and writers, campaigning to improve the public’s perception of bisexuality. Recognised by the Pride Power List 2021 and with various award nominations under his belt, Lewis has been successful in making bisexuality national news.

Lewis knows more than most how lonely being bisexual can feel, particularly in those early years. Now, confident in himself, his relationship, and a dad of two, Lewis recognises how rare and lucky he is. This is why he wants to help where he can by answering the questions of bi people from all around the world.

If you have a question that you would like a perspective on, email at [email protected]

*Lewis is not a licenced therapist, and the advice offered in this column is not intended to replace or substitute for any professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological, or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist.

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